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Smith & Wilson Estate Wines
Kathy Sullivan

Smith & Wilson Estate WinesSummary: Smith & Wilson Estate Winery is located on property that has been in the Smith family for over 100 years. The current owners are proud of the wines they produce in this uniquely located area within view of Lake Erie. Enjoy visiting a very friendly winery and tasting small batch wines.

Smith & Wilson Winery and vineyards is located within view of Lake Erie. Even on a cool, rainy day the blue of the lake is striking. Notice the drop of the land down to meet the edge of Lake Erie which facilitates air drainage.

We met the owners of Smith & Wilson Estate Wines, Mary Jane and George Smith, who shared their story of the development of the vineyards and winery. The agricultural property has been in George’s family for more than a century. Twenty years ago George and Mary Jane had the opportunity to continue the farming tradition on the same property. Discovering that the price of peaches had not changed in twenty years, they decided to plant vineyards. Grapes were sold to various wineries. Eventually George and Mary Jane decided to start their own winery. Their first winery and tasting room were in the family home, a historic house on the property. In 2011 they moved the tasting room to another building, a fruit warehouse they had renovated. This facility also houses a large event center that is available for weddings and events including charity events. Large windows in the event center provide wonderful views of the vineyards and Lake Erie.

Smith & Wilson Estate WinesThe vineyards were first planted in 1982 with additional vines added gradually. The soil in the vineyard is composed of sandy loam, limestone and gravel. Currently the vineyards are home to 42 acres with 17 to 18 grape varieties. Some of the varieties include Baco Noir, Riesling, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Petite Verdot, Chambourcin, and Vidal. Vineyards have a 120 foot drop to Lake Erie. This helps to provide air drainage. The lake provides moderating temperatures for the vineyards. Smith & Wilson wines are produced with estate grown grapes and grapes are also sold to other wineries.

The winery opened in 2005 with their first 2004 vintage. After five years of growing and producing wine Mary Jane commented, that the area “needs to grow and nurture what grows well here.” She believes that the Ohio, Michigan and Lake Erie North Shore regions should embrace what grows well.

Smith & Wilson Estate WinesWhite Wines

Riesling 2008 was a very light yellow color. The aroma offered slight fruit nuances while the taste was fruity. The wine was dry on the finish with a hint of minerality. Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was crisp and fruity with a lingering finish.

Red Wines

The 2010 Rondeau Red was named after the Rondeau Provincial Park. The blend of Gamay and Merlot was a red color with hues of dark pink. It had a dark fruit aroma and taste including red cherry and a touch of plum. There were tannins on the fruity finish. The 2007 Double Barrel was a blend of Cabernet Franc with a touch of Merlot and Syrah. It was a dark ruby color. The aroma and taste offered dark fruit, pepper and a hint of cedar. There were tannins on the finish. The 2008 Buckhorn was made from the Baco Noir grape. The dark purple color had an aroma of tobacco with a touch of cedar. The dark fruit taste also had hints of tobacco and cedar. Tannins were on the fruity finish that had layers of tobacco and spice on the aftertatse.

Fruit Wines

Three Belles was named for the three people in the family with a “Belle” name. The wine is made of 100 percent Montmorency cherries. The wine had 9.5 percent alcohol. The color was delightful with a bright light red that glistened. Cherries for the wine are produced on a neighboring farm. Razzleberry was a sweet dark red dessert wine made from raspberries and apples. The wine had many fruit notes. This dessert wine was excellent by itself.

Smith & Wilson Estate Wines


The winery has numerous events including charity functions and weddings. Smith & Willson will also celebrate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. The winery has two special wine labels. One is the Gallantry label for the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. The North Star label commemorates the underground railroad through the area.

Enjoy a visit to Smith & Wilson Estate Winery and discover a delightful story, wines and family.



Smith & Wilson Estate Wines
8368 Water Street
Blenheim, Chatham-Kent, Ontario N0P 1A0

GPS: N42º 16.019’ W082º 02.329’








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