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Tawse Winery
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Tawse WinerySummary: In 2010, Tawse Winery, in Vineland Ontario was named Winery of the Year. Tawse is certified with Demeter as an organic and Biodynamic winery.

On approaching Tawse Winery, wine enthusiasts will discover a multi-level contemporary building. In front of the building is a large pond with a fountain. The area adjacent to the fountain and pond is beautifully landscaped. A courtyard, near the tasting room entrance, is also nicely landscaped and begs people to amble along the stone paths on nice weather days.

In 2012 Tawse Winery received the Lieutenant Governors’ Award for Excellence. In 2010 and 2011, Canada Wine Access Magazine named Tawse Winery as the “Winery of the Year.” Tawse Winery and tasting room are located in a tall modern style building that appears to have been built into a hill. This large building dominates the nearby pond.

Tawse WineryMoray Tawse is the owner and enjoys Burgundy-style wines. He purchased the property with some Chardonnay and Riesling already planted on the property. The first wines were made in a small building with the winery’s first vintage in 2001. A new facility was built in 2005. The winery uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling.

Vineyards

The onsite vineyards run over the gently sloping landscape giving the appearance of a natural roller coaster. Today, the onsite vineyards consist of 21 acres including Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Other vineyards are near the winery property. The vineyards are cultivated using Biodynamic principles.

Tawse WineryWinery and Tasting Room

Visitors enter a sleek, modern tasting room with an U-shaped tasting counter. One wall of the tasting room is made of glass, and overlooks much of the winery. Wine enthusiasts will notice three levels. In addition to being certified as Biodynamic and Organic, Tawse Winery uses a gravity flow system for producing their wines. Stainless steel tanks are on each level, and some wood tanks are also on the highest level. A few wood barrels rest on the bottom level; however, most of the wood barrels are located in wine cellars.

Tawse WineryThree wine cellars are built into the hill. They hold 800 barrels. One of the cellars is used for wine club dinners and small private events. This cellar has a long tasting bar to one side. The focal point is the end of the cellar area where library wines are kept neatly stored in wine racks. Each of the two other cellars are filled with barrels, stacked up to four high.

In 2012, the winery produces about 30,000 cases. Wine labels included “Organic” and “Biodynamic.”

White Wines

Back in the main tasting room we sampled a few of the wines. The Sketches 2010 Riesling offered floral and peach notes on the aroma. The taste had peach and mineral nuances. The finish was crisp and fruity. Suggested pairings included cheese, numerous types of seafood and marinated vegetables. Chardonnay Robyn’s Block 2010 was a light yellow. The wine had lime and mineral notes with a hint of caramel. Quarry Road Chardonnay 2010 was a light yellow with an aroma of mineral and apple nuances. The taste offered notes of minerality, apple and citrus. The crisp finish had hints of citrus. Suggested pairings included baked or fried fish, chicken and turkey.

Tawse WineryRed Wines

Cherry Avenue Pinot Noir 2009 was aromatic with cherry notes. The fruit lingered on the finish and the wine had soft tannins. Quarry Road Pinot Noir 2009 was slightly darker red/purple than the first Pinot Noir tasted. The aroma was softer. The taste was smooth and the wine finished with bold tannins. Suggested pairings for either of these Pinot Noirs included filet of beef or pork, and roasted chicken.

While visiting the Niagara region of Ontario, be sure to stop by Tawse Winery to taste wines produced with Biodynamic and organic methods. Take time to stroll past the vineyards and landscaped areas.

Tawse Winery
3955 Cherry Avenue 

Vineland, Ontario
Canada L0R 2C0

GPS: N43º 09.073’ W79º 24.726’

Article written in September 2012.


Visit this Winery/vineyard travel agency and Canada winery that partner with Wine Trail Traveler.

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