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Le Musée du vin
Rockway Glen Golf Course and Estate Winery

by
Terry Sullivan

Le Musée du vinWine museums lay hidden in unique locations. Canada’s only antique wine museum is located on a golf course. The Rockway Glen Golf Course Estate Winery is home to Le Musée du vin, a small informative museum about wine. Most artifacts in the museum are French, however a few are Canadian such as the Bacchus Relief in the entrance hall. The relief is on loan from the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Brock University. It is from a collection donated from the Seagram Museum.

 

 

Le Musée du vinA curved stairway flows down to an attractive museum. At the foot of the stairway lies an old whisky barrel and barrel cart. Originally used to age wine, the barrel than became the home to whisky. In stark contrast to the barrel’s age, a modern wine bottle rack adorns the wall. A few bottles on the rack give visitors a vision of what it may look like filled with bottles. A few feet away is a photograph collage of images from vineyards and wineries during the early 1900’s. Spend some time looking at the images. Notice the way the adults and children dressed and the objects they are holding or working with. Artifacts of many of the objects pictured can be found in the museum displays.

 

 

Le Musée du vinLe Musée du vinSome museums rely on display cases so showcase their relics. Le Musée du vin chose to display the artifacts in a series of dioramas. This is an interesting and informative way to illustrate the use of objects used in vineyards and wineries. Children will enjoy the scenic displays. The children depicted in the dioramas are helping their parents using tools designed for their size. Consider the level of technology used in vineyards and winemaking during the early 1900’s. Working in the vineyards during the night required a crook with an attached candle.

The first scene shows the vineyard and the next shows a cooper working on a barrel. From cooperage artifacts flows a scene of a mother and son harvesting. Grapes were carried on one’s back to the press. Winemaking artifacts abound. Notice the shapes and sizes of wine bottles. An interesting diorama is a barrel scales. Barrels hang from the scales to be weighed. One of the oldest wine bottles displayed dates from 1889.

Le Musée du vinAfter the dioramas a modern looking room shows wine barrels aging wine. From there you travel to the wine library. Rockway Glen Golf Course Estate Winery’s wine collection dating from 2001 compliments the old artifacts and old looking cellar. Wine bottles rest in clay holders from France. This display helps people to visualize old world and new world technologies’ impact on vineyard practices and winemaking techniques. Ask to see the hobnail shoes and discover why they were used in wineries.

This delightful museum is appropriate for the entire family to visit. Spend time observing the artifacts in their diorama settings. Although winemaking has changed over the years, much remains the same.

Le Musée du vin
Rockway Glen Golf Course and Estate Winery

3290 Ninth Street
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

GPS N 43° 16.971' W 079° 11.902'



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