Winery Experience (Tawse & Redstone)
Let me share with you some of the wonderful wines I experienced in the Niagara region. If you were thinking of heading to wine country in southern Ontario this season I have some recommendations for you. On the weekend Khristian and I took a friend of ours and headed to Beamsville to explore some wineries we had never experienced before. We decided based on a wine maker friend of ours to try Tawse Winery and its sister winery Red Stone.
We had a perfect sunny day for it. First stop was Tawse. We took in the beautiful exterior of the building, and the lush grounds, what a gorgeous spot. We were greeted by a friendly gentleman named Gary upon entering the store. We opted to skip the tour, and belly up to the bar for some tastings. We lucked out with Gary as he was not only friendly, but also well informed and passionate.
Disclaimer: I am definitely by no means a wine expert, but I do love it!
We Started by trying the 2013 Limestone Ridge North Riesling ($21.95)
It was soft on the nose, not too sweet to taste, with notes of citrus fruit. It was crisp without being tart. I was definitely a fan!
Next up were two Chardonnays;
2012 Robyn’s Block Estate Chardonnay ($45.95)
2011 Quarry Road Estate Chardonnay ($19.95)
I am usually not a big Chardonnay fan but honestly these were quite nice. Surprisingly fruit forward on the nose with notes of citrus and tropical fruits like pineapple (that is what I got anyway, keep in mind I am no expert, but I am trying to learn more) The 2012 had more of a fruit finish so those who prefer sweet may like this one. Both were nice and crisp. I would recommend both.
We moved on to two Pinot Noirs;
2011 Cherry Ave Estate Pinot Noir ($57.95)
2011 Growers Blend Pinot Noir ($26.95)
These were beautifully fruit forward on the nose with notes of Strawberry, which I love. To taste it was not sweet despite the nose. They were well balanced and had a lovely smooth finish. I preferred the Growers Blend which surprisingly was easier on the wallet, but equally as delicious!
Then two Meritages;
2011 Growers Blend Meritage ($29.95)
2011 Tawse Meritage ($59.95)
These were wonderful blends. The type of wine you buy now and put away for a few years to enjoy at its peak. This is something I am not too familiar with because if there is wine in my house I like to drink it! I believe Gary’s recommendation was 5-8 years. Who even knows if they will be alive then, but I can appreciate wanting to wait to enjoy a wine when it will be best experienced at its peak.
We finished with the 2013 Spark Blend ($24.95)
Then really finished with the spark mixed with the Riesling Ice Wine ($34.95)
This was something I had never tried before. Ice Wine is delicious but can sometimes be too sweet for some people’s liking. Mixed with the Tawse Spark it was oh so delicious. What a perfect way to end a special meal. I will be doing this in future!
It was then on to Tawse’s sister winery RedStone those along with Marchand Tawse in the Burgundy region of France are all owned by Moray Tawse. RedStone has a beautiful restaurant so we decided to have lunch after all our Tawse tastings, before continuing with more tastings. We were able to sit on the patio since it was such a lovely sunny day. Everything on the menu sounded good. We opted for the curried lamb poutine, the fried chicken sandwich, and the ceviche. I paired my lamb poutine with the 2012 Redstone Vineyard Syrah. Everyone was very pleased with their meal and the fries so so so good! Great spot for lunch!
Once lunch was done it was off to the wine shop to belly up to the tasting bar. Thanks to Gary we were getting a free tasting which included 4 different wines, plus our host threw in an extra tasting as well:
I started with the Rosé since the sign outside was advertizing a Rosé event. Rosé always seems to be that perfect summer wine. It was a little on the sweet side without being sugary. It definitely transported me in my mind to enjoying it on a patio on a bright sunny day.
Second was the 2012 Redstone Riesling (Limestone South) ($18.95)
In my limited experience I usually enjoy Rieslings produced in the Niagara region. This was no exception. On the nose I felt I was getting hints of crisp juicy apple, and tropical fruit. I noticed a light sweetness on the tongue that stayed with me.
Third 2012 Redstone Reserve Cabernet Franc ($29.95)
I love a Cabernet Franc especially on the nose when I get that hint of strawberry. This one on the nose only had a very subtle hint of strawberry, but the taste was smooth and I would definitely enjoy drinking this again.
Fourth 2011 Meritage which is a premium blend assembled from cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot ($46.15)
On the nose it was not very fruit forward. I am going to have to try this one again, since I have forgotten the detail of the mouth experience. Again perhaps more for the connoisseur who is willing to wait to enjoy)
Lastly I had to finish with the 2010 Redstone Ice Wine Cabernet Franc ($25.95 200ml – $49.95 375ml)
On the nose it had a gentle sweetness, with notes of strawberry (my favorite). I tasted it and it had a delicate sweet fruit flavor with no sharp sugary sweetness. I loved it so much had to get a bottle to go. I’ll be mixing it with my Spark from Tawse at my next special dinner.
Please Check out more information and photos of these lovely wineries at their websites;
Redstone – http://redstonewines.ca/
I plan to take this summer to explore some different wineries in the Niagara region, let me know if you have a favorite or if there is one you are curious about!