News

  • Wine of the Month Club - February

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    This month we focus on skins, tannins and structure in reds and feature a special bottling of out forthcoming Barrel-Ferment Cab Franc Rosé! Get a sneak peak at this special single-barrel rosé. Shipping next week as part of our Wines of the Month Club!
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    Wines included this month:
    2016 Wingfield Cabernet Franc
    2017 Estate Pinot Noir (Pre-Release)
    2018 Foxcroft Barrel Ferment Cab Franc Rosé (Pre-Release)
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    About Wines of The Month
    Our Newest Wine Club is also our most eclectic!
    Each month, get a winemaker’s selection of wines picked with a theme in mind. Each selection may include our newest wines, a vertical of back vintages, or even other hard-to-find wines we like to drink.
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    Only $110 (inclusive of shipping)
    Flexibility of choice in 1-, 3-, 6- & 12-month options.
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    Upcoming Themes:
    March — Yeasts - Chardonnay and Traditional Method
  • Join us for Vinterfest 2019, Feb. 16 & 17!

    Winemaker’s Cellar Tasting

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    For one day only, we're opening up the cellar in this small-group, exclusive cellar tasting of wines direct from the barrel. Learn about the origins of the wines and about our minimalist small-batch winemaking process across skin-contact and barrel-ferment reds and whites. Taste wines in-progress and compare to their finished siblings with a specific emphasis on texture, acidity and flavour definition.

    Saturday Feb. 16, 12pm, 2pm (full) and 3:30pm only. $20/pp RSVP required, 8ppl max. 

    Allow at least 45 minutes.

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    Are You a Wine Club Member?
    This event is FREE for Wine Club Members (max. 2 people/member). To book, simply email us with your desired time at info@trailestate.com.

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    Winery French Toast Brunch

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    Come in from the cold! Enjoy hot, icewine-drenched french toast, fresh fruit, maple cream and vineyard views in our warm, modern tasting space.
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    Optionally, pair it with any wine from our by-the-glass menu including our Pét Nat Sparkling or Wild-Ferment Riesling, for a perfect pairing.

    Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 16-17, 10:30am - 3pm. $8/pp.
    Reserve your spot here!

    See you at Trail Estate for Vinterfest 2019!

  • You Say You Want A Revolution? Skin-Fermented Riesling: November Wines of the Month

    You say you want a revolution?  
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    Perhaps it is time you checked out Amber Revolution by Simon J Woolf. It is only the hottest new book about white wines fermented on their skins and Trail Estate Winery is featured within its pages!
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    “This book focuses only on wines made with white grapes treated as if they were red, fermented together with their skins (and sometimes stems, too) for a period of multiple days, weeks or months.”
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    The technique of using grape skins during fermentation is an age-old technique and in recent years it has become very popular. There are people who think skin contact wine is crazy and that it is a fad or that it gets in the way of terroir, but Taylor Swift said it best, “the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate.”
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    It is without a doubt that this new category, Orange Wine is here to stay.
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    “...Orange wine’s time has well and truly come; bottles are proudly displayed on the shelves of countless independent wine merchants, in fashionable wine bars and top-flight restaurants as never before.” (Amber Revolution)
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    I like having the flexibility to determine technique based on the grapes that I have, which means the decision to use skin contact will happen when the fruit reaches my crush pad. Having first made skin fermented wines in 2015 I have now narrowed down some of the styles and vineyards that take to the technique. I make an orange wine, left on the skins for months and bottled without fining, filtration or sulphur and it is very popular, is pretty funky and has that orange/amber colour that is desired.

    I also craft what I consider to be skin-fermented whites (instead of Orange) and this is what we are going to explore this month! They are a combination of old and new winemaking. I use natural yeast to ferment while on skins, no temperature control and I gently immerse the skins with the fermenting juice daily. Once I separate the skins I craft them like conventional wines to retain the fresh and fruity aromatics. The resulting wines are poised, full of flavour and structure and an accurate reflection of vintage differences.
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    All three of the wines included this month are from the same vineyard, picked the same day, processed and fermented together. Natural fermentation in stainless steel tanks, pressed after 13 days on the skins. Sulphured to inhibit malolactic fermentation and to retain vibrancy in the wine. One wine is bottled right away while the other two go back into two barrels for eleven months, leading to divergent, yet fascinating results.
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    2017 Hughes Skin Contact Riesling 
    2017 Hughes Skin Contact, Barrel-Aged Riesling — “Earth”
    2017 Hughes Skin Contact, Barrel-Aged Riesling — “Heaven”

  • Amber Revolution: How the World Learned to Love Orange Wine

    Amber Revolution Hardcover Book - Trail Estate Winery
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    ...And we're in it!
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    Written by renowned orange wine expert and award winning writer Simon J. Woolf, Amber Revolution is the world?s first book to tell the full, forgotten story of this ancient wine (white wine made like a red wine) and its modern struggle to gain acceptance. It is a tale of lost identity, the fight for survival, and pioneering winemakers?from the Caucasus to the Adriatic. White grapes are left in contact with their skins for days, weeks or months during fermentation, creating stunning complexity, unusual aromas and intense flavors. The extended skin contact gives these wines bold amber, russet, or orange tints.
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    The technique is ancient, but the hype is new and fast growing. This book includes profiles of 180 of the best producers from 20 countries worldwide and is crammed full of all the information you need to find the best orange wines worldwide together with tips for how to buy, enjoy, food-match and age them. Beautifully illustrated with over 150 specially commissioned photos, Amber Revolution is an essential reference work for any wine lover, sommelier, retailer or producer who loves orange wine.
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    Available at your local bookseller or order here.
  • October #WOTM: Riesling

    Wines of the Month - Riseling - Trail Estate Winery
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    This month we focus on Riesling and compare our Barrel Ferment Riesling with that of iconoclastic German winemaker: Clemens Busch. These wines are not available at the LCBO, which makes them more compelling comparisons! Which will be your favourite?
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    2015 Trail Estate Barrel-Ferment Riesling - Unfiltered
    2015 Clemens Bush “O” Riesling
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    ONLY 5 SLOTS AVAILABLE!
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    About Wines of The Month
    Our Newest Wine Club is also our most eclectic!
    Each month, get a winemaker’s selection of wines picked with a theme in mind. Each selection may include our newest wines, a vertical of back vintages, or even other hard-to-find wines we like to drink.
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    Only $110 (inclusive of shipping)
    Flexibility of choice in 1-, 3-, 6- & 12-month options.
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    Upcoming Themes:
    November — Skin Ferment Wines (9 slots avail.)
    December — Nouveau Wines - White, Orange & Rosé (10 slots avail.)
  • September Wines of the Month - Cabernet Franc

    Long the addict of Pinot Noir, it comes as quite a surprise that I have found a love for Cabernet Franc in Ontario. Not that I disliked it, I simply preferred drinking Pinot Noir. All of that changed when I started working with fruit grown on the Wismer properties. I fell in love with the Cabernet Franc from the Foxcroft vineyard and, in the 2016 vintage I found room to open up my heart to the Wingfield vineyard as well. From the Twenty Mile Bench appellation the Wismer vineyards produce fruit that shows amazing finesse but also carries substantial weight and tannin.
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    Cabernet Franc has often been sidelined by other varieties. In Bordeaux it is used as a blending component to incorporate tannin and acid, but wine regions like the Loire have been producing incredible wines for a long time. In the past, our very own wine writer for The Globe and Mail, Beppi Crosariol has described Cabernet Franc as “a bitter letdown.” In the article he explains, “To me, most cabernet francs resemble red sangria that has been steeped with bell peppers and unlit cigarettes instead of fruit.”
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    He does go on to describe a few from Canada that he likes, which hurts my heart a little less. Hopefully, he’s had a chance to try a few more recent examples such as Pearl Morissette and Stanners to change his mind.
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    Site, viticulture and winemaking are so important for the production of any kind of quality wine, regardless of variety. Niagara Cabernet Franc can be incredible when grown on the right sight with careful viticulture choices. The wines included this month show off two amazing vineyards that are managed meticulously. So although I am pretty biased, I think these are great examples! I hope they are not a bitter letdown, but rather make you proud of what Ontario has to offer!
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    Cabernet Francs we focus on this month:
    2015 Trail Estate Foxcroft Cabernet Franc
    2016 Trail Estate Foxcroft Cabernet Franc
    2016 Trail Estate Wingfield Cabernet Franc
  • August Wines of The Month: Lo-Fi Bubbles!

    The heat of the August sun calls for some lo-fi refreshment!
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    August Wines of the Month - Trail Estate Wine
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    This month as part of the Wines of The Month, we explore an ancient technique used to craft a raw, natural and delicious sparkling wine. The wines are called Petillant Natural, or pet nat and have become increasingly popular in today’s wine scene. They are fun, bright and bubbly and, unlike Champagne, they are made without any filtration and without any added yeast or sugar.
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    2017 Trail Estate Field Blend Petillant Natural
    2017 Trail Estate Cabernet Franc Petillant Natural
    2017 Fattoria Sardi Toscana Bianco Pet Nat
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    ONLY 5 SLOTS AVAILABLE!
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    About Wines of The Month
    Our Newest Wine Club is also our most eclectic!
    Each month, get a winemaker’s selection of wines picked with a theme in mind. Each selection may include our newest wines, a vertical of back vintages, or even other hard-to-find wines we like to drink.
    -
    Only $110 (inclusive of shipping)
    Flexibility of choice in 1-, 3-, 6- & 12-month options.
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    Upcoming Themes:
    September — Cabernet Franc (10 slots avail.)
    October — Riesling (5 slots avail.)
    November — Skin Ferment Wines (12 slots avail.)
    December — Pinot Noir (11 slots avail.)
  • July is Chardonnay Month!

    Assorted Wine Bottles and Wine Glass - Trail Estate Winery

    Later this week, Chardonnay enthusiasts (ourselves included) gather in Niagara for the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Conference — known as I4C. We learn and we drink Chardonnay for an entire weekend. Gone are the ABC days, the days of Anything But Chardonnay and here are the days of superb quality Chardonnay!

    This month, and as part of the Wines Of The Month Club, we share 3 different Chardonnays from both Niagara and PEC. Three pure cool climate Chards. Pure hedonistic bliss!

    2015 Unfiltered Chardonnay - GOLD 2018 National Wine Awards
    — 91 pts Jamie Goode — $35/ea
    2016 County (Estate) Chardonnay
    92 pts Jamie Goode— $50/ea
    2016 Unfiltered Foxcroft Chardonnay - GOLD 2018 National Wine Awards
    — 90 pts Michael Godel— $45/ea

    Order your wines here!

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    About Wines of The Month
    Our Newest Wine Club is also our most eclectic!
    Each month, get a winemaker’s selection of wines picked with a theme in mind. Each selection may include our newest wines, a vertical of back vintages, or even other hard-to-find wines we like to drink.
    -
    Only $110 (inclusive of shipping)
    Flexibility of choice in 1-, 3-, 6- & 12-month options.
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    Upcoming Themes:
    August — Pét Nat (5 slots avail.)
    September — Cabernet Franc (11 slots avail.)
  • Wines of The Month! June Edition

    Each month, get a winemaker’s selection of wines picked with a theme in mind.
    In June, we focus on The Wines of Summer — four wines that match the summer vibes including our new ’16 Chardonnay Musqué and ’16 Oak-Aged Gewürztraminer! A review of the latter is included below!
    Wines of the Summer - Trail Estate Winery
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    Wines Included:
    2015 Sauvignon Blanc
    2016 Chardonnay Musqué — Pre-Release
    2016 Gewürztraminer (Oak-Aged) — New
    2016 Vintner’s Weiss
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    Trail Estate Gewürztraminer 2016
    Review by Michael Godel, WineAlign, April 15, 2018
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    Few winemakers in Ontario are as curious, aloof and serious about making gewürztraminer like this,“looking through that window, into the delicate place.” The changing of mind is so important during the process because it shows an understanding of both mistake and possibility. Mackenzie Brisbois takes a spoon of Niagara Lakeview fruit (Glen Elgin/Wismer farmed), puts it through a whole cluster press, a fermentation in old oak and then wait a minute. An about face transfer to stainless steel tank (just after a few days) because it is too reductive, but then sends it back to old wood where it remains for about nine months. Bottles back in September of 2017. The result is a gewürz that finishes dry (under 3 g/L) so delicate for a customer’s palate, with lots of lemon and lime but never searing, perfect for cold smoked or tataki prepared salmon. Bitter pith note but it dissipates, as does the acidity so keep in mind this is floral and fine. “The delicate place. The questions it raise. The delicate place yeah.” Enjoy it now and gimme fiction. Drink 2018-2021. Tasted April 2018.
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    About Wines of The Month
    Our Newest Wine Club is also our most eclectic!
    Each month, get a winemaker’s selection of wines picked with a theme in mind. Each selection may include our newest wines, a vertical of back vintages, or even other hard-to-find wines we like to drink.
    -
    Only $110 (inclusive of shipping)
    Flexibility of choice in 1-, 3-, 6- & 12-month options.
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    Upcoming Themes:
    July — Chardonnay (9 slots avail.)
    August — Pét Nat (5 slots avail.)
    September — Cabernet Franc (11 slots avail.)
  • Review: 2016 Barrel-Ferment Riesling, Foxcroft Vineyard — 92pts

    Review by Michael Godel, WineAlign, April 15, 2018
    “In 2016 the next wrinkle is a wild ferment (as opposed to the inoculated ’15), unfined and unfiltered, because as time progressed “I liked it more and more,” says winemaker Mackenzie Brisbois. No coarse filtration means some minor sediment will settle in the bottle. Smashed layers of tote-filled grapes are brought to the crushpad, in lieu of the crusher, to extract from the skins and stems, making use of the punchdown tool, while waiting before pressing. Recently bottled in December 2017 the BFR is something completely other and if 2015 was considered not, this follow-up is markedly fruity now, because it always was, all the way through during just more than a year in really old barrels… This is the wisest of Mack Brisbois’ rieslings, calm, confident, collected and shining brightly from the word go. You don’t have to wait on this one, it’s riper, it’s unfiltered, made with a lot less sulphur than the skin contacts and those ‘dirty’ 15s. “I like to see how little (sulphur) I can get away with,” notes Brisbois. The most accomplished riesling that she has made to date, the ’16s balance is spot on now and you will not have to wait for it to come into its cinematic stage. Drink it now and keep it longer. Drink 2018-2024.”
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    Score: 92 Points
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    Trail Estate Riesling Wine

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