• Trail Estate Wines Reviewed in Uncork Ontario

    The first review is in courtesy of Uncork Ontario! You can read it here:
  • Thanks for a Great Opening Weekend

    A special thanks to all those who stopped by this past weekend.
    We know we are a bit out of the way down some gravel road, but glad you made the trek! We hope you enjoy our wines and look forward to your feedback and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to email them to
    Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates and news.
    Welcome to Trail Estate Winery - Assorted Wines for Tasting
  • Getting Ready for Opening on May 31st

    We are thrilled to announce that we are finally ready to open our door – the bright yellow one – to the public this weekend. Feel free to drop by for a taste. This is a sneak peak inside – though missing some final details.
    We'll be open every weekend during the summer season.
    Our hours are Saturday and Sunday 11:30am to 6pm, as well as Holiday Mondays and Canada Day.
    Table and Barrels at Trail Estate Winery
  • Wrapping it up

    There's always something great about wrapping something. Late last week we (finally) printed our labels and we can't wait to peel them off their rolls and put them where they should be. Its not quite gift wrap per say, but we'll happily make do!

    Packaging Materials - Trail Estate Winery
  • The Bottling Has Started

    We're excited to announce that we have started bottling our first vintage! We started last weekend with our Pinot Noir Rosé. It looks stunning and should taste even better. Its a classic all-pinot noir rose (with Niagara grapes grown by Ed Hughes) with beautiful balance and notes of strawberry throughout. It will be ready for tasting when we open in May. Stay tuned for opening details! 105 cases produced.
    Trail Estate Rose Wine
  • The Cork vs. Screw Cap Debate

    Its early March and still deep in winter, yet our opening draws nearer as we are getting ready to start bottling. Its been a long process yet it feels like a whirlwind. One of the questions we debated was whether to cap or cork our wines.
    Unset Wine Caps - Trail Estate Winery
    The Case for Cork
    The case for cork is mainly that its just the traditional way of doing things. We admit there’s something nice about opening a corked bottle for friends and a screw cap is a different proposition. That said, its less fun if the cork happened to dry out, come out in pieces, get stuck in the neck, or be pushed to the bottom to be gracelessly foraged out.
    What about Aging?
    There is some thinking that “cork is better for aging”. This is an area up for debate. While corks do facilitate aging, they don’t exclusively do so. Most flavours developed in aging are developed anaerobically without oxygen. In fact, you’ll notice that some premium corked wines are sealed with a bead of wax to limit (or eliminate) gas exchange – a practice that runs counter to the presumed benefit of cork allowing wine to breathe. To this one can add – as we’ve all seen our share of – bad quality cork. This adds unpredictability into the mix of any aging process.
    The Change to Screw Caps
    Screw caps are only one of the cork alternatives. And they are increasingly finding wider market acceptance. You’ll notice many higher-end wines have adopted screw caps as their closure of choice. In fact, screw caps which were once the domain of table wines and New World wines have gained considerable traction regardless of the place of origin or price point. One big advantage we see in screw caps is that there is no cork which could – and ~1-3% of corks definitely will – cause an undesirable cork taint in wine.
    Moving Ahead with Less Worry
    A fair amount of our wines will be fairly aroma-centric with delicate layers of flavour. That means preserving those falvours and avoiding cork taint is key. Screw caps are ideal as they help preserve the nose and freshness. And, there is still a bit of oxygen in the top of each bottle to help that part of the aging process which requires oxygen.
    “Screwcaps have shown wines that are brighter, clearer and more focused. Fruit and mineral characters shine through better than before.”
    Ken Canaiolo Engebretsen
    President of the Norwegian Sommelier Association
    Lastly, screw caps are just practical. Less worry about laying bottles on their sides to keep the cork moist. Less worry about the humidity and temperature wines are stored at means less running to the basement. Less fiddling putting the cork back in the bottle. And yes, never again being caught without a corkscrew. This is progress.
    Notes: Its evident there is still lots of debate among some quarters – and debate we always welcome!
    A useful site for more information is
  • 2012 - The Planting Starts!

    When our family purchased the property in 2011, there was 1 acre of Baco Noir on the property. From what we know, it had been planted about 5 to 6 years earlier by the previous owner. Those vines can be seen here, in the foreground. The prepped land will be planted with a selection of grapes. Looking south, the Millennium Trail is in the background where you see the hydro line.

    Vineyard - Trail Estate Winery


    On this land, and with a little help by Wes Wiens of Vinetech, we decided to plant what the county is known for — Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We also planted a smaller portion of Riesling and some test rows of Marechel Foch, Geisenheim, Cab. Franc and Gewürztraminer. Here are some of the grapes soaking to activate their roots.

    Bundles - Trail Estate Winery


    2012 proved to be a year of contrasts with a wet spring and a dry summer. Still, most of the grapes took well! Here, Matthias, our winemaker is looking over the grapes at the start of the process of training them to their posts. We'll put up the trellis system next year once they've established themselves.

    Tending the Vineyard - Trail Estate Winery
  • Starting a Craft Winery in Prince Edward County

    It's been quite a journey thus far!

    All this started a few years ago, after a weekend visit to the county and the purchase of a plot of land in the heart of wine country. An existing 1 acre plot of Baco Noir grapes fermented the idea of maybe planting more. Then, with the encouragement of neighbours Jonas and Kimbal—of Hinterland Wine Company and Lacey Estates, respectively—we decided to take it a step further and start a winery.

    2012 saw the planting of 2 acres of vinifera vines, mainly Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with a bit of Gamay for good measure. In 2013, 3 acres of additional clones of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were planted. Once these vines fully mature in a few years, we'll have about 7 acres under vine.That, complemented with grapes from quality growers in the PEC and Niagara region will provide us with the range we need to craft wines with character, as expressed in the fruit and soil from which they come.

    Its no secret that Prince Edward County is a great area for wine and we couldn't be happier to be a part of it! Enjoy the area's sights and many restaurants. We trust you'll love it as we do.

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