I know Lis and I often go on about how much we love big bold reds from Italy but we also like to promote home-grown grapes and the wines they produce. In truth there are so many wineries in the Niagara region I’m not sure how long it will take us to visit them all but we’re going to give it our best.
We’ve certainly been to the bigger ones, Jackson-Triggs, Inniskillin, Colaneri Estate Winery, Chateau des Charmes, Stratus Vineyards, and several others located near the main strip but there’s so many more throughout the Niagara region and they’re yours to discover.
One of my colleagues found out about our blog and said his wife worked for a winery called Calamus Estate Winery. Telling him I’d never heard of it he kindly brought me a selection of their wines to taste. I started with the whites because even though reds are my passion, every wine deserves a chance…plus a nice light white is always great for summer sipping.
The whites included a 2011 Pinot Gris, a 2011 Riesling and a 2010 Gewürztraminer. Of the three my favourite was the Riesling, which was a light straw colour, tasted clean and crisp with a hint of peach and because of it’s acidity it went wonderfully with the cheese fondue we were having for dinner.
The reds included a 2010 Cabernet Franc a 2008 Calamus Red. Of the two I definitely gravitated towards the Calamus Red, which was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Ruby red in colour is smelled of cherry, blackberry and vanilla and tasted delicious. This one is definitely worth a trip down to the winery but you can also order online.
Founded by Derek Saunders and his wife Pat Latin they first purchased 14 acres near Beamsville, Ontario and planted a 10 acre vineyard in 2000. When the land was being cleared for planting fragments of rock from the original First Nation inhabitants were found and played a role in its naming as CALAMUS is Latin for the word arrow. In 2001 they purchased a second property next to Ball’s Falls Conservation area and this is now home to the Calamus Estate Winery.
The old barn that now houses the tasting room is also home to a very cool feature, a Chronos Observatory.
Often mistaken for a farm silo the observatory actually includes a working deep space telescope. Located on the Niagara bench it’s just a short distance from the town of Jordan and this is definitely one of the areas we would like to explore more. It would make for an amazing venue in the evening, gazing at the stars while sipping the wines.
Is there a hidden treasure we should know about? Send us a comment and we’ll add it to the post.