Updated: Nov 24, 2019
Kew Vineyards is darling winery tucked away in the town of Beamsville, Ontario. In the Niagara region, it lies just outside of Niagara-on-the-Lake and offers the same getaway with added serenity. Kew Vineyards is one of VQA's best and is avant garde with how they are producing some of Ontario's best sparkling wine.
For those of you who have not visited the Niagara Escarpment and enjoy relaxing afternoons sipping delicious wine - you need to go.
Kew has embraced Champagne's methods and are producing their bubbly in la méthode traditionnelle - meaning the second fermentation occurs in the bottle as opposed to in a tank. (The second fermentation is what makes your bubbly bubbly). They are made in the traditional Champagne varietals and they showcase Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sparkling in the best way. The Kew sparklings are also riddled by hand, and spent a long time aging on the lees (fancy word for staying in contact with the yeasts that turned the lovely grape juice into an even lovelier wine).
We were welcomed so warmly by Lauren, she was so knowledgeable and welcoming. She provided us with nine wines to taste. All nine were incredible - but there was some definite show stoppers, which I will share with you below.
Blanc de Blancs
This 2014 Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay was actually vinted into a barrel aged chardonnay which is what makes this wine so special. Normally Champagne doesn't obtain oak contact, but this is what makes this so unique. Aged in French oak, this Chardonnay is expressive of both the grape and the high minerality of the Niagara escarpment, but also the buttery and vanilla notes of the barrel. The perlage on the wine is elegant and soft, indicative of the traditional method it underwent. As a fan of french oaked chardonnay, and someone who is 'Hard for Chard', this is a no brainer. Get your hands on it before the 530 cases run out. Perfect pairing with turkey leftovers and views over fields of lavender.
If you are an Ontario wine fan you know that Gamay is one of our best grown grapes. Fruity, earthy, and 'nouveau' is a perfect way to describe this 2014 barrel aged red. The Kew Gamay Noir is soft, gentle and perfectly balanced between the medium light body and medium acidity, and is perfectly complemented with a full palate of red fruit. The hints of earthiness and the notes of vanilla and spice add to the wine and make it that much more special.
If there was one Kew wine to take the cake it would be the Rosalie. The Kew Rosalie is a 2010 Pinot Noir rosé that was kept on the lees for over six years. The result is unprecedented, as there is a distinct biscuity note, as well as some beautiful notes of coffee beans, which is often only achieved with high quality Pinot Noir. The nose and palate also display ripe strawberries and raspberries, and the wine has vibrant acidity. This is a perfect wine for a date night, or girls night in, and will be loved by any sparkling or rosé fans. A must try! Kew Vineyards is really cutting edge with the vinification of this wine, and have truly made something unique and incredible.
I want to extend a big thanks to Kew Vineyards for welcoming us so warmly, and providing us with such a special afternoon.