Page Archive for March, 2009

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

A number of you have asked where you can experience our wines. The list of places to taste by the glass is now a little longer as we are pleased to announce the following establishments are selling Five Rows:

The Charles Inn – 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon

Treadwell’s / Snobs Wine Bar – 2007 Pinot Gris by the glass

Jamie Kennedy’s Wine Bar– 2004 Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon

Please support these friends of Five Rows and remember to write down your bottle numbers to enter into our bottle registry.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Spring is here, and over the last week I’ve had the pleasure to host a couple of fun and lively tasting sessions.  It was a welcome break from pruning to be joined by groups of both wine “lovers” and wine “makers”, respectively, for a tour of our barn and a taste through the Five Rows portfolio.  I have to admit that I still get butterflies when pouring our wines for those who have yet to try them, and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

I like to use these tastings to gauge the general vibe that people are getting from our winery, and based on our first few sessions the feedback has been tremendous.  It excites me that our new friends really get what we are trying to do and often express a desire to lend a hand in the vineyard sometime next season.  I’m hoping they all realize that I just might have to take them up on that offer!

I’m finding that each tasting takes on its own dynamic, which keeps me on my toes and very engaged.  Often times I like to slip in a new barrel blend that I’ve been working on, as this is a great way to get valuable opinions directly from the people that matter…the wine buyers.  Despite subjecting my guests to this “guinea pig” treatment, I’ve yet to receive any complaints.

For example, I’m always trying to fine-tune our 2007 Pinot Noir by experimenting with different amounts of 2008 Pinot as part of the blend.  As a rule, we are allowed to blend up to 15% of different vintages into a single varietal wine.  The potential marriage of these two vintages is very intriguing.  The 2007 Pinot abounds with tannin, colour, and bold “new world” flavours, while the 2008 is more reminiscent of a classic Lowrey Pinot; subtle, elegant and classically Burgundian.  To date I’ve experimented with 5-10% of the 2008 in the blend, and results have been mixed.  Some loved it, some wanted more 2008, and some felt that it is simply too early to evaluate the potential of the 2007 alone.  I tend to fall into the latter category, so perhaps I’ll stop bugging the Pinot and let it do it’s thing for a little while longer.

To our friends in Niagara-On-The-Lake:  we are pleased to announce that you can now enjoy our 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon at the historic Charles Inn.

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Like many other trades, most winemakers get to where they are by learning from colleagues who have “been there and done that” many times before.  I am no exception.  I’ve been extremely lucky through the years to learn what I know from two of the best in the Ontario wine business.

Rob Power and Craig MacDonald have won so many awards for Creekside Estate Winery that I’m beginning to lose count.  They are obviously skilled craftsmen in the cellar, but what I admire most in these two is their genuine nature, patience and teaching ability.  In fact, it is no surprise to me when I open the St. Catharines Standard to read that they had captured four more trophies at Cuveé 2009.  They’ve managed to surround themselves with an excellent winemaking team, who would think nothing of bogging out the nastiest of red fermenters at their behest.  Now that’s loyalty!

Ever since our initial handshake agreement with Owner Peter Jensen in 1999, my parents and I have felt pride supplying grapes to Creekside and watching as Rob and Craig crafted one great wine after another.  As original Creekside grape growers, our fortunes have been tied to theirs for ten years now, and we wouldn’t have been able to start our winery without their continuing help.

It is even sweeter to note that their latest wins at Cuveé really demonstrate the potential for the St. David’s Bench Appellation.  All four winning wines contained a majority of fruit sourced at vineyards located in St. Davids.  The terroir and micro-climate of this small area really helps ripen later varietals like Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier.  These wines tend to be distinctly full-bodied with great structure and ageing potential.  Ravine Vineyard and Coyote’s Run are two other exciting wineries that are showcasing the best St. David’s Bench has to offer.

Good on ya, boys!

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Today marks the next phase in our winery development.  We have officially launched our Five Rows website at www.fiverows.com.   This will be the hub of our winery operation.  From this site you will be able to access my latest blog entries and also get info on all of current and upcoming releases.   Excitingly, there is a page specifically designed to keep us connected with all those who have supported us through wine purchases.  All customers are encouraged to record their name and bottle number on this page along with an optional comment on the wine or a story behind their connection to Five Rows.

We’ve received many inquiries as to where you can find our wines, so now the website will keep you posted to that end.  You will also find a link to our Lowrey Vineyards site, a future showcase for the viticultural side of our operation.