At Traynor Family Vineyards, we make about 1000 cases of wine per year, so technically we are classified as a small-batch winery, or a “garagiste”, if you will. We are a 100% owned and operated family-run winery and have become known for our natural winemaking methods as much as for our friendly, welcoming style in our Prince Edward County tasting room.
Our portfolio and branding is both eye-catching and exciting, and you’ll discover a range of non-traditional winemaking techniques that you just don’t see in too many places. Our focus is on making terroir-driven wines—that is, wines that reflect the region and its climate with minimal intervention—as we feel that the gift our vineyard has given us deserves our respect and stewardship.
Tiny production, exclusive wines
Because we have such a tiny production, you won’t find our wines in too many places. We prefer to sell directly from the winery, though we have cultivated select partnerships with local restaurants, including The Courage in Wellington.
In our current lineup, you will find our vermouth made from estate grown wine and foraged botanicals that we call The Madonna. Our current focus on natural wine has led to the release of our Orange Wine and a series of Pét-Nats from white, orange, and red wines.
What’s orange wine, you ask? Orange wine is terminology to denote a wine made with minimal intervention. It’s often a white wine that has been left on its skins in order to extract colour and tannin, resulting in a deeper colour that can be anywhere from an amber yellow to a deep blood-orange. The wine also has lees contact, which adds a rich and slightly oxidative note, and may be a bit cloudy as it has not been aggressively filtered.
How about Pét-Nat? think sparkling wine crossed with an orange wine. Wine is made naturally and bottled while it still has about 2 degrees of sugar. It finishes fermentation in the bottle, resulting in a spritzy, lightly sparkling wine that’s as fun to drink as it is to say “Pét-Nats, please!”
We also make a range of more traditional wines from baco noir, gamay, sauvignon blanc, and pinot gris. Our sauvignon blanc is, we feel, the star of the show. It’s made in the New Zealand style, crisp and redolent with grapefruit citrus and fresh-cut grass. Ontario sauv blanc is often picked later in the year, which tends to soften the acidity and make the wines a bit “flabby”. We choose to harvest ours a little earlier when the acidity is high and the sugars are moderate, resulting in a wine with bracing, mouthwatering acidity. Our estate-grown sauv blanc fruit is then blended with fruit from Watson's vineyard in Niagara, providing us with layers of complexity not often seen in Ontario sauv blanc. Interestingly enough, we have the largest planting of sauv blanc in the county, which is actually not a lot … suffice to say, not a lot of sauv blanc is grown in this area, which is best known for its chardonnay and pinot noir.
Mike has made wine for several different wineries before starting the family vineyard and over the years has won several awards for his efforts. Though the climate in the County is challenging, the rewards are great. Our soil, our site, and the broad range of microclimates we enjoy here make for a complex mix, one that both surprises us and our devotees with consistently better grapes each passing year.
Early vintages were all fermented in stainless steel tanks, but in 2016, we decided to change things up a bit. The summer of ’16 was a scorcher, which drove the grape sugars higher than we normally see. This prompted Mike to consider a barrel ferment for some of our wines, and hence our barrel program was born. Currently, 2016 is still in barrel, but we are tasting judiciously and hope to start bottling soon – after which you will find it on our shelves, ready to enjoy.
Coming to Prince Edward County? We’d love to see you! Drop by the winery and mention this blog post and receive a complimentary tasting for you and your group (up to 6 people).