Wine

Alta Red 2015
A Delicious Estate Blend Of Marquette & Frontenac Gris.
$30.00
Baco Noir 2015
You know what?

As someone who loves wine, everything about wine and has pretty much dedicated their entire adult life to wine, the one thing that drives me nuts are "the purists." They are always on the lookout for those "unique" up and coming wines, celebrate terroir, but paradoxically want everything to taste the same, to be made the same way, from the same varieties. Well, you know what? Everyone likes to taste different things. I just came back from the finger lakes and there are a lot of very successful wineries making wines I wouldn't drink, but that doesn't make them wrong.

Rant over.

Baco Noir is a variety that I do not normally make anymore. When I was a winemaker for other wineries, I made a lot of it for mass distribution, and I tell you what, people love Baco Noir and when the mood strikes me, I love it too. It is Ontario's Shiraz. If you're looking for big heady reds from Ontario, Baco is the wine for you.

The reason I do not make a lot of Baco anymore is that I don't usually crave big heady red wines. But the nice thing about being a winemaker at your very own small winery, is that when the mood strikes, you can change things up a bit.

Even though it is unoaked, this is a big heavy red. There is a ton of extraction and flavour here. We just bottled it in October, and we bottled it directly off the lees. Normally this would be a challenge for bottling (the yeast tends to clog filters), but we do not filter our wines. Our wines are alive and constantly changing.

Drink this with heavy meats, or conversely spicy foods. I just had it with Lamb Biriyani and it was delicious.
$25.00
Chardonnay 2014
This one was a challenge.

Because we handle everything minimally at the winery and use rustic methods of handling the wine, we do not have advanced equipment for making big adjustments or forcing an issue. Our cellar is also difficult to keep "hot" during the cold seasons, and the wines are subjected to the temperature variations of the seasons. So when it's cold out, we cannot heat the wines. I like to use the cold season and our natural Canadian advantages to cold stabilize the wines. It's the way I like to do things, and normally it's quite predictable but this one was different.

In seventeen vintages as a winemaker, I have never had a fermentation behave like this one. To say it was a prolonged fermentation would be an understatement. It took almost a full year. During harvest everything was moving along perfectly, temps were perfect, the aromatics were perfect, everything was exactly how you want an unoaked Chardonnay fermentation to tick along. And then, with about 5 Brix remaining, it just stopped. The ferment stuck and I could not get it moving again.

Because the winery was cold, all I could do was continually stir the lees (yeast and sediment) to help stimulate it. Every once and awhile the yeast would activate a little bit and a quarter of a percentage point of sugar would ferment out and then it would stop again. By March, the wine was crystal clear. All the sediment had dropped out and would quickly drop again when I stirred the lees.

April, May, June, July, nothing happened. August, I usually go through a big bottling cycle because I need the tank space for the upcoming harvest. I was starting to panic. What do I do with a sweet unoaked Chardonnay that I was certain would decide to finish fermentation in the bottle? Well Around the 10th of August (ten and a half months after the fruit was harvested) the thing randomly had started to ferment on its own! It took another two weeks, but finally, the wine was dry.
Usually what happens when you put the wine through a rigorous lees stirring program, you lose much of the fruit, and the wine becomes more bready. I think because the wine finished fermentation after all the stirring, it made some more fruit aromas. This Chardonnay, while yeasty, round, rich and soft, is still packed with fruit.

At the winery, we serve it with anything that has avocados in it, but that's because we love avocados and the creaminess they lend to dishes. So that's my recommendation. With creamy foods.
$25.00
Madonna Vermouth

This wine was a lot of work and a lot of fun to make.

First the story behind the inspiration. When I was a kid, living at home, my mother always had gardens. She loved her gardens; she would come home every night after work and tend her gardens. They were beautiful. She always had books about flowers, herbs, vegetables, whatever it was that she was growing. It wasn't just coffee table fodder; she loved it. In my early teen years, she planted a herb garden at our house, and I started to become interested in them.

When I started building my own homes, I would plant herb gardens. At first, I started making herbal teas with them (tarragon, peppermint and honey is the favourite from my gardens). Then I started to experiment with tisanes. I found it fascinating how the various herbs impacted the flavours of the wines.

I am always researching and learning about new things and one day I was reading about Vermouth. Vermouth is traditionally a fortified wine infused with herbs, spices, flowers(and in the past wormwood). When I started reading about the ingredients used in the old world to flavour vermouth, a light bulb went off. We have either a local grower or native version of many of the traditional herbs, spices, and flowers that are used.

When I learned this, our path was set. I started to enlist local growers (shout out to PEC Lavender for the lavender and hyssop contributions), and began to forage from our farm. We had pails and pails of lilac, juniper, chamomile, hyssop, sumac, lavender and many other seasonings steeping in the wines. We collected everything fresh and infused the wine with them.

If you're looking for amazing cocktails, use this in your wine. It's floral; it's brilliant and delicious. We use it for an aperitif and serve cheese plates with it. Spritzers are amazing or try some in a chai tea or Moscow mule. Seriously.

But to finish my story, in honour of my mother Donna who inspired my love of plants, herbs, and food I have named this offering Madonna.

 

Vermouth should be stored upright and once opened can keep for a month in the fridge.

 

Cocktail Suggestion

Vermouth Mule

Per Serving

2 Ounces Madonna Vermouth
1/2 Ounce Lime Juice
Island Soda Ginger Beer (to taste)
Garnish with lime wedge and mint leaf

Instructions:
In a rocks glass or small mason jar, stir together Madonna Vermouth and lime juice over ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish. Cheers!

$35.00
Pet-Nat Orange
The Pét-Nats are our first wines in a collaboration series.

The collaborative effort between Traynor Family Vineyards and The Courage Bar demonstrates the unique spirit of the County. It is evidence that by the willingness to experiment and to allow space for new ideas and approaches, and to celebrate and reward the hard work it takes to help all those things materialize, that The County is one of the most exciting wine regions in the world today. Trifecta celebrates both an ancient technique as well as the desire to innovate and play.

The Trifecta series is comprised of a white, an orange and a red wine and are made with much care, enthusiasm and love for experimentation.

Pét-Nat (Petillant Naturale) is perhaps the oldest method of making sparkling wines. With method Traditional (think Champagne) you take an aged still wine, inoculate it with yeast and sugar, bottle it, it ferments, ages, gets disgorged, dosage (filling the bottle back up again), and capped. But Pét-Nat, it is much less complicated, much less intervention in the wine, much more natural. Towards the end of primary fermentation (let's say 2% sugars remaining in the juice), the wine gets bottled... and that's it. What is left is probably the freshest, most fun wine you have had.

The Pét-Nat Orange is a delicious bubbly, full of field berries (strawberry maybe?) and sour cherry. It tastes like a really light, young, bubbly Pinot Noir, but it's not. It's made from Frontenac Gris, a wine that is usually harvested and pressed off its skins immediately and made into a white wine. We whole cluster fermented it, extracted a ton of fruit and some colour (not much in the skins) and some tannin, pressed it and bottled right away with some sugar left in the wine.

It is yummy.
$40.00
Pet-Nat Red
The Pét-Nats are our first wines in a collaboration series.

The collaborative effort between Traynor Family Vineyards and The Courage Bar demonstrates the unique spirit of the County. It is evidence that by the willingness to experiment and to allow space for new ideas and approaches, and to celebrate and reward the hard work it takes to help all those things materialize, that The County is one of the most exciting wine regions in the world today. Trifecta celebrates both an ancient technique as well as the desire to innovate and play.

The Trifecta series is comprised of a white, an orange and a red wine and are made with much care, enthusiasm and love for experimentation.

Pét-Nat (Petillant Naturale) is perhaps the oldest method of making sparkling wines. With method Traditional (think Champagne) you take an aged still wine, inoculate it with yeast and sugar, bottle it, it ferments, ages, gets disgorged, dosage (filling the bottle back up again), and capped. But Pét-Nat, it is much less complicated, much less intervention in the wine, much more natural. Towards the end of primary fermentation (let's say 2% sugars remaining in the juice), the wine gets bottled... and that's it. What is left is probably the freshest, most fun wine you have had.

The Pét-Nats Red was the last of the three to be made. Mid-way through fermentation, I had second thoughts about putting any of the red into a bubbly. It was just so big and juicy. Tyler talked me back into it, and I stuck with the plan. It's interesting seeing the White, Orange and Red side by side. The three wines are so different and unique. This one is like raisins, dates and plums. The red is a bear, where the white is a ballerina, and the orange is just intense.
$40.00
Pet-Nat White
The Pét-Nats are our first wines in a collaboration series.

The collaborative effort between Traynor Family Vineyards and The Courage Bar demonstrates the unique spirit of the County. It is evidence that by the willingness to experiment and to allow space for new ideas and approaches, and to celebrate and reward the hard work it takes to help all those things materialize, that The County is one of the most exciting wine regions in the world today. Trifecta celebrates both an ancient technique as well as the desire to innovate and play.

The Trifecta series is comprised of a white, an orange and a red wine and are made with much care, enthusiasm and love for experimentation.

Pét-Nat (Petillant Naturale) is perhaps the oldest method of making sparkling wines. With method Traditional (think Champagne) you take an aged still wine, inoculate it with yeast and sugar, bottle it, it ferments, ages, gets disgorged, dosage (filling the bottle back up again), and capped. But Pét-Nat, it is much less complicated, much less intervention in the wine, much more natural. Towards the end of primary fermentation (let's say 2% sugars remaining in the juice), the wine gets bottled... and that's it. What is left is probably the freshest, most fun wine you have had.

The Trifecta White is where the experiment began.

Around the end of August, shortly after Courage Bar opened and slightly before harvest was due to begin, I was at Courage enjoying a pint with Tyler (one of The Courage founders and natural wine enthusiast), and the conversation turned to wine. Tyler mentioned that he was trying to source a Pét-Nat in Canada and was thus far striking out. I wasn't really sure at that point what a Pét-Nat even was but when we discussed it further, it fit what I wanted to do to perfectly.

At that moment, we started along the path of creating an entirely new wine category for Canada. The Trifecta series is a Canadian first. A blend of Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is a ton of fruit fun. It has a lot of bubbles, so when you open it just crack to capsule a bit and serve from the foam, about a third through pop the top. It's a classic fun wine.
$40.00
Sauvignon Blanc 2015
After spending years making wine in Ontario, I had serious doubts about whether Sauvignon Blanc was a variety that I could excel at as a winemaker. In the winter of 2009 that all changed when I went to New Zealand to learn what they did to their Sauvignon Blanc wines to make them exceptional.

What I learned was that less is more. Don't push the fruit to ripen to extremes, don't over handle, keep air away from it, emphasize the acidity, stir the lees and above all embrace the funky. During fermentation, Sauvignon Blanc smells bright and earthy. Allow it to go through its life process, let it be and it will come back to you.

This Sauvignon Blanc is a fruit bomb with the distinct herbal accompaniment. Crisp acidity, with a hint of sweetness (alcohol, not sugar, it's dry)and a soft finish. Sometimes I just want a delicious glass of wine, and well, this one hits the spot.
$25.00

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