Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Jabulani: a wine tasting in Richmond, near Ottawa

We've been to wine tastings at Bala's Muskoka Lakes Winery: Making cranberry wine... The cranberries are amazing in Bala. There are two bogs there.

Who knew that they grow grapes near Ottawa? Now, I do. We were invited to a wine tasting at Jabulani Winery, in Richmond, Ontario.
Hubby went back there to buy me some wine for our anniversary!

It was 2006 Jubalani began the winery. The new building has been necessary as they were needing more space. In 2013, they began the build. In 2015 it was officially opened in June. From Mid-May to mid-September they store stuff in the aging rooms, and can hold weddings in the hall.

I asked about deer, and Tom tells us that they are only a problem in spring, eating the leaves. He trolls around on his ATV shooing them away at dusk. Guinea fowl eat their ticks, I think we should get some! We're up to a harvest of 140 ticks off the cats.
I was tracking hubby's trip!

On frosty spring mornings, Tom drives a truck with an atomizer on the back. Warm water inside the tank is sprayed and he drives through the vines. The mist settles on the vines, and puts a thin layer of water on them. The frozen water protects the vines, which split in the frost and the cold. Some apple farmers rent helicopters!

It was a wonderful wine tasting, with Tom telling many stories from his years as a winemaker, beginning as a 14-year-old, living at home. He contacted the LCBO, but their demands for profits exceed the support of this local winery. Tom sends his product to B.C., where there are many connoisseurs! He sells strictly from his estate.

Out we went into the field.
They use guns to scare off the birds, fueled by a propane tank. The guns fire 18 times every 50 minutes to keep the birds away. They then turn them off at sunset, and on in the morning. Some wineries use a windmill, to bring down the frost.

Southwest of Ottawa, they only have an issue when temperatures get down below -29 C., as I recall. The vines split in the cold, although the snow protects the roots. In the spring, they have to watch for temperatures that approach the freezing point, 0 C., and they spray a fine mist on the fields to protect the flowers.
They've won many awards, as well.

There is lots to read about the vines, Winter Injury causes damage to wood and bud tissue.

Grape vines have complex mechanisms within their cells that cause them to "harden off" or acclimatize for winter. 

Matching varietal cold tolerance to the site when planting
: In areas with consistent cold winter temperatures growers should consider planting European hybrid grapes (Baco noir, Seyval Blanc and Vidal) or North American hybrids (Frontenac, Marquette) that are more tolerant and can withstand temperatures as cold as -25 to -28°C. 
There are many wineries in the Niagara-on-the-Lake, southern Ontario, we used to visit them. We took Jesse on several wine tastings when he lived there. 
The majority of commercial wine grape species grown in Ontario are Vitis vinifera (Chardonnay, Cabernet franc, Cabernet sauvignon, Gamay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling) which tend to be more vulnerable to cold temperatures (most damage occurs below -22°C), but can produce higher quality wine. 

Tom, outstanding in his field!


William Kendall said...

I had no idea there was a vineyard in this part of the province.

Red said...

They certainly know their stuff. It's the difference between success and total failure.

Karen said...

My friend grew up on the farm right beside the winery. He tells stories of picking wild grapes with his grandfather when he was a little kid. When he took me to see the old farm, we were really surprised (in a nice way) to see a winery right next!

Maria Gloria D'Amico said...

Degustar vinho é uma experiência que aprecio muito. Por cá, gostamos de degustar vinhos na Argentina, em Mendoza.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
..and belated greetings for your 10th!!! YAM xx

Powell River Books said...

I used to love to visit Napa Valley in California and visit the various wineries for their tours and tastings. The only problem was we would go in the summer and it was always hot, hot, hot. - Margy