Lailey Vineyard Winery
The best way to appreciate the dedication to quality at Lailey Vineyard Winery is to explore their winemaking process from start to finish.
At the start of the growing season, all-natural compost materials recuperated from the previous vintage enrich the vineyard. As the grapes mature, whenever possible, hand hoeing of the soil and machine weeding occurs, eliminating herbicide use. Disciplined canopy management ensures airflow through the vines, reducing the risk of fungus and eliminating the need for chemicals. Throughout the season, tractors enter the vineyards only when necessary, minimizing diesel exhaust and preventing compaction of the soil. At harvest, grapes are hand picked and winery staff employ non-mechanical techniques whenever possible - no reverse osmosis, no centrifuge, and no micro-oxygenation. Fermenting reds are punched down by hand, lees stirring takes place manually and small lot wines are placed in oak barrels, which are rotated by cellar staff.
This painstaking attention to detail and commitment to the highest standards, is evident in every bottle of Lailey Vineyard wine. Overseeing winemaking at Lailey is past Ontario Winemaker of the Year, Derek Barnett, whose purpose and passion lie in developing flavours that are authentic, distinctive and most importantly, delicious.
The vineyards feature some of the oldest plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Province and Lailey was the first winery to use Canadian Oak barrels for their wine. Wines of note at Lailey are the terroir-driven Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and these are the focus at Lailey’s tasting bar.
Vertical tasting and barrel sampling events take place throughout the year. In early winter and early spring, Open House events at Lailey are an opportunity for visitors to meet the people who grow the grapes and make the wine and sample the new releases. In early July, the annual Barrel Burning Barbeque is a fun outdoor party featuring sausages cooked over the open fire, Canadian oak-aged wine and s’mores.
Celebration of the harvest occurs each September with the annual Lailey Harvest Dinner. The dinner is catered by renowned Niagara chefs and features great food and newly released wines. For 2010, to mark Lailey’s 10th anniversary, an additional day of celebration featured afternoon cocktails, an evening dinner and a featured wine from each of Lailey’s award-winning ten-year history.
Dedicated to the terroir, the finest winemaking principles, and outstanding wine, Lailey Vineyard Winery is a gem among gems in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
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