It takes vision to create great wine. Even as the grapes are ripening on the vine winemakers must look forward to understand how to make the perfect wine from what nature will provide. At Stratus Vineyards, the view to the future goes well beyond the current vintage and well beyond the wine itself.
Environmental sustainability is a core value of all involved in the design and operation of Stratus Vineyards. It is the first fully LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified winery in the world. The building design features a high percentage of recycled materials and geoexchange technology heats and cools the environment. The exterior landscaping features indigenous and adaptive grasses and plants, the farm equipment runs on bio-diesel, and the vineyards are 100% herbicide-free.
At harvest time, handpicking and hand sorting minimizes bruising of the many varieties of grapes grown, and allows for a wine that is the truest expression of the vineyard’s terroir. After sorting, the grapes and juices fall naturally from the upper floor of the winery to the fermentation tanks below as areas as part of the winery’s gravity-flow system. After extended maceration to extract as much colour and complexity, the wines make their way to the barrel cellar where they patiently age for two years in French oak. Ontario Winemaker of the Year J-L Groux then applies the art of assemblage, expertly blending the best ‘fit’ of the barrels with the goal of creating layered, intricate and elegant expressions of the vineyard and vintage. The resulting assemblage wines, Stratus Red and Stratus White, are as nature would have them and they have become benchmarks of quality in the Canadian Wine industry.
The design of the winery building at Stratus Vineyards allows visitors to appreciate the workings of the gravity-flow system because the structure itself is a grand, beautiful machine, instrumental in the process of winemaking and award winning for interior design.
In the contemporary tasting room, a flood of natural light and rich layers of texture create a welcoming and comfortable environment for focused tastings of premium wines. With a view to the vineyard and press alley, visitors are invited to come and explore the wines of Stratus by way of a tasting ‘flight’ – four wines, each thoughtfully tasted in the appropriate crystal stemware. The wines of Stratus Vineyards are the result of time, patience and careful consideration at all stages of winemaking.
On the last Saturday of each month, June through November, Stratus Vineyards offers their ‘vertical’ tasting experience. This experience offers guests the opportunity to taste the art of ‘assemblage’ across three vintages of Stratus Red and Stratus White. On the first Sunday of each month, June through November, the ‘horizontal’ tasting experience explores Stratus Vineyards’ flagship Icewine Red and Icewine White alongside independent bottlings of Riesling Icewine and Sémillon Icewine. Most notable at Stratus Vineyards is ‘@ Stratus,’ a distinctive and engaging wine and food and seminar series with seasonal themes. Learn, savour and sample with dynamic chefs and producers, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, sustainable living and eco-friendly design.
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