Daniel Lenko Estate Winery

 

Daniel Lenko Estate Winery is owned and operated by Daniel Lenko, a first generation Canadian whose roots extend all the way to Ukraine.  In 1947, his grandparents and his father William arrived in Ontario and settled in Beamsville, where they bought a fruit farm. Over time, they began growing vines, eventually converting the farm into a vineyard.  Growing up on a farm/vineyard, Daniel developed passion for agriculture and viticulture, so when he opened up the Daniel Lenko Estates Winery in 1999  together with his father William, it was a natural transition that was in works for decades.  Daniel already had all the skills necessary to manage a vineyard, but to make great wines, he consulted with winemaker Thomas Laszlo. Today, Daniel oversees the entire operation – looking after the vineyard and its maintenance, harvest assessment, winemaking, production and marketing.  The winery also employes one full-time, one part-time and seasonal staff.

 

The man of all traits.

 

  In what is now the Beamsville Bench, the Lenko family planted their first Chardonnay vines in 1959, being one of the oldest Vitis Vinifera plantings in Canada. The vineyard spans 33 acres and is composed of 70% to 30% white to red varieties, including Chardonnay (50% total), Riesling (planted in 1980), Viognier (planted in 1993), Vidal and Gewürztraminer – white varieties, and Merlot (planted in 1974), Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon – red varieties. All wines produced are single varietal and uniquely/ingeniously, in some years the red varietals are made into white/rose wines – White Cabernet or White Merlot.

 

 

“Great grapes make great wine” – Daniel Lenko

 

 

As a winemaker, Daniel focuses on generating intensely flavoured wines – achieving this by pruning his grapes and lowering the harvest yield (2 tons/acre producing about 3-5 thousand cases a year).  Also, Daniel has a ‘Naturalist’ point of view, which begins at the vineyard (no fertilizers are used) all the way to the choice of bottle enclosures.  Daniel makes high quality, age-worthy wines (none are table wines) and since he believes that wines need to breathe while ageing, he uses cork enclosures instead of screw caps.  His wines, 100% coming from his property, are made with the intention to preserve the fruit intensity, to have a balanced structure and to have a clean taste – goal accomplished in my view, as I tasted through his wines (for reviews, see here).
For his viticultural practices, Daniel was awarded the “Grape King” award for the 2002-2003 growing season – an honour shared with his father who received it in 1990.

 

 

Specialty/regionally unique wines
– White Merlot
– White Cabernet
CHARDONNGAY – Unoaked Chardonnay for $19.95 from which $1 is donated to AIDS research.

 

All his wines can be purchased at the estate or on consignment, but it is not unusual to see select few at the LCBO or at high-end restaurants.

 

When visiting Daniel Lenko Estate Winery on the weekends (12 pm – 5 pm), aside from tasting wines, Daniel is more than happy to show you around his winery as well as tell you about one of his other hobbies – the collection of machines.

 

‘The Man and The Machine’
click image to go to the next one

 

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For recommended wines that can be purchased at the winery, see http://grapeselections.com/grapeselections/wines-from-wineries/

 

For other wineries in the Beamsville Bench Appellation
and the rest of Niagara Peninsula see
http://grapeselections.com/wineries-of-niagara-peninsula/

 

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Location and growing characteristics:
Daniel Lenko Estates Winery is located in the appellation of Niagara Peninsula, sub-appellation Beamsville Bench and has these characteristics important for wine growth: 217 days/year that are frost-free; 1420 growing degree days and precipitation of 544 mm/year. The soil is composed of clay loam and silty loam that contributes towards the wine’s minerality composition.
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Note: Values represent yearly averages normal for the Niagara Peninsula; information mentioned here as well as the Appellations map was obtained from http://vqaontario.ca and is used with permission.

 

For recommended wines that can be purchased at the winery, see http://grapeselections.com/grapeselections/wines-from-wineries/

 

 


Daniel Lenko Estate Winery
5246 King Street
Beamsville ON L0R 1B3
(905) 563-7756
http://www.daniellenko.com/

 

 


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