Fielding Estate Winery

 

The mention of ‘Cottage Country’ brings forth images of tranquility, warmth, canoeing at foggy dawns; or watching sunsets from the cottage porch while overlooking a lake and listening to distant loon calls. For a city dweller, it may be hard to imagine why anyone would think of doing anything outside of the ‘Cottage Country’ realm, not to mention leaving it and moving elsewhere.  On the other hand, the beauty of farmlands, orchards and vineyards is equally as enchanting, but in a different, more organized, way.

 

Composite
In 2001, the Fielding family – Ken, Marg and their son Curtis, decided to purchase a pear and peach orchard in the Beamsville Bench and to establish the Fielding Estates Winery. Since the Fieldings are from Minden and have strong ties to the North;IMG_5102 they wanted a typical Northern-Canadian style lodge to house the winery + a retail store, and so they commissioned the architect Andre D’Elia (who amongst other building types, designs cottages and wineries and takes prides in not having a signature style) to design and build one for them.  The winery opened its doors in spring of 2005 and as the winery’s symbol, the Muskoka chair was chosen. Though Ken and Marg still live in Minden; Curtis and his wife Heidi moved to Beamsville even before the purchase was made.  Close proximity to the winery is essential, as the general manager (Curtis) and hospitality leader (Heidi), must ensure that the winery runs smoothly hands-on.

 

View of the Estate vineyard (up to the road) looking North towards Lake Ontario
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Vineyards and grapes
Fielding Estates Winery has two vineyards: A 13 acre, Estate Vineyard dedicated to the Riesling (earliest plantings since 2001) and Chardonnay (planted in 2010) varietals; IMG_5128and a 38 acre Tufford Road Vineyard located 5 km North in the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation that includes Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varietals planted by the previous owners since 1985; as well as 2002 plantings of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Chardonnay Musqué – French for perfumed or Muscat-like, used to describe highly aromatic grape clones. Though not all grapes come from estate owned properties, all grapes are sourced from within the Niagara Peninsula. Aside from managing winery’s logistics and economics, Curtis is environmentally mindful and is currently undertaking a three-year process to have the winery certified as an organic winery. For his wine growing practices, he was awarded the prestigious ‘Grape King 2012 – 2013’ by the Grape Growers of Ontario. As another thoughtful, selfless deed, Curtis volunteers as a local firefighter in his spare time, ensuring that no harm comes to any grapes.
IMG_4981To convert grapes into high quality wine,  the winemaker Richie Roberts utilizes on site’s twelve 2,500L stainless steel tanks for fermentation and a mix of ~ 250 French and American Oak barriques for aging, where Chardonnay spends an average of 8 months and Reds spend on average 18 months of cellaring. Also, Some Butts, large oak barrels able to fit 500L (also known as Pipe), are used for aging wines. With an on-site bottling facility and 16-18 dedicated full-time and part-time employees, the winery has the capacity to produce 18,000 but averages 12-15,000 cases/year.

 

 

Two 500L Butts and a 230L Hogshead
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Tastings and Tours – check here for complete details.
– Tasting of 3 wines costs $5 (charge is waived if 2 bottles are purchased).
– Public tours for up to 12 guests start daily at 10:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm
and are offered May through October and cost $5/person.
– The Wine & Cheese Experience – daily at 3:30 pm, $20/person
must be booked in advance.
– Private Tours.

 

Events – check here for up-to-date details.
– Icewine festival – during January.
– Taste the Music! – Five premium wines paired with music performed live
by guitarist David Barrett. $30 March 9th 2013. (20 people limit)
– F’ing Winery Tour – Taste 2 wines paired with food at three different wineries:
Featherstone Estate Winery, Flat Rock Cellars and, of course, Fielding Estates Winery. $12+tax for a passport. Starts at 4:00 PM Apr 05-07, 2013 and Apr 12-14, 2013.
– Graze the Bench – food & wine pairing event held in June (reserve ahead).
Participating wineries:
– Angel’s Gate Winery,
– Fielding Estate Winery,
– Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery,
– Organized Crime Winery,
– Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery,
– Rosewood Estates Winery and
– Thirty Bench Wine Makers.
. Link to a website with more information

– Tailgate Party – Niagara New Vintage Wine Festival (hosted at Fielding).

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I would like to thank Andrew for taking the time to show me around
and Karley for setting up the meeting.

 

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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:
Beamsville Bench sub-appellation 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.

 

Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation has these characteristics important for wine growth: 198 days/year that are frost-free; 1400 growing degree days and precipitation of 532 mm/year. The soil is composed of mainly clay loam till and Lacustrine very fine sandy loam + loamy sand, as well as large section of organic soils adjacent to Beamsville Bench and centered around Beamsville.
Lincoln Lakeshore Appellation

 

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.

 

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LogoFielding Estates Winery
4020 Locust Lane
Beamsville, ON L0R 1B2
(905) 563-0668
(888) 778-7758
http://www.fieldingwines.com/page/home

 


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2 thoughts on “Fielding Estate Winery

  1. Hi DAN!
    I don’t know if you remember me (Shara’s husband)
    I’m really happy ’cause FIELDING is my white wine favourite cellar in VIneland!
    I love their Pinot gris and their fireside white riesling!!!
    Have a great day!!!
    ciao!!!

    • Hi Michele, thank you for the kind comment and how could I not remember you :-). I may be bias, but Ontario whites are the best!!

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