Tasting of different vintages of the same wine, known as vertical tastings, provide a wealth of information in regards to how the wine ages, from which extrapolations into future ageability can be made.
Rosewood Estates had its first vertical tasting of the last five (also the first five) Semillon vintages, to which I was recently invited. This white grape, known for its low acidity and oiliness, is used in production of dry or sweet wines and is commonly grown in places like Bordeaux and Australia and to lesser extend Chile and South Africa. Though Rosewood Estates, together with Angel’s Gate and Stratus Wineries are the only three wineries growing Semillon in Niagara thus far, this variety has undoubtedly set its root-in-the-door and is determined to remain. Planted in 2003, Rosewood began harvesting Semillon in 2006, but it wasn’t until 2008 when a single varietal wine was made.
The Hidden Bench Winery, an artisanal winery located in the Beamsville Bench sub-appellation of the Niagara Peninsula, is owned and operated by Harald Thiel and his family. Since his young age, Harald wished to one day have his own winery and after selling his audio-visual business in 2003, he realized this dream and purchased the property that is now the Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery. Today, the winery employes 6 full-time employees and 10 people as a seasonal staff, who ensure that every detail, whether related to winemaking or to the look of the winery, is craftily met.
Upon entering the boutique, the feeling of warmth and coziness bestows oneself as the room’s design provides peace and tranquility, whether accomplished by the fireplace, the bookshelf full of wines, the guest book corner with captivating painting by Kevin Sonmor, or the friendly staff pouring ultra premium wines. Everywhere you look, a lot of attention has been paid to the smallest of details – trully Artisanal winery.
The Rosewood Estates Winery came to its beginning in the year 2000, when Eugene (a first generation Canadian with roots from Ukraine) and Renata Roman purchased a land in the Beamsville Bench area and in 2003 planted their first Merlot vines that was soon followed by others. Three years later, they harvested and produced their first vintage and early in 2008, their retail store first opened its doors.