I received recommendations from a friend to visit Rosewood Winery & Meadery while I was visiting the Niagara region. I was curious to attend, in part because I had not tried mead. This winery, started in 2000, is owned by the Roman family and originated from Ukraine. They are also the only winery in Ontario with a license to produce honey wine (mead). William Roman, General Manager, and my guide, is a third-generation beekeeper with their family beekeeping for 91 consecutive years.
The winery has vineyards surrounding the winery with their beehives located behind the winery in a valley. They also have a vineyard in Jordan, Ontario. William took me for a tour of the winery before setting me down for a tasting. Bird cannons were going off continuously, boom, all over the Niagara region, to keep the birds from the ripening grapes. This winery sustainably farms, but is not officially Ontario-certified sustainable. They also farm as organically as possible as well. They would like to be as Neutral as possible, working by hand as much as possible and using chemical treatments only when absolutely necessary.
In 2005 the first vintage was produced but it was not until the 2006 vintage that the wines were released in their tasting room to the public. Their wine labels are unique as they believe each wine has its own story and is given a unique name. All wines are vegan-friendly and undergo wild ferment. They are as “natural” as possible, but they do not call their wines “natural”. They like to use oak barrels, having both a red and a white wine barrel room, but they also have stainless steel tanks and amphora for fermentation and wine aging. They enjoy making wines that are ready to drink upon release, but they also have a tier of wine that is made for aging. Let me tell you about the wines and mead I tasted while I sat on their patio overlooking the vineyard, boom.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Rosewood Estate Winery & Meadery Neptune Riesling 2019 – From the winery, “Why Neptune? Aptly named after the Roman god of the sea. After the juice spends its light in terracotta pots for 18 months a notoriously rich and distinct saline character emerges…2019 Neptune is 100% Riesling harvested from the Renaceau Vineyard (winery home block). After pressing, the juice was transferred to neutral French oak puncheons. Fermented using non-selected wild yeast, it was then left to mature on lees for 18 months in these vessels. Full malo. Bottled without fining or filtration.” It has a deep golden colour. Medium-intensity aromas of toast and roasted apples. Dry with a medium body and lean mouthfeel. Apples and sweet spices flavours. Smooth mouthfeel with a touch of tannic dryness on the finish. Medium acidity. Medium length with a tart finish. A quality, structured wine.
Rosewood Estate Winery & Meadery Afternoon 2020 – A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes. A bright medium-plus intensity lemon colour. Medium-intensity aromas of mostly toast with some apples. Slightly off-dry, medium body with a round, smooth mouthfeel. Honeyed apples, a touch of sweet spices and medium-intensity oak. A complex flavoured wine. –