Walking into the winery at Westcott Vineyards, you are transported back to the past. With their beautiful, rustic décor and vintage photos, it’s postcard pretty. And if the beauty of the place isn't enough of a draw, a chance to sample their wines certainly makes a visit worthwhile.
A small-batch winery, the grapes are overseen by Viticulturalist Alain Sutra of Bordeaux France and Assistant Vineyard Managers Sonny Nguyen and Garrett Westcott, then turned into wine by Head Winemaker Arthur Harder. Here, they take pride in quality over quantity.
Arthur, who Shawn and I had the chance to chat with during our visit, has been making wine since 1981. He grew up in Vineland Station and studied chemistry at Ryerson before moving to Germany. There, he studied viticulture for 14 years, while working for two small wineries. He brings a European sensibility to Westcott and works to create vibrant wines that bring terroir to life.
The Violette Brut sparkling wine is 66% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay
and is nicely balanced with lots of limestone and citrus. This dry,
refreshing sparkler would be a good start to any meal or celebration.
2013 Lillias Chardonnay, which will be poured at the upcoming i4C
Chardonnay event in Niagara, is unoaked, but has a hint of mallow
on the nose and pineapple on the palate. An easy-drinking
The Delphine 2012 rosé is a blend of Cabernet Franc (85%) and Pinot Noir. Full
bodied and food friendly, it’s got earthy strawberry on the nose and a
fruit-forward palate. Shawn and I are excited to have this one on our
patio this summer. I also absolutely love the flowers on the labels of the first three wines - striking and tasteful.
The 2012 Estate Chardonnay is barrel
fermented and the oak works well here. A good wine for food
pairing, this is lovely on the palate and I’m a fan of the buttered
popcorn notes on the nose.
2012 Chardonnay Reserve is a limited release of only 100 cases and is
made from a selection of four barrels. 2012 was an amazing vintage,
explains Arthur, a once-in-a-lifetime vintage in many ways. This wine is nicely oaked, with buttery notes and vanilla on the palate. There's citrus, muted
melon and vanilla on the nose. I would highly recommend it.
The 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir is a big Pinot, with a smoky/spicy nose and lots of tannin. This still needs some time to age and should be drinking beautifully in 5-7 years.
The 2012 Estate Pinot Noir spent 1.5 years in barrel and has a mix of
root beer, earth and spice on the nose. With a long, peppery finish with
notes of red plum, this is another that could use a bit of age, but will
be worth the wait.
and I so enjoyed our visit to Westcott, which is nestled in the 20
Valley near Sue Ann Staff’s winery. Just a year old, I suspect it will quickly
become a popular destination for fans of high-quality Niagara Chardonnay
and Pinot Noir.
Learn more about Westcott Vineyards at their website.