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In the early 1990's, my wife Marisa, our daughter Stefanie and I had the privilege to lead the lives of expats in Italy. It was a richly cultural experience for us. So much so, that Italy has become a major reference point when considering our lives retrospectively.
Italy introduced us to a whole new world of fine food, wine, and the simple joys of everyday life. We discovered the wonders of Amarone styled wines in the northern part of the country. The more we learned about them, the more excited we became at the prospect of bringing this incredible craftsmanship back with us to Ontario. And so we did.
In 2000, with the kind encouragement of a dear friend, John Howard, we acquired some prime farmland in the Vineland area of the Niagara Peninsula. We then sourced and planted 40 acres of Amarone-inspired vines. After three years of carefully nurturing the vines, our first crop was harvested in 2004. In the time-held tradition of Amarone, we then proceeded to delicately dry our grape stock in a barn until each of the varietals were perfect for winemaking.
We are very proud of the fact the our wines are Canadian and home grown. But make no mistake, we were greatly influenced by the rich Italian (Veneto Region) history of appassimento (drying process). It was in Veneto where it all started and reference to amarone or recioto belong only to those winemaking visionaries. They were and still are the legendary pioneers for whom we have huge respect and admiration. Our Canadian stylistic interpretation with locally grown vinifera varietals are referred to as appassimento (grape drying or Reductio Method) rather than the uniquely owned names found in Veneto
A glass of our wine tells the rest of the story.