Living the dream…
So this is how it started…Grant and I were living in Toronto, enjoying busy global careers in IT and Banking, but starting to think about slowing down a bit and exploring the next phase of our lives.
But we are not really the “retirement” types and knew that we would need something to keep us busy and engaged.
We would frequently travel to Niagara to visit my Dad on the north shore of Lake Erie. I grew up in Niagara, lived in a little town called Fonthill and went to E.L Crossley High School in the 1970’s. In went to a summer French immersion program in the Loire Valley in France, tasted the Sancerres and Chenin Blancs and never looked back. Grant grew up in Delhi, tobacco country, spent his teens in London England in the swinging ‘60’s, owned a cattle farm in the Ottawa valley, raised his first family there, loved farming and was comfortable on a tractor. He is an MÍT grad, số likes to build things. Neither of us is afraid of hard work. 30 years later as we wandered the backroads between Jordan and Beamsville, we were delighted to find that Niagara was producing some amazing wines.
Slowly a desire to buy a vineyard took shape. In 2005 we searched for the ideal location and in 2006 we bet on our passion and bought the land.
Initially we thought that we would grow grapes and sell them to other wineries. We started with a vision of the type of wine we would like to help create. We consulted with many local experts and winemaking trailblazers. We are thankful for the gracious assistance of our neighbours. Inspired by the cool climate Chardonnays and Pinots coming out of Moira Vineyard at Malivoire, 13th Street, Flat Rock and the Le Clos Jordanne vineyards, we planted twenty-six acres of grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
In 2008 we sold the house in Toronto, moved the family to Niagara and our true journey to winemakers began; it was truly a good year.
As time went on, we realized that we wanted to produce our own wine. So we changed the plan and started to design a winery building for the site. 2012 was our first vintage and Arthur Harder joined us to take our precious grapes and create our first wine. Our first wines were made in our equipment barn while we worked our way through the tough Niagara Escarpment Commission building permit process for the winery building. We were true “garagistes”! It was pretty exciting to taste those first wines as they matured in the barrels. We continued to study cool climate viticulture and wineries and in 2013 we were fortunate to have our son Garett Westcott join us in the vineyard and Alain Sutre guiding our viticulture practices.
We started construction of our winery building in the fall of 2013. We reclaimed a 200-year-old timber-fame from a barn several kilometers away. The frame and stone foundation were carefully dismantled and transported to the building site and we built the winery around the original structure. We opened the tasting room in July 2015 and our daughter Victoria Westcott joined the team to lead the customer experience.
As much work as it has been so far, we are really just getting started.
We are excited about the promise our wines are showing. We strive to improve every year, constantly growing and listening, to the earth, the grapes, and our customers. We are here, at 3180 17th Street in Jordan Station, waiting for you to join us and share a glass of wine.