2010 Niagara Wines to be “Finest in Many Years”


NIAGARA, Ont. — Niagara, Ont.’s 2010 grape harvest is continuing to spark conversation about the region’s upcoming wine season, which is primed to be the best in years.

The grape harvest, “has winemakers very excited about the quality of the wines, especially the reds, which have developed exceptionally well due to the high number of degree days of heat that have accumulated throughout the summer,” Donald Ziraldo, chairman, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and proprietor of Ziraldo Estate Winery told Foodservice and Hospitality magazine. “The whites are showing strong aromatics while the reds have a full ripeness.”

What’s more, according to Ziraldo, the grape harvesting is weeks early due to the ideal growing conditions of the summer, which led to the fruit ripening very well. “The current weather conditions of warm days and cool nights create the ideal conditions for a quality vintage through the harvest season,” the Ziraldo Estate Winery proprietor said. He pointed out that the Pinot Noir is coming in with very high sugars and as the weather continues it will bode well for the later ripening varieties as well.

Other winemakers are equally excited about the 2010 harvest. “[We should] see some of the finest wines in many years. The amount of degree growing days is very high — as good or better than 2007 — and we’re very optimistic about the whites as well,” said Bruce Nicholson, winemaker, Inniskillin Wines.

“[It’s] an exceptional vintage, an early harvest with great fruit flavours [and] magical depth,” added Charles Pillitteri, Pillitteri Winery.  

Matthias Oppenlaender, grower and vice-chair, Grape Growers Ontario, echoed everyone else’s sentiments. “[2010] is shaping up to be excellent in quality, while yields are lower. [It’s the] best vintage in reds for a long time.”

Yields are expected to be down 10 per cent to 20 per cent because of a long relatively dry spell in August, but as the grapes shrivelled, the flavour was concentrated in the remaining juices adding quality to the resulting wine vintage.


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