Our Winemaking Style
Our promise is to produce the highest quality wines possible every year, at every price point. We believe that you should judge a winery in the difficult vintages as well as the fine ones. Our goal is to deliver a pure expression of the varietal and vineyard character, while respecting the influences of each vintage and every wine that we make. You can trust that our wines will be balanced, complex, and priced fairly every year. We hope that when you buy a bottle of 13th Street wine it will exceed your expectations.
Each year, Jean-Pierre Colas (JP), our winemaker, searches for the very best fruit grown in Niagara. Often, this fruit comes from our 40+ acres; however, in some cases, one of the many excellent growers JP has worked with over the years provides us with a small quantity of premium grapes to complement our own harvest.
When it comes to turning those exceptional grapes into high-quality wine, we start by handpicking and manually sorting our grapes. Just the right amount of pressure is utilized in our bladder press to extract the juice, rich with flavour compounds. Our whites and the reds undergo various temperature specific extraction techniques in order to ensure we have the perfect balance of aroma, flavour and structure.
We utilize stainless steel for most of our primary fermentations, and in some cases, malolactic fermentation, pumping over or punching down, extended fine lees contact and other classic techniques are used with an aim to maximize complexity and balance. A range of preferred French and American coppers is utilized for those wines that merit time in oak. Our philosophy is that oak may be an important ingredient to enhance our wines texture as well as its secondary aroma and colour however, it will only be used to add character to a wine that already has adequate primary fruit character to handle the distinctive influences of oak.
Two additional key elements of Jean-Pierre’s winemaking philosophy are experimentation and blending. Every new vintage offers Jean-Pierre an opportunity to try a new technique. JP occasionally sources fruit from a new vineyard so that he might learn how to capture the very best of that particular vintage and improve the overall quality of the wines. JP also believes in sampling the full range of barrels or tanks for each wine, as each and every cuvée will offer something unique to the final blend. The trick is finding which barrels and tanks complement each other and which will provide us with the very best sum of the parts. To that end, we only make Old Vines, Reserve, and Essence wines in the years that this critical blending stage yields wines, which merit such exclusive designations.