Burning Kiln Winery

Burning Kiln Winery, South Coast-The Wine Ladies


Burning Kiln Winery is a good news story: the building is an architecturally repurposed tobacco pack barn and our multi-award-winning wines carry on a Norfolk County tradition of agricultural excellence.You will never forget the inherent warmth of this emerging Ontario wine region and the residents that greet you in your travels through. Both the journey here and the destination are divine. We invite you to visit us and experience our unique, spectacular winery which honours our agricultural heritage and celebrates the culinary and cultural bounty of Norfolk County.

Location Description

Located on Front Road in St. Williams, Norfolk County overlooking Long Point, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.


  • An adventurous renaissance in winemaking.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:


Patti Fixter is a pioneer. While maintaining a successful career in the dental practice, her passion for wine led her to reinvent herself and pursue a diploma in Wine and Viticulture from the highly respected program at Niagara College Teaching Winery. There, she was given the opportunity to work alongside Andrzej Lipinski, a renowned Winemaker in Ontario, as a practicum student. She also authored a ground-breaking, comprehensive, feasibility study on Norfolk County's Sand Plain and its ability to host a viable, sustainable viticultural industry.

A professional in both her pursuits, Patti is a critical asset to our winemaking here at Burning Kiln Winery.


From the moment we opened our doors in 2011 and presented our first vintage of wines, we used repurposed bulk tobacco kilns to perfect the ancient art of "appassimento" or drying of grapes to enhance flavours and create new taste sensations, which begun in Italy hundreds of years ago. Our Wines immediately began turning the heads of critics of all credentials, professional, amateur and armchair. We won awards in our first vintage for both our reds and whites and in our second vintage, our Strip Room 2011 was selected by the Ontario Legislature as their official wine, a feat unheard of in the industry to date.

Our philosophy is all about respect for the fruit. Respect for the way it is hand picked at harvest, hand-sorted twice over and ultimately, meticulously coaxed to liquid form.

Each year our vines are a little older, their roots a little deeper and our wines seem to always end up a little better than the previous year which always seems to be a tough act to follow.

Practices & Techniques

Making wine involves six basic steps:

1. Viticulture

The focuses on the biology of the grapevine. Good wine ultimately comes from good grapes and a great wine is made in the vineyard. Each grape variety is unique in the way it grows, the way it looks, and the flavours it possess. Climate, soil, hours of sunlight, water drainage and topography all influence fruit quality and are the key factors that make each vineyard unique. Terroir, "from the earth"is a term the French use to describe how these natural factors are ultimately expressed in each wine. It is then up to the vineyard manager to decide how he works and manipulates the vines in the environment so that true terroir is expressed in each glass. At Harvest the vitculturist and winemaker go out into the vineyards and assess when is the best time is to pick. This is determined on how grapes look, their, flavour, sugar content, acid level, colour development.

2. Harvesting

When the approval is given to pick, a winery can harvest the grapes by hand picking each cluster or mechanically using specially designed grape harvesters. The picked grapes are then taken to the winery for the next step.

3. Pressing

When the grapes arrived they pass through a special machine called a crusher destemmer. At this stage the grapes are separated from the stems and the berries are slightly crushed to release some of the juice from the fruit. It is here where the winemaker decides to send the must (crushed fruit and juice) to a tank for cold soaking (a method to extract flavours and pull colour from the skins), into a tank for red wine fermentation or to directly into a press (to extract only the juice for white wine fermentation). The press will then separate the juice from the fruit.

4. Fermentation

This is the stage where all the magic begins. Fermentation is the process in which yeast convert sugar (naturally present in the grape juice) and convert it to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Most wineries use selected commercial yeast which all have unique reaction in how they produce flavours in the wine. Other wineries take more of a holistic approach and use natural/wild yeast that is naturally present on the bloom of the grapes and in the winery. Fermentation can take as short as 10 days to or as long as 100 days, it all depends on how the winemaker chooses.

5. Aging and Clarification

Once the fermentation process is finished, time is required for the wine to settle and evolve. This can happen in barrel and /or tank. With time new flavour nuances develop, the natural sediments and spent yeast will drop out, and the winemaker will use their skills to bring out the best in a wine. Once the wine is stabilized, the next stage is to clarify the wine. This can be done through various filtration methods. Clarification techniques are performed not only for visual reasons but also to ensure that the wine is stable and ready for the long haul in the bottle.

6. Bottling

The final stage is to transfer the finished wine into a container. Wineries have the choice of what shape, type, colour of glass they can use to bottle their wine. The type of wine closure is also specific to how the winery wants to market their wine.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Our vineyards use the nutrients and exceptional drainage of this Wattford soil base to produce equally exceptional fruit from our 26 acres of planted Vinifera grapes such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Savagnin and Petit Verdot.

Though there are 85 acres in total and adequate room to grow, our goal is to remain at a size which allows us to sustain our focus on quality practices which in turn reflect in every bottle we make. Our size allows for rigourous vigilance by our vineyard management crew led by our Vineyard Manager and Partner, Frank DeLeebeeck. He and his crew actively tend each vine by hand for all aspects of quality control in the vineyard: pruning, tying, training, cropping, netting and finally, hand harvesting. This is the luxury of the scale of our operation that truly does translate from the field to each glass of wine poured from bottles with our label on them.

Be the first to review this item!


Sat - Sun: 11am-5pm


1709 Front Road
St Williams, Ontario N0E 1P0

Get Directions