Cattail Creek Estate Winery

Value Wine Week ... OWR Video #83: Cattail Creek 2012 Cabernet Merlot

About

Cattail Creek Estate Winery is the cumulation of three generations of grape growing in Niagara on the Lake. Born from a passion for growing quality grapes and making great wines, Cattail Creek focuses on producing hand crafted wines.

Location Description

Located in the heart of Niagara On The Lake, Ontario.

Features

  • Produces award winning wines.

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:

History

When our grandfather planted his first vines in 1956, a love of farming spanning four generations took root. Today, those vines, combined with that passion, have grown into Cattail Creek Estate Winery. Our collection of vineyards in Niagara on the Lake produces grapes of the highest quality for our hand crafted wines.

Within our portfolio of wines we are sure there is something that will tempt your palate. From our whimsical and versatile Cat Series dedicated to our charitable work supporting cat-focused charities, to our Cattail Creek Series which highlights the wines for which we have developed a reputation of quality and value. Also within our portfolio is our Estate Series which feature the wines made exclusively from our vineyards thereby representing the characteristics unique to Cattail Creek Estate Winery and finally our Small Lot Series which is our winemaker’s playground…the wines in this series are truly once-in-a-lifetime wines.

In our short history as winemakers in Niagara on the Lake, our wines have garnered some exciting honours. In fact, Cattail Creek was one of the first wineries to win Best Limited Edition Sweet Wine at the highly acclaimed Cuvée Wine Awards for one of our first wines made, the Barrel Fermented Vidal Icewine 2006. The following year, we returned to the Cuvée Wine Awards, this time having our Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2007 win Best Limited Edition White Wine in Ontario. And recently, our Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2007 won Red Wine of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards. We are proud to have won such significant awards for each category of wine that we make. It shows that our dedication to excellence in both the vineyards and in winemaking is truly making great wine.

The Team

Roselyn Dyck – Winery Manager
Growing up on a vineyard was fun, but it was wine that piqued Roselyn’s curiosity with its many complexities and nuances and how each wine is dependent on the actions in the vineyard. This lead Roselyn to learn about the many wines of the world. After graduation from the University of Toronto in 1997 with a Honours Bachelor of Science she returned home to work in the local wine industry and became a certified Sommelier in 1999 through the International Sommelier Guild. She was then offered a position with the LCBO as a Product Consultant where she continued her studies and successfully completed the challenging Diploma of Wines and Spirits offered through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust based in London, England in 2001.

Over the years, Roselyn has held various positions in the wine industry, each one teaching her valuable lessons about both the wine industry in general and the business of wine. After the birth of her son, Alex, she returned home to Niagara on the Lake and undertook the development and management of Cattail Creek Estate Winery.

Passionate about wine, yet drawn to its simplicity, Roselyn believes that while wine can be very complex and intimidating, its focus is about all the good things in life – good food, great company and wonderful memories.

When Roselyn isn’t at the winery, she spends all her time with her son watching soccer games, playing board games and going for walks.

Warren Dyck – Vineyard Manager
Even from a young age, Warren has always been an integral part of the vineyards. From his first tractor when he was just two years old to the Massey Ferguson tractor at age eleven, he was often found hard at work in the vineyards after school. After studying Accounting at Niagara College, Warren made the decision to continue the tradition and join the family vineyards in 1993.

While our family history has always been very important to Warren he realizes that viticulture is continually evolving. Research is making new discoveries in everything from pest control to canopy management and his experience is teaching him many things, including the best locations for specific grape varieties and how to deal with the challenges that Mother Nature throws at him each year. By integrating new and innovative ideas into the day-to-day operations of the vineyards, Warren is continually improving both the quality and productiveness of the vineyards.
Warren has proven that with a sense of history along with a keen eye to new information, he can consistently produce excellent quality wine grapes.

On days off from the farm, Warren spends his time watching football and building bonfires for the best marshmallow roasts with friends and family.

Ken and Renate Dyck – Founders
On April 1, 1971, Ken and Renate Dyck used their life’s savings to purchase their first vineyard – a 23-acre farm. With the support of Renate’s father, they replaced the peach trees with grapes and set about rebuilding the small house on the farm, preparing it for the immanent arrival of their first child, Warren. At that time, they couldn’t even dream that 35 years later this would become the site of Cattail Creek Estate Winery.

Just a few years later in 1976, they purchased the original family vineyard owned by Renate’s father as he was preparing to settle down into retirement. While only having been growing grapes for five years, they sensed that there would be a change in the wine industry. So when asked by the local winery at the time to plant an experimental block of Riesling vines, they jumped at the opportunity. They purchased 1,000 Riesling vines imported directly from Germany and planted them along side the popular grapes at the time. Being one of the first growers to experiment with growing Riesling vines, there was no support and many growers and researchers believed that the vines wouldn’t be able to grow in Canada’s harsh climate. Yet with continual experimentation and research, Ken and Renate were able to not just grow these grapes but become known as one of the best Riesling growers in Ontario. So much so that now Cattail Creek Estate Winery has over 15,000 Riesling vines planted in their vineyards. And today we have some of the oldest Riesling vines in the Niagara Region!

In 1984 they purchased the Rickety Bridge Vineyard and in 1994 they purchased their last vineyard, the Burning Barn Vineyard. The additional of these two vineyards grew their business to 100 acres used exclusively for the production of wine grapes. While a lot of hard work has gone into creating such successful vineyards, it would not have been possible to succeed in this every changing industry without passion and a sense of experimentation. This passion continues to inspire them to improve their vineyards, to experiment with different clones and rootstocks, to determine the best locations for each variety of grapes and to grow the best grapes that they can.

When Ken is not out in the vineyards on the tractor or checking the vines, you will find him with his grandson, Alex. Together they spend their days working on the tractor, mowing the lawns and if you listen very carefully when you visit us at the winery, you may even hear them splashing in the pool. They are inseparable.

Meanwhile, Renate loves gardening, making a vast assortment of jams from her berry patch or watching weather reports (40 years of being a farmer’s wife has cultivated an obsession with the weather).

Practices & Techniques

We focus on sustainability and respect also applies to Cattail Creek Estate Winery. Every decision made at the winery is done with consideration to our environmental impact. When purchasing any equipment for the winery, its effect on the environment is analyzed with choices directed towards reduced water and electricity usage. Whenever possible we use pressure and heat to clean thereby reducing water usage. We also recirculate water as much as possible during the cleaning process. And by implementing strict wine-making policies towards reducing water usage, reducing electricity usage and recycling whenever possible Cattail Creek continually works towards minimizing our impact on the environment.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

We look to our roots for our inspiration. Our vineyards are all located within the unique Four Mile Creek sub appellation of Niagara on the Lake and we strive to produce quality grapes that exhibit the characteristics of this beautiful area. Each vineyard creates distinct flavours in the grapes due to its particular soil, climate and topography. Through experience and experimentation, we have identified the best locations for each grape variety and continually adjust our growing methods to suit each variety, location and vintage. The result €“ a complexity of flavours that only our vineyards can contribute to each wine we make.

Opa’s Vineyard
This is the original vineyard purchased in 1956 by Renate’s father, also known to his grandchildren as Opa. This is the smallest vineyard owned by the Dyck Family. Located on Niagara Stone Road just on the outskirts of Virgil it is a wonderful vineyard for our aromatic white grape varieties. Because of this, the vineyard is planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay Musqué.

Cattail Creek Vineyard
This vineyard was purchased by Ken and Renate Dyck in 1971 and is now the home of Cattail Creek Estate Winery. Named after the creek that runs through the vineyard this is also home to the original Riesling plantings in 1976 which have become some of the oldest Riesling vines in Ontario. This vineyard is planted with Riesling (Clones 21, 239 and 49) and Gamay Noir.

Rickety Bridge Vineyard
Rickety Bridge Vineyard is named after the incredibly precarious looking bridge that every one must cross in order to enter the vineyard. Visitors and vineyard employees alike look doubtingly at the bridge and decide they would rather risk being terrorized by the large farm dog across the road than attempt to navigate the bridge – even though that bridge holds all of our heaviest farm equipment! This is our prized vineyard for growing cold sensitive grape varieties due to its proximity to both the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. These bodies of water moderate the temperatures on this vineyard allowing for an even ripening and preventing cold damage during the winter and frost damage in the spring. This vineyard also has the loamiest soils of all of our vineyards allowing for good water drainage. This vineyard is planted with Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Burning Barn Vineyard
This was the last vineyard purchased by the Dyck Family. At the time it was purchased there was an old house and barn on the property. Shortly after its residents moved out, the local arsonist decided it was time to take care of the eye sore and lit the barn on fire. Being no more than kindling to start with it burned to the ground as the family watched one night. Just a few weeks later, the arsonist returned and did the same to the house. Hence the appropriate name of Burning Barn Vineyard. This vineyard is located immediately adjacent to the Cattail Creek Vineyard and is the furthest from Lake Ontario. Because of this, the vineyard sees incredible amounts of heat during the summer but also the coldest temperatures in winter. Therefore our cold hardiest vines are planted on this vineyard, along with our icewine grapes Baco Noir, Vidal, Marchel Foch, Riesling (Clone 21) and Cabernet Franc.

Awards

Canadian Wine Awards 2012
CATASTROPHE SERIES RED 2010
Sold Out
Bronze Medal Winner
InterVin International Wine Awards 2012
RESERVE SERIES PINOT NOIR 2009
Bronze Medal Winner
InterVin International Wine Awards 2012
ESTATE SERIES SERENDIPITY ROSÉ 2011
Judges’ Best Value Wine Awards
Silver Medal Winner
Ontario Wine Awards 2012
RESERVE SERIES CABERNET MERLOT 2007
Red Wine of the Year
Best Meritage and Cabernet/Merlot Blend
InterVin International Wine Awards 2011
ESTATE SERIES PINOT NOIR 2009
Bronze Medal Winner
InterVin International Wine Awards 2011
RESERVE SERIES RIESLING 2008
Bronze Medal Winner

Canadian Wine Awards 2011
ESTATE SERIES PINOT NOIR 2009
Bronze Medal Winner
Canadian Wine Awards 2011
RESERVE SERIES MERLOT 2007
Bronze Medal Winner
Canadian Wine Awards 2010
SELECT LATE HARVEST MERLOT 2008
Silver Medal Winner
InterVin International Wine Awards 2010
SELECT LATE HARVEST MERLOT 2008
Bronze Medal Winner

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Hours

May to October Mon-Sun10 am - 6 pm November to April Mon-Sun 11 am - 5 pm

Address

1156 Concession 6 Road
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0
Canada

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