We have been producing fine wines since our first vintage in 1988. Like many things in life, what is truly special are things of substance that have subtlety, elegance, rarity and finesse. It is these characteristics that we continue to refine in our vineyards, winery and wine.
“Simply making a good wine is not good enough. We want our wines to be distinctly Niagara, distinctly Henry of Pelham.”
Wines with structure, good acidity, up-front fruit and good length are not just made; they are grown, aged and blended. Subtle flavours are extracted with finesse and shown off at their finest.
From Niagara's most premium vineyards, on and surrounding the Short Hills Bench, these wines reflect the classic Niagara style of wine making with a nod to old world traditions. The whites are crisp and aromatic while the reds are fine and bright leaning towards red berry flavours. From harvest to bottle these wines take 1-2 years and are cropped at levels in the 3-4 bottle per vine range (approximately 4 tonnes per acre).
Our Estate vineyards are all within the small Short Hills Bench Appellation, among the warmest in the region with 90% of Niagara's south facing slope. Adjacent to the Short Hills Provincial Park, an ancient valley that was the precursor site to present day Niagara Falls, the heavy clay soils with their tossed up limestone make for wines of intensity and character.
From our oldest Estate vineyards in the Short Hills Bench, shovel planted by the Speck Bros starting in 1988, these wines are composed from our most interesting vineyards. Many enjoy the most southern exposure in Niagara. All are clonally selected vines except in a few special cases where the plantings are old enough to predate this practice, making these unique vineyard blocks an opportunity to add qualities that cannot easily be reproduced.
Niagara's seasons are very delineated. Summer is warm and autumn is cool followed by a quick shift to winter's cold; these are the perfect conditions for producing Icewine and Late Harvest wines. When winter arrives the berries are typically harvested at night when they are frozen at -8°C (minimum) and when they are at least 36 Brix (% sugar).
We can't choose our family. We also can't make our soil or predict the weather. So we adapt to them all and in the process discover something special about the people, the soil and the weather nature gives us. Part of that adaptation is working with brothers, cousins, friends and neighbours who have unique and different vineyard sites and grape varieties. From small family farms, one great wine.
We have maintained a time honoured tradition by naming our sparkling wines after the widow and matriarch of the family. Named after Catharine Smith, Henry (Smith) of Pelham's wife, Cuvée Catharine is a hand-picked, bottle fermented sparkling wine that sees lengthy aging.
What happens when 3 brothers work together? Sibling Rivalry is three brothers and three blends, with three grapes per blend in our red, white & pink. Sibling Rivalry is about outcomes. The sum of the parts that make up the blends we produce, and, the sum of the partnership known as The Speck Brothers.