Harvest Series 2021: Week 1
September is always an exciting time of year. With kid's going back to school, the harsh August heat slowly turning into fall, and the start of the leaves changing colours theres alot going on, but even more exciting than all of that, September is the start of the grape harvest in Niagara. With some wineries and growers starting their harvest early last week for their traditional method sparkling wines, this upcoming week will be the start of the harvest for Lakeview! As harvest can stretch until the end of November, we will be breaking it down week by week, showcasing some of the varietals being harvested, and highlighting the wines that we make with them. Tune back every Monday to learn a little bit more about the grapes we are lucky enough to bring in!
While the start of harvest usually starts with white grapes (Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris), here in Niagara, there is one special red grape that ripens before all - Baco Noir. While not many are familiar with Baco Noir, and those who are not from Canada have usually never heard of the grape before at all, Baco Noir is at home here in Ontario. Baco Noir is not one of the noble Vitis Vinifera grapes like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir, but instead is a French Hybrid Grape. A cross between Folle Blanche and a native North American Vitis Riparia grape variety, Baco Noir produces some of the most unique wines that Ontario can do.
Baco Noir is a grape that can withstand the harsh Ontario winters like no other and is one of the most planted red grapes in Ontario with roughly 4000 tonnes of grapes being harvests and processed annually. While Baco Noir is great in blends with other common red grapes like our EastDell Black Cab, when treated as a single varietal wine, it can do so many delicious things. Traditionally, Baco Noir produces incredibly juicy, jammy, fruit forward wines with rich notes of dark plums, leather, and other black fruits. Some places will treat it in barrel, adding notes of leather, smoke, and spice, however there are a few wineries treating it solely in stainless steel, bringing the fruit notes to the forefront.
Here at Lakeview, we do three different styles of Baco Noir. Our 20 Bees Baco Noir is incredibly fruit-forward, fresh, and incredibly easy to drink. With a touch of residual sugar, that just adds to the richness and fruit notes, when serving the 20 Bees Baco Noir, try it slightly chilled for a different take on an Ontario staple. Our Serenity Baco Noir has notes of smokey blueberries and blackberries, with firmer tannins at the back of the palette, this is a go-to BBQ wine in the summer. Finally, our Lakeview Cellars Baco Noir Reserve is a premium version of the grape, with leathery tannins, earthy, oaky undertones, and stewed fruits on the finish.
While we celebrate the start of harvest this week, celebrate whatever September brings you with one of our many delicious Baco Noir's!