Our promise is to produce the highest quality wines possible at each of the price points we offer, each and every vintage. We believe that you should judge a winery in the difficult vintages just as often you do the fine ones. Our goal is to deliver a pure expression of the varietal and vineyard character while respecting the influences of each vintage for each and every wine we make. Our wines will be balanced and complex and will be 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, 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 past 13 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 hand picking and manually sorting our grapes at the beginning of the production process. Just the right amount of pressure is utilized in our bladder press to extract juice, rich with flavour compounds, in 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 coopers 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, 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, cooper or source fruit from a new vineyard so that he might learn how best to capture the very best of that particular vintage and improve the overall quality of the wines. Moreover, sampling the full range of barrels or tanks for each wine is of critical importance, 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 those years that this critical blending stage yields wines which merit such exclusive designations.