Hockley Valley has been renowned for being one of the best culinary and relaxing vacation getaways here in Ontario. With a focus on local and exceptional hospitality, the team behind Hockley Valley envisioned adding a vineyard and winery to their already stunning property. After years of planning, the dream of opening a winery in Ontario came to fruition.
Adamo Estate Winery, named after the founding Adamo family, is one of the newest wineries in Ontario. Set on the sprawling estate less than an hour north of Toronto, this new winery is a must visit. With a winery café, a beautiful wine tasting bar and tours, Adamo Estate Winery is the perfect getaway from the busy city.
With a wide range of wines from crisp rosé wines to dry Rieslings, buttery Chardonnay, as well as Pinot Noir, Gamay and Cabernet, Adamo Estate Winery producers a full range of VQA wines sourced from their own vineyard and Niagara. Turning heads and winning awards, we knew we had to sat down with Shauna White, the current winemaker at Adamo Estate Winery to learn more about one of Ontario’s newest wineries.
Terroir Team: What makes the terroir of Hockley Valley different than other cool-climate wine varieties?
Adamo Winery: Our vineyard location and climactic influences is really what makes us different. As part of The Hockley Valley area we are also located on the Niagara Escarpment, which influences our soil composition and limestone content. Our daily weather patterns are different from Niagara and Prince Edward County due to our distance from Lake Ontario and its moderating effects. Winters here are colder, nights here can be cooler, last spring frost is often later, first fall frost is often earlier, our number of degree days is less and the wind here seems to always be blowing through our vineyard. The above mentioned influences are shown in the structure and profile of our Estate Wines. For example our Estate Chardonnay was harvested at very similar sugar levels and phenolic ripeness to a Niagara Bench grown Chardonnay, (also the same clone) but the acidity, pH, texture and flavours are very different which makes for a fun and exciting horizontal wine tasting.
What makes for a great vintage?
Balance. A well balanced vine, with balanced weather of rain, sun and heat, produce premium quality grapes, which in turn will have balanced sugar and acid for making a balanced wine of premium quality. This is true for both red and white grapes, especially when the weather allows you to choose the optimal harvest date when the flavours in the grapes are mature and at their peak expression of their terroir.
Beyond southern Ontario, what is your favourite wine-growing region in the world?
This is a very tough question because it depends on the grape variety. I have favourite places in the world for each and every grape and style of wine. There are so many regions that specialize in a particular grape and wine style, I could choose one for every day in the month! However, when I am looking for a go to wine that I enjoy for any occasion I look to Burgundy, France.
What is the most challenging part of owning and operating a winery?
Mother Nature. She can throw you curve balls at the best and worst of times. You must be flexible and diligent because planning specific vineyard management practices for specific days is not always possible due to weather. The timing of vineyard practices can be critical though and that means that you work at night or all weekend to get everything accomplished at the proper growth stage, to ensure a healthy and happy vine.
You're having your favourite dinner and pairing it with your favourite glass of wine. What are you eating, and what wine have you poured?
Lots of Oysters and Chablis.
If you could serve your wine to any Canadian icon, past or present, who would it be and why?
John Candy because I think he would like our wines and be a very fun person to spend some time with.
What are you most looking forward to at this year's symposium?
Just being a part of this fantastic event because the energy at the Terroir Symposium is always captivating and exciting. Being with, and speaking with, so many innovative and down to earth people is motivating, encouraging and fun!