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Stratus Vineyards

Stratus Vineyards, opened in 2005, has quickly become one of the benchmarks for quality within the flourishing Canadian wine industry.
Stratus Vineyards, opened in 2005, has quickly become one of the benchmarks for quality within the flourishing Canadian wine industry. Located in the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Stratus Vineyards is a gravity flow winery commitment to sustainability and producing wines of outstanding quality.


Vineyard


Their vineyard sits on 62 acresa near the southeastern border of the Niagara Lakeshore sub-appellation. It benefits from a unique microclimate that ranks among the warmest in Niagara, providing perfect conditions for growing the diverse range of grape varieties that are used in their signature cuvees. The vineyard is far enough away from the moderating influence of Lake Ontario to grow grape varieties that need warmer temperatures in the summer. At the same time, the lake’s proximity helps protect the vines from early frost in the fall. The vineyard soils are unusually rich, composed of mineral-rich layers resting on a limestone foundation. They grow 10 varieties of red grapes and 6 varieties of white – some vines old, some vines young. The vineyard is further divided into 44 distinct blocs. Each one, its own small “somewhereness.”

Winery and sustainability




Committed to sustainability, Stratus took the opportunity to create a new kind of winery. They built an adaptable state-of-the-art facility (LEED-certified) that produces the best possible wine with the smallest possible environmental impact. They chose to get rid of pumps, and instead transport their wine completely through gravity flow, minimising their carbon footprint and maximizing quality. Bright, airy and above ground, their 1,000-barrel cellar is seamlessly linked to the winery’s pumpless wine-flow system. Translucent panes separate the cellar from the rest of the facility, allowing light in, while geothermal cooling keeps the cellar at an ideal 14ºC.



This dedication to sustainability continues in the vineyards, where they allow the environment’s natural ecosystem to take hold. Indigenous cover crops are encouraged and vine cuttings and root stocks are transformed into biochar, reducing erosion and improving soil structure.

Winemaker


These modern and innovative methods are the work of winemaker J-L Groux. A native of France’s Loire Valley, J-L is renowned for creating distinctive wines based on the principle of assemblage, the art of combining different grape varieties to produce a wine that is the most complex expression of a vineyard’s terroir. He creates a range of outstanding, age-worthy wines, including an ice wine.




Fresh from the Winery

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