Marynissen Estates, Niagara-on-the-Lake
We were pressed for time when visiting the Niagara peninsula area. Therefore, we decided to visit only one winery. Our choice was Marynissen Estates, situated in the Niagara-on-the Lake wine region of Ontario.
The cellar door of Marynissen
Marynissen Estates was founded by John Marynissen who came to Canada from Holland in 1952 and started growing grapes with his wife Nanny in 1953. Since 1990 the winery is up and running. John was one of the pioneers of the Canadian wine industry. He was renown for his wine-making skills. In 1978 he was awarded the title “Grape King”. John was the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Ontario.
His daughter Sandra encouraged him to invest in a winery. In 1996 and 1997 Marynissen Estates won awards for the best red wine. Today, Sandra continues the family tradition. The cellar door is located in an unassuming shed. When we entered the tasting room it was buzzing with customers.
The sale is on
There is wine
We were served by a nice young lady, Ellie was her name. She was very friendly and efficient and helped us find our wines. We started tasting a flight of white wines.
Margit, Dominik and Ellie opening a bottle
The whites included the Marynissen 2008 Summer Solstice, a 2008 Riesling and a 2008 BFBA Chardonnay. Dominik just loved the Riesling and decided to buy a case to take it home.
We were constrained because we had already six bottles in our luggage to bring home to Germany and felt a bit uneasy. Riesling could not be my choice anyway. We were heading to Trier, Mosel, to Riesling heaven so to speak. We decided not to take owls to Athens.
The Summer Solstice
This wine is an interesting blend of Gewuerztraminer (50%), Riesling (30%), and Chardonnay (20%, not a very common mixture of grapes for a white wine.
2008 Marynissen Riesling
Barrel fermented, barrel aged Chardonnay
We also tasted some of the red wines. I loved the Cabernet Merlot blend and the Syrah of which we bought a bottle to take home.
The Marynissen Cabernet Merlot blend
The Syrah we brought back home to Germany
Around the cellar door are some of the Marynissen vineyards. I immediately noticed the “strange” way the vines are pruned. I had learned earlier that in some parts of Ontario the vines are buried in the ground during the cold winters. This is of course very costly and very labour intensive. The year old canes are covered with soil and in spring dug out and clipped back to the trellis.
A Marynissen vineyard
The vines with grapes
The “head” of the trunk of the vine which in Australia is about one meter from the ground, is located right above the ground in Ontario so that it can be easily covered by top soil in winter (also called “hilling”).
Marynissen Estates is a great place to visit. I highly recommend it to anybody wanting to explore Canadian wineries and vineyards.
1209 Concession 1
Ontario, Canada L0S 1J0