Today is Pinot Noir Day 2020! I started Cloudsley Cellars because I had a passion for Pinot, so I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you about our Pinot program and why we do what we do. (And if you just want to skip all this and order some Pinot to celebrate Pinot Noir Day, click here.)
At Cloudsley, our Pinot Noir is the result of a combination of four elements: The grape (Pinot Noir), the terroir (the individual vineyard sites), the vintage (each year brings different growing conditions) and lastly, the winemaking.
Pinot Noir is among the very best varietal at transmitting the unique characteristics of a particular vineyard site. This notion of terroir refers to the the combination of microclimate, soil structure and exposure to wind and sun. The third element, the weather, unfortunately, is out of our control, which is why the fourth element, the winemaking is so important.
At Cloudsley, when it comes to winemaking, we’re focused almost entirely on the incredible relationship between the varietal and the terroir. We want to create a snapshot of a specific time and place — a wine that is like no other.
This is why you won’t find reserve wines at Cloudsley. Instead, our top offerings are individual, single vineyard wines that tell a story of Pinot Noir from that small piece of land. In 2017, we made single vineyard wines from both Glen Elgin and Homestead vineyards.
Next, we craft our Twenty Mile Bench Pinot Noir, blends of these same vineyards. These wines represent the broader terroir of the Twenty Mile Bench sub-appellation. Likewise, our Niagara Peninsula Pinot, a blend of different barrels, showcase the traits that make cool-climate Pinot from this part of the world so desirable.
Our Pinot Noir program going forward is as exciting to me as it was when we started. We’ve started working with a few additional vineyards in Twenty Mile Bench and will be offering four single vineyard Pinots when we release our 2018 wines next year. Additionally, the tiny Cloudsley Block in front of the winery will yield its first fruit this year so look for its inclusion in our lineup in the future as the vines mature.
If you want to learn more about our Pinot Noir, or our Chardonnay, I’d love to see you
at the winery. Until then, I hope you’ll join me in raising a glass of Pinot Noir this weekend to celebrate this magical grape and its special place here on the Twenty Mile Bench!
OUR PINOT NOIR COLLECTION
The 2017 Twenty Mile Bench Pinot Noir was made from grapes sourced from the Wismer family’s Glen Elgin and Homestead vineyards in the Twenty Mile Bench sub-appellation. These vineyards, situated near our winery, are perfectly suited for producing elegant, classic Pinot Noir that demonstrates what makes this part of Niagara so special.
The 2017 Glen Elgin Vineyard Pinot Noir comes from the Wismer family’s Glen Elgin Vineyard. This supurb site was planted in 1996 with clone 115. Wild Yeast Fermentation. 18 months in French oak (33% new).
The 2017 Homestead Vineyard Pinot Noir comes from the Wismer family’s Homestead Vineyard. This excellent site was planted in 1999 and 2002 with clones 777 and 115. Wild Yeast Fermentation. 18 months in French oak (33% new).
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