Reif Estate Winery
One of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s founding family wineries, founded in 1982 by Ewald Reif and later acquired by nephew Klaus W. Reif. Today, Reif produces wines from their vineyard first planted in 1977. The Reif family tradition of winemaking however began nearly half a millennium ago in the small winemaking town of Neustadt, located in the heart of the world renowned Rhine River Valley in Germany. This tradition transcended to a new continent, when founder Ewald Reif purchased a plot of land on the fertile banks of the Niagara River. After carefully nurturing the land for six years, the potential of these young vineyards became evident when the doors of Reif Estate Winery officially opened in 1983.
In 1987, Klaus W. Reif took over the reins from his uncle Ewald, as the President and Winemaker after
graduating from the world famous Geisenheim Institute in Germany with degrees in both Oenology and Viticulture. Having been born into a winemaking family with roots tracing back 12 generations Klaus' future as a winemaker may have been preordained. In 1990, Klaus was joined by Roberto DiDomenico, a graduate of the University of Guelph with a specialized Honours Microbiology degree. Roberto's winemaking philosophy of 'letting nature make wine' married perfectly with Klaus's belief that "...today we are growing wine in the vineyard." These beliefs, partnered with a commitment to produce predominantly estate bottled wines from our 125 acre vineyard are the cornerstone of the quality and integrity of Reif Estate wines. Today the winery boasts one of the most sophisticated, educational tasting room experiences in Niagara, complete with themed flights, blind tastings, food pairings and a sensory wine garden and is home to their Internationally acclaimed and award winning Vidal Icewine.
The Cuvee consists of 75% Gamay, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Our ever popular off dry, easy drinking red blend has aromas of fresh cherries, raspberries and plums with a dash of pepper. On the palate, sweet, sweet cherries and a refreshing acidity. Try serving this chilled for added complexity and enjoyment or with your favourite pizza or grilled hamburger. Also a great wine for hot and spicy foods.
2013 Late Harvest Vidal A November picking of the Vidal grapes provides natural sugars in the wine for the production of a sweeter table wine. Great acidity is the wines defining characteristic and has made one of its parents Ugni Blanc(trebbiano) famous in cognac. Aromas of peach and pear, delicate floral notes of apple blossom and honey. Sweet peach and Anjou pear on the palate. With acidity that is as fresh and lively as this a great patio sipper. Pair with fresh fruit fondues in white chocolate. Light salads, zesty cheeses and spicy stir fries will also pair well with this wine.
Varieties were made individually and the blend is made after the wines are complete. The cuvee mirrors Reif Vineyards 47% Cab Sauvignon , 43% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and the blend was then aged in French Hungarian and American Oak for 20 months. On reflection of our stellar 2012 vintage, this classic Bordeaux style blend displays ripe flavours of red berries, black berries, smoky cedar and a long lasting finish. Firm tannins and ripe fruit will make this an unforgettable wine and a nice candidate for the cellar maturing in another 3 to 5 years. Pair with grilled red meats, roast lamb and grilled vegetables.
Our fourth edition of the Magician and our most complex. The blend is made up of 70% Shiraz and 30% Pinot Noir. The grapes were hand harvested and 25 – 30% of the fruit from each variety was allowed to dry in our kilns for up to 3 weeks. The grapes were crushed and fermented on the skins for 10 days. After pressing the wine was moved into 1 year old French barriques, where the wine completed alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 14 months in barriques and another 8 months in bottle. Baked jammy cherries sprinkled with black pepper. Pastry notes like walking into a bakery and smelling cherries freshly baked into a pastry shell. A crisp acidity interplays with black pepper, black cherries and black berries wrapped in a chocolate coffee. Silky tannins and dark fruit on this full body wine create a long smooth finish. A nice evening companion after a long day with a sharp cheese. Good for grilled meats on the BBQ, roasts, hardy stews or a nice pasta dish.
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One of the first Canadian Icewines was produced on this property. Our Vidal Icewine is traditionally harvested from our oldest 12 acre block of Vidal vines planted in 1981 . Average picking temperatures ranged from -10 ˚C and -12˚C and was harvested on November 25th and December 16th , 2013. Layered aromas of tropical fruit, honey, apricot and peach follow through on the palate. This very fine Icewine parallels some of the finest dessert wines in the world. A sweet desert wine highlighted and balanced with a fruit fresh, crisp acidity. Enjoy on its own or with fruit based desserts. A classic pairing is with a fine creamy blue cheese.