13th Street Winery Sign

Midway Tasting at 13th Street Winery

13th Street Winery Essence Line

Gamay at 13th Street Winery

Gamay Vines at 13th Street Winery

13th Street Winery Formal Room

My Day At The 13th Street Winery

It started out as a regular birthday that one would have mid-week, but I knew the day would shape up nicely. This year for my birthday, I decided to jump in a car and travel an hour to visit one of my favourite Ontario wineries, 13th Street. I felt it was time for me to pay them a visit, and I had the urge to spend the day doing something I love – drinking wine and talking about it with people who were passionate about the topic. Needless to say, my 13th Street birthday trip, filled and fit all of my expectations.

I got on the road at 12 noon and arrived at the winery at around 1PM. To set the record straight, I decided to visit the tasting house instead of the lab location, where the majority of vines were situated. Nonetheless, as we road into the wineries property, it gave the standard feel of a country-esque appearance, with a healthy amount of Gamay vines and produce shops to sell their associated baked goods. Even with all of the other attractions on the property, I stayed focused and made a b-line for the tasting room. Unlike the outdoors at the property, the interior of the tasting room was modern and coiffed with the latest fixtures. The tasting bar was nicely situated with a view of the wines shelved for purchase. “Which wines would you like to try?” said Eva, our 13th Street Retail Consultant for the afternoon; me “all of them”. Faced with a raised eyebrow, Eva started to pour from whites, rosés and reds. All in all, I tried 10 wines. Some I loved, some I thought fitting for restaurant lists that I am working on, and some (a few in ratio to all that I had tasted) were not necessarily my style. With that being said, I left the winery with 12 wines, some from the tasting and some from their higher-end list that were not a part of their sampling. There were two wines to note that I was extremely surprised or excited by:

Cabernet Rosé: This wine fell into their Rosé section and I had some ingrained prejudices against it already. I mean, Rosé’s weren’t for the serious wine drinker … or were they? Regardless of your viewpoint, I will say that I have never had a Rosé with so much attitude. I almost forgot it was a Rosé. The sweetness one would normally expect to find in a Rosé, in this case, was cut with the infused spices that hit the palate sip after sip. I implore you to pick up a bottle of this 13th Street gem!

Syrah 2010, Essence Line: Any idea of how long the average Canadian waits before they open a bottle of wine they just bought at the liquor store? The answer is, four hours. Now imagine this, I pick up this fine Syrah at 13th Street and I am told that the prime drinking time for this lovely is in two to five years. Sigh…. I will try really hard to refrain and not cheat by letting it breath for two hours, thus invariably aging the wine by two years. I will do it the right way. Yet, with only 70 cases produced overall, I am now kicking myself and thinking I should have bought more.

I have included a few pictures from my day at the 13th Street Winery, and would love to either see your pictures or hear about your 13th Street Winery experiences.