Konzelmann Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

by Stevie on September 30, 2010

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welcome to Konzlemann Estate Winery

welcome to Konzlemann Estate Winery

There are many exciting wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake and I just can’t remember any longer how we decided to go to Konzelmann, but I’m sure glad that we did.

This winery is situated right on Lake Ontario and there’re even views of Toronto from certain vineyards on the property. Their web site suggests that wine making has been a family passion for the Konzelmann clan for generations. Great grandpa, Friedrich Konzelmann, started a winery in Germany in the Nineteenth Century. The winery in Ontario is of more recent vintage, though still well established. Herbert Konzelmann selected the Canadian site in the Eighties as he thought the microclimate was similar to that of Alsace. I really don’t know enough about all that to comment, but whatever the reason, Konzelmann wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake is worth seeking out.

beautiful Konzelmann Estate Winery tasting room

beautiful Konzelmann Estate Winery tasting room


Konzelmann Estate Winery vineyard with a view of Lake Ontario and Toronto in the background

Konzelmann Estate Winery vineyard with a view of Lake Ontario and Toronto in the background

The tasting room is in a large and handsome building right on Lakeshore Road. They produce a whole range of German and Bordeaux style wines, Ice wine and an unusual red, Baco Noir that we’d never heard of before.

You’re charged per taste and there’s a limit to the total number that they’re supposed to offer you that’s set by the LCBO. Hegui and I shared tastings and tried about seven. “Laura” was our tasting room host. We let her suggest what to try, as we really weren’t sure. She was marvelously attentive to us, friendly and seemed genuinely interested in and knowledgeable about these wines.

sampling Konzelmann Riesling and Riesling Traminer

sampling Konzelmann Riesling and Riesling Traminer

2009 Riesling Reserve 4 Generations: This was a very pale almost colorless transparent yellow. These come from “older vines” that are on average 26 plus years old. We smelled green grape, floral and shoe polish, which we decided had to be the legendary “petrol” smell that you’re supposed to note in Riesling. The wine tasted dry with a lot of pineapple flavors. “It’s good,” exclaimed Hegui. I bought a bottle and lugged it all the way back to California.

Konzelmann Heritage red

Konzelmann Heritage red

2008 Riesling Traminer 4 Generations: This wine is produced from vines somehow grafted from Riesling and Gewürztraminer that the winery founder brought to Canada from Germany. It was a pale transparent yellow color that smelled like peach. This did not taste sweet. We noted peach and a zesty finish.

2008 Gewürztraminer Late Harvest: This wine was pale yellow and looked more syrupy than the first two. We noted lychee nut and rose water on the nose. It was mildly sweet with complex spices. It was really nice though not for every-day drinking.

2008 Baco Noir: Baco noir is a hybrid grape of folle blanche, a French grape variety, and an unknown native North American grape. This was a somewhat opaque red color. On the nose we detected earthy notes, dirty socks, urine and perhaps green banana. It had medium body and a long finish that ends with fig notes. We weren’t huge fans but it was unusual.

2007 Merlot Barrel Aged 4 Generations: This wine was a transparent red. It smelled toasty and of raspberry. It was very smooth, like cashmere, with medium body and camphor, chocolate and mild coffee notes.

2007 Heritage 4 Generations: This is a Bordeaux style blend. It was dark purple to black in color. We noted mild tobacco notes. It had medium body with some spice. It was good.

2008 Canada Red (Zweigelt): This was a transparent red with notes of black cherry and earth. It tasted of black cherry with a spicy finish. Refreshing.

White Moose and Canada Red

White Moose and Canada Red


Niagara Falls

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