One of the newest wineries to enter the My Wine Canada fold, the story of Aure Wines might at first seem a bit unconventional.
Located on the Beamsville Bench above the Niagara Peninsula, Aure Wines was established in 2007 by the Hoare family, who originally came to Canada from London, England for business reasons that were on a decidedly different track than the wine business.
Concord grapes planted on the property were mostly ripped out, replaced for the most part with cooler-climate vinifera grapes such as Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Riesling. (They also kept some 50+ year-old Marechal Foch vines already planted on the property.)
The 2013 Aure Riesling is an off-dry example of the grape, with plenty of bright red apple and citrus notes as well as crisp acidity that balances the sweetness. It’s a good-quality example of Ontario Riesling for the price.
Cabernet Franc is a grape that can deliver tremendous results from Niagara, and the Aure 2011 Reserve Cabernet Franc does it very well. Aged for a minimum of two years in French oak barrels, the fruit in this reserve red is balanced by earthy, slightly leafy notes as well as some good grip from the tannins.
Sustainability is at the forefront for much of what Aure Wines does. Their desire to minimize the impact of their operations on the environment and people around them has resulted in a number of forward-thinking innovations including a green roof, passive solar heating, rainwater conservation/harvesting and a number of ethical employment practices.
The fact that they can deliver such good-quality wines at such reasonable prices is a testament to the great work being done by Aure Wines in Ontario.
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.