You'll find GreenLane Estate Winery in the Niagara Escarpment, not far from the town of Vineland. They started out in 2010 and after a few upgrades along the way, now occupy the address on King Street and a production of around 5000 cases annually.
GreenLane is best known for their Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, and it should be no suprise that they have old plantings of both—vines that date back to 1990. The portfolio is also stocked with great bottlings of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc. They often produce small lot wines, including the unintentionally small quantity of a new wine called Betrayed. In 2014 their crop of Pinot Grigio was devastated by a harsh winter, and in order to make the best of it, they hand harvested the remaining 50 cases worth of grapes, designed a pop art label for it, and called it Pinot Grieving.
Dianne Smith, winemaker and general manager, who previously had a career as an engineer in the oil industry, was exposed to great wines while going to school and working at a restaurant in Florida. She eventually returned to wine, taking oenology courses and landing the gig at GreenLane in 2010. Her emphasis is on meticulous work in the vineyard, employing many biodynamic and organic practices.
The Greenlane 2013 Cabernet is one of my favourite value picks. It’s a juicy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with notes of bing cherry, black raspberry, and cinnamon. It’s easy-drinking and delicious. ($16.95, 12.3% alcohol)
There's a great opportunity to sample three distinctly different Rieslings from GreenLane, all available on My Wine Canada. First, the 2011 Riesling ($15.95), made from young vines, the 2012 Old Vines Riesling ($24.95), from mature vines and considered their flagship white, and finally, the 2011 Old Vines Riesling Reserve ($35), which is made exclusively from the plot of vines planted in 1990.
Jake Skakun is a writer and sommelier from Vancouver, currently living in Toronto. He can be found most days pulling corks and twisting caps at the Black Hoof. He Tweets and Instagrams @jakeskakun.