Niagara wineries tend to have a focus on their history and connection to established winemaking culture, but Hare Wine Company, despite being one of Niagara’s newest wineries – the main building was finished in late 2016 – may be one of the most enthusiastic in celebrating Niagara’s heritage as a winemaking region. Where most wineries are concerned with the past fifty years or so depending on their historical pedigree, Hare Wine Company reaches back across two centuries to turn its estate into a colonial symbol as much as a premium winery.
The main building is newly erected but uses reclaimed materials. The exterior bricks are at least a century old and reclaimed barn board flooring is used as shelving. Everything within the tasting rooms is meant to resemble old-world aesthetics, from the industrial-style high ceilings to the subtle use of metal and wood in a colonial tone. The visit to the estate is an experience in and of itself for history buffs.
The wines themselves are combination of a nod to the past – with some more classical standards like chardonnay and cabernet franc belonging to the up-market Frontier line – while also embracing more modern trends, like the Crown Land series’ late harvest varieties like reisling and vidal. Hare Wine also make a great icewine, a strawberry/blackberry flavoured cabernet franc style.
The tasting room is open every day from 10 am until 6 pm, no appointments necessary and samplings of both table and dessert wines available for all walk-ins. For those seeking a more intimate experience, then bookings will be needed to utilise the private tasting room, or the barrel cellar space for events.
As far as global standards are concerned, Niagara is still a relatively young wine region. Hare Wine snubs that perception by drawing on the history of the Niagara region and making it the core of their image, complementing their solid range of home-grown wines. Anyone touring the Niagara region estates should visit the estate – there’s no comparison to trying the various ranges in its home territory, surrounded by a spacious, unique winery with its own story to tell.
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