Situated on the lower slopes of the Niagara Escarpment, Tawse is a family-owned organic winery. A life-long lover of wine, Burgundy in particular, founder Moray Tawse purchased the Cherry Avenue property in 2001 after realizing the great potential of the Niagara Escarpment as a word-class cool-climate wine region. In 2005, he opened his state-of-the-art winery in Vineland, complete with a six-level, gravity-flow design, geo-thermal system and a wetland bio-filter.
The inspiration for Moray’s eponymous Niagara property came from his love of Burgundian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Uniting traditional winemaking techniques with state-of-the-art technology, Tawse and the award-winning winemaking team of Paul Pender and Rene Van Ede, is dedicated to producing terroir-driven wines of exceptional elegance, depth and character. At Tawse, winemaking begins in the vineyards. We proudly apply rigorous organic methods to every aspect of our production from grape-growing to winemaking and Ecocert seals appear on all wines made from our estate fruit. Today, having acquired over 200 acres (5 vineyards) and being named Canadian Winery of the year in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2016, Tawse Winery now produces 30,000 cases of wine and has one of the largest portfolios of organic wines in the Niagara region.
At Tawse, winemaking begins in the vineyards. Healthy vines yield quality fruit which allows them to craft terroir-driven wines of great elegance, depth and character. Promoting the health of their vines and vineyards requires a labour-intensive and hands-on approach. They tuck and thin the shoots by hand to increase sun exposure and air flow. They keep the yields low by cluster-thinning to ensure that all the energy of the vine is focused to ripen fewer higher-quality grape clusters. Their grapes are harvested at optimal ripeness and sorted to select the very best fruit. They also proudly practice organic farming.
Organic farming feeds the vines and controls diseases without the use of synthetic insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers. They strive to create a diversified balanced ecosystem that generates health and fertility from the vineyard itself. Healthy vines mean less need for outside substances to control diseases and promote growth. By being present in the vineyard, they are able to anticipate and prevent issues. They also get help from our friends from the animal realm, chickens feed on bugs, our sheep eat the lower vine leaves to expose the grapes to the ripening sun.
Their grapes are harvested at optimal ripeness and sorted. Reds are de-stemmed before pressing and our whites are gently whole cluster pressed to avoid the bitter characteristics from the stems, skins and seeds. Aromatic whites are fermented in stainless steel. Their Chardonnay barrel-ferment in French oak using wild yeast. All reds are fermented in oak fermenters and then aged in French oak from 12 to 18 months depending on the varietal