The noble Riesling grape is perfectly suited to the climate and soil
of Niagara. This particular wine originates from mineral-rich clay soils
found along the benchlands of the Niagara Escarpment and southern shore
of Lake Ontario. Off-dry in style, it delivers pin-point balance of
richness and acidity typical of Riesling from these areas.
Niagara Riesling Label Image
This wine originates from the limestone-rich clay till soils of our
Cave Spring Vineyard, located on a terrace of the Niagara Escarpment
overlooking Lake Ontario, known as the Beamsville Bench. Made from some
of our oldest, lowest-yielding vines, it is off dry in style with a
distinctive mineral character that site and vine age alone can deliver.
Estate Riesling Label Image
were left on the vine until they were partially frozen at -7o C, which imparted concentration of sugars and acids.
Selectively hand-harvested and pressed in a semi-frozen state, they
deliver a sweet wine with an ideal balance of luscious fruit flavours
and crisp acidity. On the nose, classic Bartlett pear and lemon meringue aromas emerge
overtop notes of candied orange peel, golden raisins and allspice. The
palate is sweet and full in body yet not cloying, echoing in flavour the
aromas of the nose along with notes of black tea, honeycomb and brown
sugar. Crisply structured throughout, the wine’s brilliant acidity
provides a clean, elegant finish reminiscent of orange marmelade and
Riesling Ice wine
This wine originates from Riesling grapes grown along the slopes of
the Niagara Escarpment and south shore of Lake Ontario. These clusters
were left to partially raisin on the vine during late autumn, with a
further concentration of sugars and acids occurring when the berries
were frozen solid by the onset of winter. Selectively hand-harvested and
pressed at temperatures below -10˚C (14˚F), these grapes produced a
sweet nectar with impeccable acid balance.
Ice Wine Label Image
Cave Spring Cellars was founded in 1986 by grape grower Leonard Pennachetti and wine maker Angelo Pavan. From the beginning, they have vinified vitis vinifera grapes - the noblest grape varieties of the Old World - from vineyards along Niagara's Beamsville Bench. Nestled at the heart of this narrow, fifteen kilometre shelf of the Niagara Escarpment, Pennachetti's Cave Spring Vineyard is one of Niagara's oldest vinifera plantings.
Wine lovers everywhere - in the Old and New World alike - have long recognized the intimate connection between authenticity of origin and the highest standards of quality in winemaking. At Cave Spring we believe that our wines are unique because they capture what the French call 'goût de terroir', or 'taste of the land' from which they come; and that no amount of artifice - enological or otherwise - could ever replicate the particular flavour profile they achieve. The uniqueness of our wines stems directly from their authenticity of origin.
In 1972 an eighteen year old named Leonard Pennachetti was studying the geography of his native Niagara Peninsula in High School and became aware of the unique micro-climate which the interaction of Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment creates.
A family history in the area reached back to the early 1920's when Len's grandfather, Giuseppe, emigrated from his home town of Fermo in central Italy to work as a mason on Niagara's Welland Canal. Years later, when Giuseppe retired from the concrete business which he and his sons built, he took to a passion which had been in his blood from his days as a young man in Italy - vineyards. On lands of modest quality and with native labrusca grape varieties which were the order of the day, Giuseppe would prune and tie his hobby vineyard with his son John and grandson Leonard. The wines were, like the vines, wanting in quality, and the family knew that better was possible. Especially the young Leonard, who knew that moderate lake breezes hinder severe winter cold, especially along the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment.
Len's father, John T. Pennachetti, at the time heading the family's successful concrete manufacturing business, saw his son's interest in growing grape vines and decided that the family would invest in better vineyards. He took Len up in an airplane and the two scouted the escarpment benchlands, quickly realizing that the area of the historic Cave Spring Farm, because of its hillside location, heavy clay soils and proximity to Lake Ontario was the site they wanted.
The finest wines can only be produced from the best quality grapes. Cave Spring wines are made from vitis vinifera, the classic grape varieties of Europe. We concentrate on varieties native to regions with growing conditions similar to our own. Chardonnay, for example, is the great white grape of Chablis and Burgundy in Northern France, while Riesling is the source of Germany's most famous wines. By working with classic varieties which are well suited to Niagara's cool climate, our winemakers are able to capture the goût de terroir which makes the Beamsville Bench unique.
Situated on the finest slopes of the Beamsville Bench, the Cave Spring Estate was first planted in 1978, making it one of Niagara's most mature vinifera vineyards.
By planting at densities of 4500 vines per hectare, twice Niagara's average, we are able to increase competition among the vines for vital ground nutrients. This forces vine roots deep into the lime-rich soils of the Bench and enhances flavour development in the berries. Careful winter pruning combined with removal of excess fruit during the growing season also permit us to reduce yields and improve ripeness at harvest; all of which guarantees that Cave Spring 'Estate Bottled' wines embody our highest commitment to the terroir of the Beamsville Bench. In accordance with VQA regulations, Cave Spring wines bearing the 'Estate Bottled' designation originate 100% from fruit grown in our own vineyards according to strict ripeness standards.
Along this narrow ledge of the Niagara Escarpment, three to six kilometres from the shore of Lake Ontario, is to be found one of the Niagara Peninsula's best microclimates for the cultivation of the finest quality vinifera grapes. Hillside Air FlowsAs Niagara's only hillside, the Escarpment prevents frost damage in Bench vineyards during winter and spring by trapping warm air released from Lake Ontario. In the summer months, the Bench benefits from cool lake-effect breezes which, as they circulate along its slopes, discourage harmful mildews. And during autumn, warm lake air displaces cool air as it descends from the Escarpment crest, thereby extending the ripening season. All year long, the proximity of the Bench to Lake Ontario graces us with ideal conditions for growing fine quality wine grapes.
Well Drained Soils
The Bench's hillside exposure furnishes excellent natural drainage, which forces vine roots to search deep into mineral-rich clay/loam soils for moisture. This serves to reduce yields and improve the concentration and complexity of flavour in the berries at harvest time.