The Picton Gazette
Thursday May 17,2012
Chad Ibbotson (Staff Writer)
GOLD IN A BOTTLE Exultet Estates Winery has won consecutive gold medals at the Ontario Wine Awards. The small, family run winery’s latest award comes for their 2010 chardonnay called “The Blessed.”
County winery Exultet Estates has won consecutive gold medals at the Ontario Wine Awards.
The small, still relatively unknown winery has been turning heads across the province for their ability to produce award-winning chardonnay, this year taking the gold medal in the oaked chardonnay over $20 category for their 2010 vintage dubbed “Thy Blessed.” The winery’s 2009 chardonnay took the same award last year.
Exultet Estates is located in the former Royal Street Cheese Factory on Royal Road in South Marysburgh. Owned and operated by Gerry and Lia Spinosa, the winery has been able to achieve great success in a short time, having just opened the doors in 2010.
“For that chardonnay that came out in the fall to have won in our first year opening and being our first chardonnay vintage was just incredible,” Lia said. “We couldn’t believe that. This year we entered with a different chardonnay…we didn’t know what would happen, but we were totally shocked to find out we got gold again.”
The gold-winning wine is described as “rich, full-bodied and silky-smooth with vanilla and tree fruit flavours.”
Gerry said the consecutive golds show that the county’s emergence as a respected wine region is no fluke.
“It’s further proof that this area is a prime growing region thanks to the pioneering efforts of those that have been at this longer than ourselves,” he said. “That’s why we’ve had such a great start; place and terroir matter.”
Lia said the secret to the wine’s success lies in the hard work Gerry and the entire family put in.
“We’re a small winery, we have six and a half acres planted,” she said. “My husband is the winemaker and he’s very meticulous and he said if he’s going to do a job he wants to do it really well. He’s put his heart and soul into it.”
Although Lia said they were completely unexpected, the Spinosas gratefully accepted the awards.
“It’s great we got them. We’re not very well known because we’re such a small winery,” she said. It’s very rewarding, it’s a lot of work and it’s just the two of us.”
Exultet Estates produces about 500 cases of wine per year and 100 per cent of their wine is grown on their own vineyard, which includes pinot noir, chardonnay, vidal, and pinot grigio. Gerry does the viticulture and winemaking himself and other duties while Lia looks after office and the tasting room.
“It’s not like we have a marketing person and a sales person, and lots of staff,” she said.
With two award-winning wines under their belt in two years, the Spinosas are looking to continue their success. Lia said the family will never get rich in the business, but it’s something they love to do.
“Really it’s a passion for my husband,” she said.