There were so many wineries in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area, that we could not stop and see them all. Riverview Cellars was originally a peach farm with a roadside stand. The farm consists of twenty-five acres, and they slowly started planting some grapes, and they started with Gewurztraminer in 1992. Slowly they start adding more varieties of grapes with Vidal Blanc, Baco Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, and then Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Merlot and finally Cabernet Franc. It was systematic growth, and then some adjusting of the crops, they cut back on some of the hybrids that they tried and stuck with Vidal Blanc for some Icewine production and the Baco Noir, because they developed a following for their table wine as well.
In the tasting room they were offering twenty wines, plus an additional thirty-one wines from their library holdings. They also offered two different pours of wines, there were samples pour of one ounce, or glasses pour of four ounces and they were priced accordingly for each wine, though all of the samples were at the price of two Canadian dollars, except for the Icewines. We started off with Angelina’s Reserve Chardonnay 2013, which was aged for nine months in oak and about four months in Stainless Steel and this wine had a unique taste, because there was some crispness and some butter and it was very refreshing and enjoyable. The Riverview Cellars Pinot Noir 2012 was aged for one year in American Oak and there was a delightful blend of fruit and spice with just enough tannin to merit some additional cellaring time. Salvatore’s Reserve Malbec 2012 which my Bride decided on trying, which surprised me, had a robust full bodied taste, and it would require some more time in the cellar as well. This wine was a blending of 80% French Oak and the balance American Oak and aged for one year. The last wine that we had, was really not on the tasting menu, but how could we refuse having some Salvatore’s Reserve Cabernet Franc 2012, especially with the beaming smile on my Bride when she found out that we were going to try it. This wine was also full bodied with all of the characteristics that I favor from Cabernet Franc and it was blended using the same ratio of barrels as the Malbec and also aged for one year. I could see three to five years of cellaring for this wine.
This was another crowded winery due to all of the bus tours and tourists from the Niagara Falls and since I had not made any prior arrangements, I felt that I could not try to monopolize the services of our hostess at the wine bar. It was rather awkward, just asking all the questions that I did ask, as I was quickly scrambling to write my notes down as we enjoyed sampling some of the wines. We left with several bottles of the Pinot Noir, since the holiday season is upon us, and I know that we will be having dinners where these wines will work very well.