Recognized as the Best Small Winery of the Year in 2015 at WineAlign’s national awards, Thirty Bench has been operating since 1981. The estate has flourished in recent years with the success of winemaker Emma Garner, also decorated in 2015 but at the Ontario Wine Awards as Winemaker of the Year.
Located on Beamsville Bench, Thirty Bench is one of the earlier arrivals to a small pocket of the Niagara Peninsula now recognised to be one of the best winemaking grounds in Ontario. The sloping fields and favourable air come with a micro-climate perfect for one of Ontario’s staple grape varieties: reisling. And that’s what Thirty Bench specialized in from the beginning. The vineyards still grow predominantly reisling grapes, but have since diversified to expand the given range for soft reds and small-batch white varietals.
The wine range at the estate, mostly available to the public through the limited-production Small Lot ranges, still revolves around that reisling specialisation. More recent white wine additions have been the Gewurztraminer and pinot gris, and the growing red wine category is mostly merlot and pinot noir but also dabbles in cabernet sauvignon blends. The estate also keeps a ‘Library Range’, a schedule of limited-release vintages left to age for development. Every wine is part of a small batch, ensuring precise quality control – making every wine here worth trying.
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