A lot of the thought that owners Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel put into planning 50th Parallel Estate Winery revolved around Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. So it’s little wonder that these wines receive much of the attention in the vineyard and in the cellar. The vineyards were oriented so as to provide shade to Pinot Noir clusters (which are particularly susceptible to sun damage) at the hottest time of day in the summer. Winemaker Grant Stanley has been famously enamored with the variety and brings a considerable amount of knowledge to 50th Parallel’s top wine as well as the other wines in the portfolio.
All of their wines have now won major awards at wine competitions but the Pinot Gris in particular has been getting a lot of the buzz this year. It took the top prize, a Double Gold Medal, for that variety at the All Canadian Wine Championships. Three other Gold Medal winners in that same category came from three of 50th Parallel’s neighbours on The Scenic Sip wine route. Clearly Pinot Gris is becoming something special the Lake Country area.
The complete portfolio of wines, along with their others white wines made from Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling, is available to taste at the winery’s tasting bar. Located in the near end of their winery, guests are immersed in theambiance of a working wine cellar while tasting the current releases. Completed in 2014, it is a far cry from their original Quonset hut winery, which used to be located nearby. The past was not completely discarded however; the new tasting bar is made out of beams that were salvaged from the Quonset hut. From the “roots to the fruits”… Meet me at the 50th.
~ Luke Whittall