Pillitteri Estates Winery is located in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada.
We are approximately 17km from the world famous Niagara Falls, which separates the upper Niagara River and Lake Erie and the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario of the Great lakes.
The family owned vineyards are located in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake, an official appellation designation of our region.
Niagara Peninsula is Ontario’s largest wine producing region.
The Niagara Peninsula spans approximately 13,600 acres (5440 hectares) nestled in the centre of the world’s wine belt between 41° and 44° North, and has ideal conditions for cool climate wine making.
Primary grape varietals: Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Vidal
“Ontario is the world’s least-known great wine zone.”Matt Kramer
of Ontario's wineries are in Niagara
With a similar latitude to Burgundy, France, Ontario’s warm summer days and cool nights, coupled with the unique sandy, rocky soil, are perfect conditions for growing grapes.
The climate in the Niagara region is considered quite moderate in comparison to the rest of Canada and is classified as continental-maritime. Moderating effects are from the proximity to Lake Ontario, which never freezes in the winter. The lake effect warms the surrounding area, raising winter temperatures and extending the growing season.
The topography for most of Niagara-on-the-Lake is classified as lakeshore plains with long, gentle slopes and open areas for generous sunlight exposure. To the south of the region lies the Niagara Escarpment and to the north, Lake Ontario. This area experiences high average temperatures in the summer months, and warmer spring and fall days due to warm breezes off the lake.
The soil in Niagara-on-the-Lake consists mostly of a clay loam mixture overtop Red Shale and Limestone
Bedrock. There are variances in the moisture holding abilities of the soil due to the silt content. Generally, the soil drains well as the land slopes gently towards the lake.
VQA – Ontario’s Appellation System
The Vintners Quality Alliance, or simply known as the VQA is the governing body for all wines made of 100% Ontario grapes. VQA Ontario’s responsibility as the appellation authority is the development and regulation of standards that serve consumers and the wine industry. From quality standards for grape growing and winemaking, to comprehensive testing and truth in labeling and consumer safety standards, all stages of the regulation are stringent and intensive.
There are over 125 Ontario wineries producing VQA wines of various appellations - all backed up by VQA Ontario’s assurance of origin and quality. As a result, VQA wineries are among the best producers of fine wine of origin in the world. When consumers see an appellation and the VQA letters on a bottle, they see a symbol of authentic origin and have an expectation of inherent quality.
These symbols provide the foundation for VQA wineries to build quality and expectation, and to express an enriched and relevant story of terroir and origin through their wine and communications.
VQA Means Wines of Origin
Appellation defines Ontario’s viticulture. As steward of Ontario’s appellation system, VQA Ontario is responsible for building appreciation and maintaining the integrity of Ontario’s wines of origin by ensuring claims of origin are accurate and meaningful. As viticulture in Ontario continues to evolve, industry stakeholders and wine lovers alike can rely on the VQA Ontario as the comprehensive and trusted source on Ontario’s appellation character and culture
VQA Means Quality Assurance
Ontario’s VQA wines of origin represent a promise of quality and authenticity. Through origin verification, extensive laboratory testing and tasting by an independent expert panel, as well as comprehensive label reviews, VQA Ontario ensures precise adherence to rigorous winemaking standards and label integrity that consumers can trust.
VQA and Icewine
Icewine production is regulated in Ontario under the VQA Act and regulations. Strict standards are in place and production is monitored by VQA inspectors from the vineyard to the bottle. Rules cover grape varieties, harvest procedures, winemaking, and testing before the wine is released. No wine may use the term “Icewine” on its label unless it is certified by VQA Ontario. Violators can be charged in Provincial court and subject to fines up to $100,000.