Posted by EvaTuesday, July 31st, 2012
Renata and Eugene Roman purchased 40 acres of land in 2000, which is now home of Rosewood Estates Winery and Meadery. Their goal was to start a small-batch artisanal winery and meadery. Winemaker Natalie Spytkowsky tells it, wines and meads are all about “small and natural”. This philosophy is what allows selective hand harvesting of grape clusters, extensive sorting of grapes to get the best of crop and whole cluster pressing of grapes in gentle cycles. There is no crushing. Grape clusters go straight to the tank and are allowed to settle in cold temperatures. As much as is possible, Natalie naturally ferments the red varietals rather than introducing commercial yeasts. She explains that it takes more time to complete the winemaking process, but in six or seven months after fermentation, it is her opinion that “the wine opens up better and shows more richness and complexity”. Of course this winemaking approach takes passion, patience and commitment.
The meadery side of Rosewood takes on the same philosophical and practical approach. A second generation beekeeper, Eugene realized a longtime dream by teaming up with Natalie to produce mead (honey wine). Mead is made by fermenting honey and water. There are three apiaries attended by the Rosewood team that are positioned throughout the Beamsville Bench. As you might expect, the bees are busy travelling throughout the region. Natalie explains that one bee will visit one million flowers to produce one pound of honey. It may fly a distance as far as 4 times around the world collecting the raw materials for honey. Just think of all the choices it has in the Niagarawine and fruit region?
When we featured Rosewood in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club, we sampled 3 of Rosewood’s meads & were blown away by the Ambrosia Grand Reserve 2006. Savvy Sommelier Wayne Walker sums it up: “Ambrosia was like nothing I have ever tasted before – an incredibly delicious, smooth & unique wine.”
Cheers & Enjoy!
$36 for 375mL bottle - makes a unique gift too!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Full bodied, rich & warm is the best way to begin to describe this unique wine. Straw yellow in colour, the aroma & taste of fresh ripe stone fruits (think nectarine, peach) orange marmalade, sweet spices, white flowers & clover. A honeyed texture with a long pleasant finish that lingers on the tongue with one of the sweetest wood flavours that you will ever experienced. There is no other taste quite like it!
Food pairing suggestions: If you have a sweet tooth, you will enjoy this mead with aged cheeses, pates, foie gras & fruit or nut based desserts. On the sweetness level it is a 10 – compared to icewine that is usually in the 30’s
What Is Mead?
Courtesy of Rosewood Estates website
Mead (also known as honey wine) is made from the fermentation of honey and water. Honey is flower nectar collected by domesticated honeybees (apis mellifera). Honey is a remarkable product which contains a complex mixture of sugars, enzymes, proteins, organic compounds and trace minerals. These compounds give honey its distinctive flavor and aromas. These carry over into mead production and lend a distinctive flavor to the finished mead.
Mead was the first fermented beverage enjoyed by modern mankind. Mead first showed up as a beverage almost 10,000 years ago. It is a deep part of human history and a link to our forefathers. In ancientGreece, Hippocrates used mead as a tonic. Vikings believed that honey and mead had magical properties and were a gift from the heavens (Valhalla). In Celtic tradition, no wedding was complete without a mead toast to the young couple…FOR A SWEET MARRIAGE. It has been claimed that the word honeymoon comes from a tradition where a newly married couple drank mead for a full moon to ensure a long life and a happy marriage. We find it an intriguing and historical product which links us to human history.
Honey - Nature's Original Sweetner
At Rosewood, we produce and sell natural un-pasteurized honey on the Estate. Our busy bees Apis mellifera – fly the Beamsville Bench andTwentyValley to gather nectar from the flowers to produce sweet golden honey for your enjoyment. Honey is known to provide us with many health benefits and provides instant fast burning energy. Honey can be used extensively in cooking from making smoothies to honey baked hams.