If those enduring photographs of wine country showing vineyards as far as the eye can see were anything to go by, it would be easy to believe that wine making is an ecologically green industry. The truth, however, can be quite different. Most wineries continue to use pesticides and heavy machinery — neither of which are exactly environmentally friendly. Enter Stratus Vineyards. Established in 2000 and located in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Stratus has moved toward becoming a sustainable winery by implementing a number of environmentally sound strategies.
Most striking is that the winery is designed to produce only limited quantities of wine using a gravity-flow system. “This commitment to responsible stewardship of the land has earned Stratus LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the Canada Green Building Council.” It’s the first winery worldwide to achieve this designation.
Led by winemaker J-L Groux, originally of the Loire Valley in France, Stratus extends the concept of environmental sustainability to the land by blending grape varieties that inevitably reveal the complexity of the terroir. This summer, Stratus is showcasing the concept of sustainable living through various events that bring together locally produced food and wine.
Included in the Stratus Tasting Flight, guests enjoy a seasonal flight bite featuring the fruit or vegetable in season prepared by one of the region’s top chefs. A profile of the grower or farm and recipe will be included. Think Cherries with Merlot in late June, Peaches with Riesling in July and Corn with Stratus White in August.
Taste Stratus White, Red and Icewine alongside previous vintages at this weekly vertical tasting. This is a great opportunity to taste the complexity of the Stratus Vineyard as the wines age. Vertical Saturdays takes place June through October. $20 per person. Reservations required.
30 Mile Dinner Saturday July 18, 2009
Explore the bounty of Niagara and the joy of eating local. Chef Stephen Treadwell of Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine will present a five course dinner entirely sourced from growers and artisanal producers within a 30 mile radius of Stratus. $130 per person.