Walking With The Wine Maker at Aleksander Estate Winery

Posted by Gary Killops on March 22, 2009

Wanda and I headed over to Aleksander Estate Winery yesterday. Twenty four lucky people were able to spend the afternoon with Aleksander’s with winemaker Izabela Muzzin as she took us on a tour of her vineyard. What a great way to spend a spring day.

With a glass of Aleksander’s Merlot in hand we headed out the vineyard. Aleksander’s Winery is located on land that was once the Lake Erie shore. Yes, where highway #3 (Essex Bypass) is now was once under water and part of Lake Erie. The soil at the winery is sandy a drains so well no tiling is needed.
Essex County is flat, there are a few hills and valleys but nothing that you really ever notice while driving around the county. Next time you are at Aleksander take note of the location. The winery is located in an area that is on one of the highest grounds above sea level in the county. (Almost 600 feet above Lake Erie).  Because of this they do not need wind mills to create any air inversions that the other local wineries need when the temperatures drop.

It’s time to cut back and prune the old vines at Aleksander’s Estate  Winery.  Izabela and Mark Muzzin explained the process to our group. Getting ready for the grape season this pruning is one of the most  important tasks of the growing season. If you have never seen this before it is amazing how much vine is cut off at this time. It’s a long process as each vine is pruned but Izabela stated that this was one of her favourite times in the vineyard. It’s a peaceful time for her when she is in the vineyard all day long.

We headed back inside the winery for some parallel wine tasting of the 2007 and 2008 Vidal. Isabela talked about how the conditions from each growing season gives the wines a different taste. Aleksander’s 2008 vidal (which hasn’t been bottled yet) is so fruity, and is going to be even better that their 2007(in my opinion).

We also parallel tasted Aleksander’s Cab Franc from 2006 (currently bottled and available at the winery) and yet to be released 2007 and 2008 Cabernet Francs.  The 07 and 08 were good, but still need to age a little in my opinion.
The taste difference from year to year in the reds was not as drastic as noted with the vidal.

We had a wonderful afternoon at Aleksander’s Estate Winery. It’s easy to see why they make such good wines that always seem to win awards. Mark and Izabela Muzzin showed their wine making passion. They love what they do and love to share with other their wine making knowledge.

Aleksander Winery plans to release their Baco on Friday, April 3rd. Stop by the winery from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and enjoy a taste of Baco and some savoury treats.

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