ABOUT PENINSULA RIDGE
Production and Barrel Cellar
At Peninsula Ridge, we utilize state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the most delicate handling of fruit and wines. Fermentation is regulated using high tech, dual batch, temperature-controlled tanks imported from France.
Below our winery in our barrel cellar, our wines age in over 300 French and American oak barrels to develop sublime depth and complexity. We feel it is this combination of new age technology with old world tradition that gives us the best opportunity to reveal the distinction of Niagara’s terroir in wines of world-class quality.
To that end, Peninsula Ridge has undertaken a single vineyard wine initiative and is bottling many of its varietals in Vineyard Designated bottlings.
The source of our grapes, their uniqueness, quality, consistency and deliciousness has always been of utmost importance at Peninsula Ridge. Since the first full vintage of 2000, our long-term growers have been an essential part of our success.
Knowing the importance of sustainability and having mutual vineyard practices was the foundation on which long-term partnerships were formulated. Fundamental strategies were put in place to grow high quality fruit that was mutually beneficial for both the grower and the winery.
We are proud to be able to display our partnerships on our bottles with vineyard designations – when you see the vineyard noted, 100% of the grapes came from the vineyard, as labelled.
The Beal Vineyard
The Beal Vineyards is Peninsula Ridge’s on-site vineyard, named after our proprietor Beal family. VQA Appellation: Beamsville Bench. Unique terroir: Mineral rich soils in the South Vineyard and a 75’ gradient from South to North produce small crops of minerally laden grapes with good acidity and deep, brooding flavours. The bed of red clay, on the flats to the North of the winery, gives a unique depth and structure to the Chardonnay grown there.
A.J. Lepp Vineyard
The Lepp family is a well established grower with over 200 acres planted to grapes and tender fruit in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area. VQA Appellation: Niagara Lakeshore. Unique terroir: Beautiful ripe fruit flavours across all varieties. Juicy, extra ripe grapes with wonderful balance and richness are the norm. The Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Merlot’s have been single vineyard bottlings at Peninsula Ridge in the past.
The McNally Vineyard is Peninsula Ridge’s sister vineyard. VQA Appellation: Beamsville Bench. Unique Terroir: Consistently produces small crops of grapes reflecting the soils in which they are grown. Of particular note, are the McNally Vineyards Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Malbec, and Riesling.
The Wismer Vineyard with its rolling terrain, sandy loam and rocky clay soil consistently produces probably the best Sauvignon Blanc in Ontario. VQA Appellation: Twenty Mile Bench. Unique terroir: small crops of exquisitely scented Sauvignon Blanc grapes full of ripe fruit aromas and crisp acidity.
BEAMSVILLE BENCH TERROIR
Our 80-acre Peninsula Ridge property encompasses a large triangle of pristine vineyards on the famous Niagara Escarpment designated by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve. The Niagara Escarpment, which was once the shore of an ancient lake, runs east and west through the Niagara region and is located between two large bodies of water –Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Our vineyards make up the western edge of the Beamsville Bench, a plateau of land considered by many to be one of the premier grape growing regions in Canada. The Beamsville Bench is part of the larger Niagara Bench, a narrow strip of land that runs parallel to the Escarpment from the towns of Grimsby to St.David’s.
The Beamsville Bench plays host to a multitude of unique mineral-rich soils and mesoclimates that influence the character of our premium wines. The 175 to 185-meter high Escarpment acts as a buffer to the warm on-shore winds from Lake Ontario creating a thermal heat pump-like effect reducing the risk of frost damage in spring. The downward gentle slopes from the Escarpment to our property border along the Wine Route (Regional Road 81) allows for good water drainage and air circulation. As well, the region enjoys a long warm fall resulting in fully ripe fruit at harvest.
NORM BEAL, PRESIDENT
Raised in Hamilton Ontario, Norm Beal’s entrepreneurial spirit has brought him both professional and financial success in two very different fields. The hectic pace in his first career as a successful international oil trader working for Shell in Calgary and then for Glencore in Connecticut kept Norm constantly traveling. As a lifestyle change and to pursue his passion for wine, he decided to open a winery, first looking at California and Long Island before deciding that Niagara offered an enormous opportunity to become one of the finest wine regions in the world.
From day one, Norm was committed to investing in the very best technology and advanced viticulture techniques to build a world-class winery in Niagara, inviting visitors to enjoy an exceptional wine and culinary experience.
Over the past 20 plus years, Norm has taken a leadership role in the wine industry as a past Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario, as well, serving on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Vintners Association. He has also served as a Commissioner on the Ontario government’s Farm Products Marketing Commission that oversees the province’s regulated marketing boards. Norm is most recently past Chief Executive Officer of Food and Beverage Ontario where he established the industry as a powerful advocate and facilitator of success for all categories of the Ontario food processing business.
As part of his commitment to the community, Norm created The Peninsula Ridge Foundation to raise money for local charities and community projects. To date the club has raised over $700,000.
Norm’s pride of ownership is evident in the quality of wines produced here at Peninsula Ridge, to the robust vineyards, welcoming buildings, and meticulous grounds. His vision, passion, and business skills has made Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery and The Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge, a must-see destination and one of the top wine producers in Ontario.