By Chadsey's Cairns Winery
By Chadsey's Cairns Winery
17432 Loyalist Parkway RR#1
Canada K0K 3L0
Contact: Richard Johnston, Vida Zalnieriunas
Hours of Operation: 11pm – 6pm (5pm late fall) from April until Christmas.
The winery is located 5 kms west of the village of Wellington on the Loyalist Parkway/Highway 33 and has a wonderful collection of old barns that form a new world “Clos” that transports visitors back to an earlier time. In fact, the parking lot is adjacent to the pioneer cemetery where James Chadsey, Ira's grandfather was interred in 1809. The winery itself is established inside the stables that accommodated six teams of draft horses.
By Chadsey's Cairns is named after Ira Chadsey 1828-1905, who was the rather idiosyncratic owner of our 215 acre farm. He was said to have believed that he would be reincarnated as a white horse. As a result, he built Cairns or stone monuments around the horse field behind the original home on the property marking it clearly enough that he would know he was home when he was transformed. Fourteen of the cairns still exist today. When we first arrived on the farm in 1995 we bought a light grey Arabian and she spooked a number of our older neighbours who were sure that Ira was back.
Richard Johnston and his wife Vida Zalnieriunas, have grand plans for their 215-acre farm and are firm believers in the potential of the Prince Edward County wine industry. They began planting vines in 1999 with 3000 Riesling in the field next to the Applehouse Ira built in about 1850, which now houses their tasting room and store.
Ann Sperling, joined the winery in 2005,as wine consultant to apprentice winemaker Vida.Vida likes to let the wines express their vintage and other aspects of the terroir with as little intervention as is practical. In some years, that means holding back some juice for reinsertion prior to bottling to balance off the natural acidity of “the County”, with the wine's own natural sugars.
The vineyards have slightly different soil mixes. The Applehouse Vineyard is on an ancient beach now called Brighton Gravelly Sand, while the Wellington vineyard has some Ameliasburgh Clay on the slope off the buried beach and the King Eddie not only has both these soils in its eight acres but also incorporates some Hillier Clay closer to Lake Ontario .
By Chadsey's Cairns grows eight vinifera varietals producing small batches of single varietal wines with occasional blends. The Riesling expresses a significant and unique minerality thought to derive from the broken shells of the ancient beach and from the calcerous limestone that underpins it. Unusually cold winters kept Vida from duplicating the very successful 2002 Gewürztraminer, with a clean acid enhanced-finish to the floral and lychee-rich middle. The 2005 vintage was well worth waiting for. In the reds the Pinot has been layered and subtle and the Gamay has been more terroir and vintage affected than any of the varietals. With the only Chenin Blanc planted in the County, By Chadsey's Cairns hopes to have a special Loire-like product to attract its particular following.
Winemaker: Vida Zalnieriunas
Distribution: Wine can be ordered through the website and out of province deliveries can be arranged.
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