Perbacco what a place! And what wines! Villa Bacchus is a boutique small lot winery and Bed and Breakfast on the Niagara Escarpment in Beamsville wine country. Aptly named after the Roman God of wine and grapes, this place is absolutely heavenly.
The arrival at this Italian style villa sets the tone for a serene and special experience. Although the Bed and Breakfast is currently closed due to the pandemic, the wine store is open by appointment, and you do not want to miss out on a tasting.
Venture towards the back of this grand villa with wrought iron balconies and you will be invited into a formal garden and large sheltered gazebo that overlooks the vineyard. If you are looking for Niagara wine country peace and bliss, make an appointment on a weekday to sit in the gazebo by the garden with a glass of wine and a good book. Chances are you may be the only one there.
The gazebo is also a wonderful place for a winery wedding. Can you just imagine the wedding photographs of the bride and groom wrapped in each other’s arms in the vineyard or in the stunning formal garden abloom with a range of beautiful florals. You might just feel like you are in the heart of Tuscany.
Flanking one side of the villa’s expansive surroundings is a building that houses the wine storage area. The large stainless steel settling tanks occupy one portion of the building, while an Olympic size tennis court occupies another portion. Why tennis at a winery? Because the owner’s two passions of wine and tennis mix well in this environment. How fitting then to find a tennis ball in the vineyard beside these beautiful old vines.
Villa Bacchus Winery makes their red wines in the Appassimento style. This is a traditional Italian style of winemaking where the grapes are dried prior to fermentation immediately after harvesting. This concentration technique allows for more complexities in the flavour profile of wines and is used for both sweet and dry wines. Appassimento produces bolder, richer wines, the reward for this time intensive practice. If your palate is familiar with Amarone and Valpolicella Ripasso, you’ll know what the Appassimento process can do for wine.
The 2017 Commisso at Villa Bacchus Rosso Grosso is a rich, full-bodied red with definite influences from the Appassimento process. Aromas of dark fruit and dried cherries with a hint of honey present itself in this dry wine with well integrated tannins. The smooth rich finish is a testament to the winemaker’s skill in timing and precision. This VQA is 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot.
Under the Commisso label the wines are made exclusively from estate grapes. Vineyards behind the villa on the escarpment and one 25 acre estate at the bottom of the escarpment in Vineland supply several well known varietals.
The 2016 Commisso at Villa Bacchus Chardonnay is a fresh wine with aromas of green apple and citrus. 2016 was a good year for wine in Niagara. According to VQA Ontario, “2016 provided close to perfect conditions for wine grapes…this growing season and the dry and pleasant harvest season meant most grapes were picked in pristine conditions.”
And this Niagara unoaked Chardonnay proves it. Light and refreshing with hints of pineapple on the palate, it is a dry medium-bodied wine that offers a lavish response with rays of light and sunshine. Currently on sale for just $14.95 it doesn’t get more sunshiny than that.
|Address: 564 Kemp Road E. Beamsville, Niagara|
|Owner: Frank Commisso|
|Varietals: Pinot Noir, Pino Grigio, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah, Merlot|
|Estate: 32 Acres in Beamsville and Vineland. Sub-Appellation of Lincoln Lakeshore|
|Winemaker: Andrzej Lipinski|
|Price Point: $15 to $65|
Villa Bacchus was generous enough to send me four wines to try. I haven’t yet tried the Commisso Pinot Noir or Rosso, so if you’d like to hear more about those in the coming weeks, follow me on Instagram.
Villa Bacchus Winery planted the first vineyard in 2008 and is developing a reputation for premium quality table wines. With new equipment arriving from Italy and plans to build another building for wine processing and storage, the winery intends to grow and become a prominent name in the Niagara winery landscape, while still maintaining quality and delivering expertly made VQA wines to its loyal customers. And you will become one if you go for a tasting and experience Italy in Niagara for yourself.
To book your wine tasting: https://villabacchus.square.site/
To shop Commisso by Villa Bacchus wines: https://villabacchus.square.site/s/shop