It's All About the Bees at Rosewood Estates Winery

By Contributor

Chris is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Staying Native.  He enjoys riding his bike (pedal kind) and relishes opportunities to share cycling adventures with friends.  On top of that, Chris is generally up for any adventure that provides him with stories to share.  He looks forward to sharing some of those adventures with his sons as they get a little older.

Sunday, Aug 25, 2013

Mead, honey wine - the drink of ancient kings, queens, medieval knights, the ancestor of all modern day alcoholic beverages, with production dating back to 7000 BC. Rosewood Estates Winery was something unexpected. Were they a winery or an apiary?  The answer was both. 

New kid in town

The first thing that I recall about our arrival at Rosewood Estates was a resounding 'Rosewood Rocks!' immediately followed by the smiling face of our guide 'Enerbee' Sonia Vitali.  (Everyone at Rosewood Estates has a 'bee' name, and Sonia certainly lives up to hers.) Rosewood Estates is a relatively new winery, having opened its doors in 2008.   A family owned venture with its roots in bee keeping, Rosewood Estates is both a Winery and a Meadery.  As early as 1966 the family applied for their Ontario Mead license but it proved elusive.  As it turns out the quickest path to making mead was through opening a winery and ultimately achieving the family dream.


Rosewood Estates Mead Royale 2008

It's all about the bees

What I love about the Niagara wineries is that they are all doing something unique.  At Rosewood it is the bees. They have 150 beehives that are tended as part of the winery.  Their apiary allows them to offer unique products such as mead, candles and honey.  However, the beekeeping also serves a functional requirement in terms of winemaking.  Having bees onsite means that the vines get pollinated a little earlier which can affect the growth cycles and give Rosewood grapes different characteristics from other grapes in the region. Due to this distinction, Rosewood prefers to grow all of their own product as opposed to buying grapes from other growers.  This provides them more control but of course also creates the risk of having all of their grapes in one basket!


BeeHive shelving DisPlays the Beeswax Candles

Sharing the family passion

At Rosewood, we sampled a number of wines and a mead, all with excellent pairings created by Sonia.  What I liked the most however, beyond the great wine tasting experience that Rosewood offers, was that all proceeds from tastings are donated to a different charity each month. It seems that the Roman family has been able to take a family passion and share it with not only with the people who visit Rosewood, but with those in need as well.  And so I echo, 'Rosewood Rocks!”

Rosewood Estates is doing things a little differently and different is good!


Bee Sculpture on the Grounds of Rosewood Estates

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