Art & Sue Reimer began as commercial grape growers in 1985 on the Four Mile Creek appellation land, with Art becoming an amateur winemaker in the early1990s. Art started converting the vineyards to organic production in the year 2000 with full organic certification attained in 2012. Their organic winery store opened August 1st, 2010. A sheep occupies the back of all bottles as a symbol of the vineyard’s commitment to maintaining organic practices in the future. Heritage winemaking begins in our family’s organic vineyards.
A Bit About Us
More than twenty-eight years ago BC (before children), we purchased our farm. It had table variety grapes planted and we continued to tend those and sell the grapes to the fresh market for those first few years. In 1987, we started planting Chardonnay and Johannesburg Riesling vines, lovingly planting one at a time....the field seemed terribly big and empty in those days. Over the years, more varieties were planted: Pinot Noir the following year in 1988, Gewurztraminer in 1992; Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in 1997; another block of Chardonnay in 1998, a second block of Gewurztraminer in 2002, with Chambourcin being the most recently planted in 2006. Over those years we also dabbled in other varieties like Shiraz and some seedless table grapes, but a few bad winters took away any wish to grow those in larger blocks.
After every harvest, there were grapes still on the vine that hadn’t been picked because they hadn’t ripened as early as the rest....seemed such a waste to leave them.... so began Art’s winemaking interest right from the start. When he got pretty good, he joined a local amateur winemaking group called the Niagara Wine Guild. He began to win some awards for his wines in Ontario amateur competition.
We also built our own house beginning in 1998.......do you ever finish building your own house? Honestly. Oh yes, and during those growing years, we also had two children: a girl in 1990, and a boy, born to us in 1996.
It was in the year 2000, when Art began to investigate going organic on the farm. Seeing a number of older farmers with health problems related to the pesticides they had used throughout their lifetime, Art decided it was time to find a better way to do things. It’s been a long road, but 2013 marks our sixth year of being completely organic. We also strive to be sustainable. What does that mean? It means that virtually all of the processes are done by hand: planting, picking, crushing, bottling, corking and labelling. It means we use biodiesel fuel to run our tractors to reduce our environmental footprint. It means we recycle everything as best we can. It means that when we need to spray our vineyards, the materials are not synthetic nor petroleum based, they are organic.
When Art outgrew his basement hobby (i.e. Sue made him clean out the basement), then he moved his winemaking equipment out to the barn. Not to be deterred, the barn just gave Art more room for a wine press and a stainless steel tank. Oh my.