Located in St Davids Ontario just a wee bit up from the corner of Four Mile Creek Road and York Road lies Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery. The tasting room is located in an historic building known locally as the House of Nations and officially as Woodruff House. It was originally built by David Secord in 1802. It was burned by the Americans as they fled St. Davids after the War of 1812. The Woodruff family rebuilt it in 1817 adding an addition to the front of the house. It became known as the House of Nations as immigrants to the area lived in apartments in it.
In rather a sorry state it was sold in 1969 to a man that dissembled it and shipped to Caledon, Ontario where he had plans to reassemble it but died before he could start the project. The Harber family, the current owners of Ravine eventually tracked it down in Port Hope Ontario and purchased it so it could be returned to where it “belonged”. It is now home to the tasting room and retail sales.
After this historical exercise we should close with a tasting of their unoaked Chardonnay I tasted on the outdoor patio of the restaurant with a spectacular fall view of some of its vineyards all aglow in a vibrant autumn gold in record heat rather amazing (or disconcerting) for early November.
On the nose concentrated Honey Crisp apple and Flemish pear, guava and Croatian vanilla wafer cookies. On the palate the wine takes more of a tropical twist with notes of mango, pineapple, tangerine and a hint of custard. The acids are restrained. For an unoaked Chardonnay this is a rich and well-formed wine with a long finish. It virtually shouts for a chicken dish with cream sauce.
You can pick up at the winery or order online.
(Ravine Vineyard 2021 Unoaked Chardonnay, VQA St. Davids Bench, Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery, St. Davids, Ontario, $30.80, RKS Wine Rating 92/100).