“We want our guests to feel part of the growth and ongoing education at our winery. Sipping tasty cider & wine is one thing but understanding why it’s special to our location - that is a story we like to share.”
Customizing the orchard & vineyard at the Hounds of Erie has been an ongoing passion project. Choosing the location for a quality winery is no small task. Elements of consideration included, climate and weather patterns, proximity to fresh water, soil consistency, and the most important – the type of grape & apple that will bear the most successful fruit.
Being mindful of these things led our family to beautiful Clear Creek, Ontario. The winery benefits from Lake Erie Macro-climate being only 2.5 km away from the water. This means cool summer breezes and mild winter weather.
Making the future of our hard cider dream come true was one of our first priorities in establishing our property, this lead to planting a small heritage orchard. Between 2012 & 2017 there has been a steady expansion and now we are proud to say it holds 22 different types of heritage hard cider apples.
"Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, and everyday more civilized." ~ Andre Simon
2014 brought in the first planting of Frontenac Blanc & Marquette.
2015 introduced Petite Pearl
2017 added to the existing Marquette vines.
2018 saw the second addition of Petite Pearl
2019 an exciting year for planting included Frontenac Blanc, Petite Pearl, L’acadie Blanc, as well as an opportunity for a test site of Crimson Pearl, and T.P 1-1-12.
2020 will bring a 1.5 acres of expansion that includes Frontenac Blanc, L’acadie Blanc, and Louise Swanson. Experimenting is always part of the vision at Hounds of Erie and includes testing new trellis system, 4-arm Kniffin training system.
We are proud of how the winery is growing and looking ahead we have plans to add an acre of Itasca in 2021.
Due to the orientation of Lake Erie, the sub-appellation is known for constant higher than average westerly winds. This natural air-movement helps to reduce disease pressure in the vineyard. The winery site has a unique soil profile with 40-100 cm of sandy-loam textures over silty clay loam till. This profile enables the vines the benefit of having good drainage while maintaining access to ground water and rich clay-till minerals. This has proven very useful during droughts such as those experienced in 2016.
Making our winery as fruitful as possible has lead us to thinking outside of the box. Unlike many wineries in our region we have adopted a 6.5’ trellis system (pendelbogan design). Our soil is highly vigorous and we knew we need a design that allows the vines to evenly spread out their growth energy and maximize sunlight exposure for even ripening.
In choosing the proper grape it was obvious that there were hundreds of choices, being specific to the unique location we started with a few and have steadily expanded ½ an acre or more per year