Laurentia focuses on grape varieties known to thrive in this region. Our 43 acres of vineyards are composed mainly of Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Gewurztraminer. Laurentia’s first vines, Chardonnay and Riesling, were planted just 5 miles off site of the winery in 2011. Over the next few years, plantings continued. In June 2015, we planted another 10 acres using a unique trellis system and expanded again with additional acreage in 2016. We also added more Cabernet Sauvignon plants to our Stoltz Road vineyard in 2018.
We remove leaves from our vines to provide more sun exposure to our grapes, promote more airflow in the canopy and reduce suitable environment for disease. Our vineyards are cropped to keep yields low, promoting high quality fruit across all varietals. We completed our 2018 harvest in mid-October but will continue to hang some grapes for a future Ice Wine harvest this winter.
“It all starts in the vineyards.” “You can’t make good wine from bad grapes” These are common phrases in the wine industry. But it’s true. To make good wine, we have to do our part in the vineyard. Growing grapes in Northeast Ohio is not always easy. Bitter cold winters, spring frosts, or cool rainy seasons make grape growing more difficult. But, we constantly listen to our vines and follow the best practices to ensure we have the best fruit to work with, resulting in the best wine year after year:
Lower Yields: Cropping the number of clusters per vine allows for the remaining grapes to receive more nourishment, concentrating and intensifying their flavors so that the wines will be a reflection of the complex fruit.
Exposure to Sun: Grapes like the sun. We leaf pull in order to fully ripen and develop the grapes properly, something grapes in this climate tend to struggle with. It also helps with air flow, minimizing problems with rot and mildew.
Harvest: We utilize both hand harvest and machine harvest methods. Hand harvesting is more labor intensive and pertinent for delicate, thin skinned grapes. We only select the ripest clusters, picking out any rotten grapes in the bunch. We “pre-pick” vineyards that will be machine harvested, ensuring to remove any less-than-perfect clusters. Clean fruit=clean wine, a great canvas to begin the art of winemaking.
Protecting Vines: Wind Machines, burying canes, hilling up. These are common practices followed by grape growers from around the world and for good reason. Strict measures must be implemented to ensure that our vines survive even the most extreme conditions.