The winery opened in 2002 with the goal of producing Niagara’s finest wines. Since then, we have won numerous awards. We continue to produce excellent wines and provide friendly, knowledgeable service. The estate property was purchased in 1995. The first grapes were planted in 1996, and were ready to be harvested in 1999. Our first vintage was 2000 and yielded a very small production of only three wines. We now produce 35,000 cases annually. Our “mission” style building was designed to commemorate the Congregation of Christian Sisters who once owned the property. Look for our distinct gables and the tower - elements typical in a mission-style building.
Our grape varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Shiraz. We have 190 acres, 168 of which are on the Beamsville Bench. These provide approximately 95% of our total grape needs. Click here for more about our vineyards.
At Angels Gate Winery, we always strive to produce only the finest VQA wines.
"I like to make wines that are true to the vineyard and that show definite varietal character with a regional identity. But, the most important element that I strive for is elegance in wine."
Our winemaker, Philip Dowell, is a native Australian who has a simple philosophy on winemaking. He believes it is all about balance both in the vineyard and in the actual wine. He likes to emphasize the distinctive character of the vineyard – the nuances generated by soil type, climate and region, while at the same time show varietal character.
Philip’s view is that there are easy vineyard practices to follow such as balancing the crop to avoid stress from over-cropping, or promoting excessive vigour when there is too little crop. What is more difficult is to manage the moisture level towards and during harvest. Too much water at harvest will inhibit ripening through excessive moisture uptake. Conversely, too little water will not allow the flavours to mature.
In the wine, his view is it’s about bringing together the ‘terroir’, ‘elevage’ and ‘typicity’ of wine. The ‘terroir” is the character of the grape from a specific vineyard site, ‘elevage’ is the progress the wine takes through the cellar during its maturation, and ‘typicity’ is the distinctive vinous character each wine has. With all three, the result is a unique and enjoyable product.