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Preparing grapes for Vineland’s Free-Air System for cool climate Appassimento winemaking at Lundy Manor Wine Cellars

Niagara Falls, Ontario-based Lundy Manor Wine Cellars is the proud owner of two four-tonne Free-Air Systems developed by Vineland for cool climate Appassimento winemaking. The system enables the winery to experiment and develop new and exciting styles of wine showcasing the excellent fruit grown in the Niagara region.

The Free-Air System manufactured in partnership with Beamsville, Ontario-based Central Fabricating utilizes a patented vertical airflow system to ensure consistent drying while mitigating mould concerns for perfect drying results every time.

“Our government is proud to support the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in the development of visionary innovations. The Free-Air System grape drying technology responds to winemakers’ needs and enables them to make advances in the marketplace, offering exciting new wines to consumers and contributing to this country’s economic prosperity,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“Our government is pleased to be a part of this innovative grape-drying method, which opens the door to more innovation in styles of Ontario wine,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Innovations in technology like this help wineries like Lundy Manor Wine Cellars contribute to and grow our province’s successful wine industry.”

“We have experience using the more traditional method of drying grapes,” explained Adam Kern, Lundy Manor Wine Cellars’ winemaker. “What we liked about Vineland’s system is we see similar results through slow drying and a significant reduction in the physical footprint of our drying facility.” 

Kern is drying 16 to 20 tonnes of grapes annually through Vineland’s system and focuses on the classic Bordeaux varietals, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

“We are making 100 per cent Appassimento wines in order to craft an intense and robust red wine. We also make a ripasso style wine with the skins after fermentation. This brings richness and an added layer of complexity to our introductory blend,” said Kern.

Proprietor’s Blend red, Lundy Manor’s first ripasso blend, is now available for purchase at the winery The 100 per cent Appassimento wines are still aging in barrels so check @lundymanorwinecellars for updates.

For more information visit Free-Air System for cool climate Appassimento winemaking or contact Central Fabricating: