We are proud of our farming heritage and as eager as ever to become better at and smarter about what we do here. The long-term viability of a farm is a measure of sustainability. We consider Lailey Vineyard to be a farm of the future, as much as it is one of the past.
Winemaker and business partner, Derek Barnett, favors low tech methods and relies heavily on his highly trained palate and his wisdom collected over nearly two decades of critically acclaimed winemaking from Niagara grapes.
Here is what we are doing now, to ensure that Lailey Vineyard has a future as a healthy farm and winery - ecologically and economically speaking, as the two will increasingly go hand-in-hand.
No applications of herbicides - hand hoeing and mechanical weed control only; natural fertilizers - mushroom house compost, grape pomace, brush cuttings, cover crops.
Hand-work-centred viticulture vs. tractor-work-centred: less soil compaction and less fuel consumption and exhaust from tractors.
Biodegradable tying twine vs. plastic ties.
Prevention of fungus through disciplined management of canopy growth - creating good air flow through the vines to avoid the conditions in which funguses thrive.
Hand harvesting - low impact - good for soil, good for vines, good for the condition of the fruit for winemaking.
Our winemaking practices are hand-centred rather than mechanically-centred.
Manual punching down of fermenting reds
Small lot production in barrels that are rotated through many phases of use until they are eventually sold for home decorating uses or used to make wine bottle stands or wood chips for barbecuing.
Manual lees stirring in barrel; gravity fed bottling; minimal use of pump to move wine generally.
Use of the naturally cold temperatures in winter for cold stabilization whenever possible.
To help to cultivate a thriving local food and wine culture, all of our winery events that involve food revolve around locally grown and made food. We are excited about the evolution of the local food culture and the quality and practices of a growing number of local food producers. We not only serve these local products enthusiastically and with careful attention to wine pairing, but we let our customers know where they were made, who made them and where to buy them.
Tour and Tastings ans small special events can be arrainged in advance through the winery.