Ferox by Fabian Reis
Seems only appropriate to start this new column off with a “new” winery … Today I’ll be looking at Ferox – a new winery that took root on an already established plot of land.
The Ferox winery, owned by Fabian Reis, is situated on the old Rancourt Winery property, once owned by Lionel Rancourt and his wife, who opened their winery back in 2006; Lionel passed away on December 30, 2007, only 1 year into his vision.
Fast forward to the present …
Along comes Fabian Reis to establish his own brand on already established roots … which is truly the story of any wine industry or wine region: it’s the building blocks of the past that help to pave the way for future rows to hoe (mixed metaphor for sure, but truly apt in the wine industry). But instead of trying to re-establish the name (Rancourt) – Fabian wisely jettisoned the tarnished brand for his own moniker.
Ferox actually starts its life as a “virtual winery” – which is a winery with no land to call its own, the label falls under the umbrella of an already established winery which is where it calls home: in this case Reif Estates is where Ferox called home for its first 3 years. In 2018 Fabian purchased the ex-Rancourt winery and hangs a new shingle out by the road: Ferox.
The winery has a 20-acre vineyard which boasts hand-planted vines by Lionel starting as far back as 2002, when he originally bought the property to start his dream. Today a new dream is being envisions with those plantings – Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer will be the building blocks of Ferox by Fabien Reis.
Fabian brings with him knowledge of viticulture and winemaking he picked up both here in Canada, through his family ties, and in Europe where he finished his studies in the art of winemaking.
The philosophy of the new winery is pretty simple: “to focus on producing the best quality wine possible and concentrate on wines with purity and typicity of our region … [and to focus] on specific varieties that are best suited for the cool climate of Ontario.”
When asked about his winemaker Fabian differs to his new assistant winemaker, Gianluca Alaimo Di Loro, instead of talking about himself: “[he] recently joined the Ferox family from Italy. He studied winemaking in Italy Portugal and France and worked in numerous wineries around the world.” Which should help to add an international flair to the Ferox wine portfolio.
It seems almost funny to ask a new winery what they have seen, or how they have seen, the Ontario industry change over the years, but Fabian has been around long enough to answer that question … “a lot more collaborations within the industry. The quality of our fruit, as well as Ontario wines making a stronger appearance in the marketplace. The climate has also played a big role in helping to produce complex and world class wines that are able to compete with the best wines in the world.”
The list is long when asked what grapes and wines the winery is planning to specialize in – pretty typical for an Ontario winery with a plethora of grapes in the ground; but winemakers always have favorite grapes they like to experiment and play with both in the vineyard and in the cellar – and the answer to that question can be as diverse as the personalities in the wine business; when asked HIS favourite grape, or grapes, Fabian replies: Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
Here’s wishing Fabian all the success with his new project.
Best Selling Wines (according to the winery) …
2017 Merlot Cabernet – $55.00, winery only
2016 Black Lion Cuvee – $105.00, winery only
2017 Riesling – $30.00 – winery only
Ferox is located at 1829 Concession 4 Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Editor’s Note: Ferox, being a socially responsible company, has decided to carry the single use breathalyzers from Not Your Child Corp. (hosters of this Blog) pick one up next time you visit.
For more information please visit: notyourchild.com/driversafety.
Michael Pinkus is a multi-award-winning journalist as well as national and international wine judge. He is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in numerous publication both in Canada and internationally. He is also the sole writer for his eponymous website MichaelPinkusWineReview.com (formerly OntarioWineReview.com), and past-President of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada (2010-2015).
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