A winery without pumps, where wine flows into barrels, guided by ingenuity and gravity.
At Stratus, we embraced the opportunity to create a new kind of winery. Guided by the principles of loose fit, long life and low energy, we built an adaptable state-of-the-art facility that produces the best possible wine with the smallest possible environmental impact.
Designed for Wine
A building designed to make premium wine. A facility where almost every piece of equipment can be reconfigured in response to the demands of winemaking. Even equipment as basic as the table where the grapes from our vineyard are sorted by hand can be set up in more than 17 different ways.
A four-storey tank elevator helps us move wine without pumping, which can introduce air and compromise flavours. Instead, our wine flows naturally, through gravity, from stainless steel or oak fermenters into carefully selected French oak barrels, where it will age under the care of the cellar master.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Bright, airy and above ground, our 1,000-barrel cellar is seamlessly linked to the winery’s pumpless wine-flow system. Translucent panes separate the cellar from the rest of the facility, allowing light in, while geothermal cooling keeps the cellar at an ideal 14ºC.
A Natural Choice. The Only Choice.
Preserving the environment for future generations has always been part of winemaking. So, our vision for Stratus Vineyards has always included sustainability. When we built the winery, we used recycled materials wherever possible and incorporated environmentally responsible features, like a super-insulated roof and geothermal heating and cooling. We also chose native plants and flowers for our landscaping because they can thrive without the support of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We even considered sustainability when paving our parking lot – selecting a stone that reduces light-reflected heat.
Breaking New Ground
From the way it was built to the way it operates every day, our goal was to make Stratus Vineyards one of the world’s most sustainable wineries. So we were honoured when we became the first fully LEED-certified winery in the world in 2005. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
Bright and refreshing with unmistakable presence. Abundant flavour and layered complexity. Delightful to enjoy today but promising richer rewards over time.
White wines at Stratus are handled just like our red wines. Extended ripening, skin contact during fermentation, and close to two years of barrel aging on the lees. The result – rich, robust yet refreshing white wines that are suited to sipping and savouring with food.
Intriguing aromatics. Distinctive complexity. Rich colour. Finesse. Wines that are both instantly rewarding and truly age-worthy.
After a rigorous sorting removes any imperfect berries, red varieties at Stratus free-fall into classic Burgundian oak fermenters. There, they ferment and rest for four to six weeks. This extended soak gently extracts maximum character and colour from the grapes. Tannins are rounded and the mouthfeel is enriched by the natural interplay between oxygen and wood. The young wine then flows to a selection of French barriques where it ages for two years.
The Niagara Region is home to the world’s best icewines. Grapes are left on the vine until temperatures drop to a minimum of -8 degrees. Then, by hand, grapes frozen solid and intensely sweet are passed through our basket press. As much of the natural water content is extracted as ice, only a small but concentrated amount of juice results. This juice then evolves into rare and exotic icewine and celebrates Stratus’ winter vineyard.