Rustically romantic, hip, and delightfully serene.
Stunning fall views, relaxing in chairs overlooking the lake enjoying a bottle of wine, or getting the full tasting and dinner experience with wood-fired pizza and handcrafted wines from start to finish.
Allison and François Scheuermann started the vineyard more than a decade ago, first testing the terroir and monitoring wind patterns, before cultivating a plot of 500 Pinot Noir plants and 500 Chardonnay plants.
It turns out the ground on the 14.5 acres the Scheuermann’s started with was perfect for growing cold climate grapes. In fact, the next year the plants proved themselves so well that the vineyard increased to almost 9,000 plants, including Vidals, with more than six acres which are still under vine today.
Fast forward through a lot of hard work, mentorship with expert winemaker and vintner, Norman Hardie, and determination and the vineyard produced enough grapes to make the winery’s first vintage in 2015, with 400 bottles. It escalated from there in the best way possible with happy vines producing thousands of cases of Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Vidal and a sparkling white. They never looked back.
Now, the family has transformed their garage into a garagiste winery – perfect for wine tastings, open air meals, and experiencing the wine with a view of the vineyard and the lake. Everyone who visits feels like they’re part of something special.
Along the way, Scheuermann’s have kept a tight grasp on family, gratitude and routinely acknowledging the community and help received through the process of growing the winery to where it is today. Indeed, the whole family is still very active in the winery and its vineyards. According to information from the Scheuermann’s website, hand harvesting and hand crafting high quality wine, feeds deeply into the mission at the winery, which is focused on working in harmony with the surroundings, using sustainable practices and top standards in the vineyard and cellar.
All this couples with François’ culinary passion to elevate the experience into something memorable. As a Swiss-trained chef, François puts his skill to the grill and the result wins over palates every time. The crackle of the outdoor wood fire greets guests and provides delicious unique dining options, like wood-fired pizza that features everything from wood-fired chicken to prosciutto to fire-roasted Portobello mushrooms to wood-fired asparagus. During the summer season, the wood grill is known for its off-the-charts juicy, thick steaks and jumbo shrimp – often served together topped with blue cheese.
Although the wood grill meals are typically finished for the season in fall, the wood-fired pizza menu is still a go for the next few weeks. Imagine enjoying the fall colours, sipping on locally-made wine and watching the wood fire cook your pizza to perfection – talk about a perfect fall day in Westport.
This has resulted in the winery being recognized both locally and provincially for its contributions to boosting economic growth in Ontario by creating new products that help to support job creation, add value to existing products and support a sustainable environment, garnering the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, among other accolades.
Bringing in the harvest
After Labour Day, things quiet down at Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery. The place becomes walk-in friendly. Fall colours start to burst forth in the forests surrounding the winery and lake, elevating the already stunning views. Guests are encouraged to check the posted hours before coming to ensure the winery is open, as the venue is sometimes accommodating weddings or groups. The community harvest is coming up soon, likely beginning the first weekend in October. It’s a time to relish the season that was and appreciate the bounty of the vineyard.
One of the main events of the year on site is the Open Harvest, which sees family, friends and community members gather to help harvest the grapes in an amazing weekend full of partnership and cooperation.
The community harvest sees everything come full circle, hand harvesting in a relaxed atmosphere seeing the fruit plucked from happy vines; the next step towards handcrafting small batch ferments. It’s a family affair, with the Scheuermann’s five children and extended family all actively involved, as well as neighbours. In fact, visitors can even sign up to help harvest in the vineyard by requesting to join the harvest party in October via the website.
There’s no better way to usher in fall than by sipping on locally-produced wine while relaxing overlooking the lake. Make it a reality with a visit to www.scheuermannwinery.com at 82 Bedford Street in Westport, or connect on Facebook @ScheuermannWinery or Instagram @schvinewine.