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Flat Rock Nadja's Vineyard 2019 Riesling - Decanter World Wine Awards Best in Show winner in 2022

Posted 5/16/2023

Flat Rock Cellars and vineyardFlat Rock Cellars and vineyard


Imagine a Riesling vine reaching down beneath the clay so far that it acquires a profound edginess that will later impress the whole world.

Nadja's Vineyard vines produce a 2019 Riesling winner 

In its search for water, the tiny vine stretches and stretches as far as it can down into its Niagara limestone base, like a ballerina's arm outstretched beyond human possibility to express something otherworldly and unexpected.

That's what happened with Flat Rock Cellars' Nadja's Vineyard vines, producing a 2019 Riesling that won the Decanter World Wine Awards' (DWWA) Best in Show designation - only the fourth in Canada to ever do so.

According to Vintages in March 2023, the DWWA receives over 18,500 wine entry submissions worldwide, and only 50 wines are selected to wear the Best in Show distinction.

When the Riesling vines from Flat Rock Nadja's Vineyard are finally harvested in all their lucious mineral glory, the magic has begun. As described in Vintages by Ed Madronich, owner of Flat Rock Cellars, the fermentation is halted to balance the acidity with the fruit's natural sugars.

It's is in that moment that the Nadja's Vineyard Riesling's sweetness melds with famous Niagara Escarpment minerality.

The perfectly balanced Rusty Shed 2019 Chardonnay

The perfectly balanced Chardonnay at Flat Rock Cellars that took me by surprise was the 2019 Rusty Shed.

During the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival a couple of years ago. I dropped in to Flat Rock Cellars in Jordan and talked to owner Ed Madronich about two of his Chardonnays – the Rusty Shed 2019 Chardonnay and Flat Rock’s 2019 Chardonnay. They are both oaked and made from the same hand-picked and hand-sorted Chardonnay grapes from Flat Rock’s vineyards. While the 2019 Chardonnay is fruit-driven with a satisfying taste and shorter finish, the Rusty Shed Chardonnay is fully balanced, acidic, and complex. Both are excellent Chardonnays and the difference in styles resides in their barrels.

Superb taste of perfectly balanced Rusty Shed 2019 Chardonnay

Once you’re lured in by the Rusty Shed 2019 Chardonnay’s aroma of wet stones and soft pear, you know a superb taste is going to follow. There’s a tiny hint of grass on the nose, too.
On the palate, you first notice a soft caramel flavour resonating at the back and sides of your tongue. Then on the second sip, this Chardonnay turns into a gorgeous soft acidity that comes alive with a zing. These are the rocks under the Niagara Escarpment talking to you. Are they softening? Maybe.

By the third sip, the Rusty Shed 2019 Chardonnay can suggest luxurious, soft butter to some tasters. This Chardonnay has high acidity and an exceedingly long finish. It is very well balanced, leaving a sweet taste in your mouth after reverberating echoes of delicious minerality.

In actual fact, Ed and his winemaking team painstakingly taste the Chardonnay and select the French oak barrels most worthy of aging it. Then they combine different selections together to create the Rusty Shed Chardonnay.

Flat Rock Cellars’ top-notch wine selections and incredible views

Flat Rock Cellars has an array of high-quality VQA wines and a fantastic view across Lake Ontario.

As I carefully examined the different Chardonnays from inside a modern glass rectangle, I marveled at the sheer expanse of beauty that’s visible through the glass. The retail shop I was inside of overlooks the estate vineyards, a pond, more tasting areas below, Lake Ontario, and Toronto in the distance. . Across the lake, there are outlines of Emerald City.

The art of connection to people

The more winery professionals and winery owners I meet, the more I’ve come to believe that people who love what they do become extroverts without even realizing it.

When you’re lucky enough to talk to a Niagara winery owner whose warmth and helpfulness reveal natural gregariousness, you can see how a whole operation would easily learn the art of connecting to people. At Flat Rock Cellars, this is a great thing that filters down from the top.

Flat Rock Cellars
2727 Seventh Ave.
Jordan Station, ON L0R 1S0
(905) 562-8994