In 2004, we decided to start looking for a property to plant a vineyard. Excited by the possiblities in Prince Edward County, we started to make a number of trips there. It was easy to fall in love with the history and beautiful countryside. We finally found a small property that was 90% plantable. The soil, drainage, heat and steep southern exposure gave it great potential to make fantastic Pinot Noir.
Both of us believe we are stewards of the land we own, entrusted to us during our lifetimes. As such, The Old Third is farmed using a reasoned approach to organic viticulture. Our goal is to reduce as much as possible the chemicals applied to our land to improve and maximize its health. We believe that the finest wines are made with this philosophy.
About our terroir:
The Old Third Vineyard is located on a steep south-south-east slope in Hillier, Prince Edward County. The soil, Hillier Clay Loam, overlays a friable Ordovician limestone bed about 450 million years old. Heavy and thin, it is mixed with an abundance of limestone gravel and fossils. The Old Third Vineyard contains an unusually large amount of glacial till in the form of granite, sandstone, quartz, marble dragged down by the last ice age from Northern Ontario.
About our vines:
The vineyard is planted with high quality Pinot Noir clones, 114, 115 459, 667, 777, 828 all grafted on Riparia Gloire in 4 foot 4 inch rows and 3 foot inter-vine spacing. The first commercial harvest was autumn 2008.
About the name:
The Old Third Vineyard takes its name from the original term for the area. The property is situated on Closson Road which bisects the Third Concession, a Crown grant near the end of the 18th Century. However, the road was named Closson only relatively recently. Prior to that it was not officially named so the people who lived here called it The Old Third.
About the tractor:
In order to successfully manage a high density vineyard a straddle tractor was required. During a trip to France and following recommendations from some vineyard owners there, a suitable straddle tractor was found and shipped to Canada. Lovingly called ‘Birdie’ this straddle tractor is made by the French firm Loiseau. It was built in the Cote D’Or and worked for a number of years in Muscadet. There are only a few its kind in Canada.
About the barn:
Our pride and joy. This cathedral like barn, built in the 1860’s, was completely restored during the winter of 2006. Rotted beams were taken out and new ones put in, collapsed foundations were rebuilt and the exterior siding replaced with traditional hemlock. It currently houses the winery and tasting room.