Henry of Pelham Estate Winery

Ontario, Canada

The story of Henry of Pelham Winery traces back to the late 18th century when Nicholas Smith, an esteemed United Empire Loyalist, embarked on a remarkable journey that would shape the future of winemaking in Canada. In 1778, Nicholas joined the Butler’s Rangers, serving as a bugle-boy and translator during the American Revolution, drawing upon his Iroquois heritage. As a token of gratitude for his service, Nicholas was granted the deed to the land where the winery now stands in 1794.

Over the years, Nicholas expanded the family farm, acquiring additional parcels of land, and in 1842, his youngest son Henry built an inn, tavern, and carriage house on the property. With a touch of humor, Henry signed the tavern’s liquor license as “Henry of Pelham,” playfully referencing the British prime minister, Sir Henry Pelham. The name stuck, and Henry also became one of the pioneers in Canadian viticulture, planting some of the country’s first vineyards.

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Fast forward to 1982 when Paul Speck Sr. and Bobbi Speck, recognizing the potential of the historic family farm, purchased several contiguous parcels. In 1984, they enlisted the help of their three boys – Paul Jr., Matthew, and Daniel – to hand-plant Riesling and Chardonnay vines. The toil was arduous, with back-breaking work stretching across multiple summers and countless weekends.

In 1988, Paul Jr. assumed the role of president, and Henry of Pelham produced its inaugural vintage. The winery played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) alongside a select group of Niagara wineries. Tragedy struck in 1993 with the passing of Paul Sr., leaving the winery in the hands of Paul Jr., Matthew, and Daniel – the torchbearers of their family’s winemaking heritage.

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For Henry of Pelham, sustainability is not just a buzzword; it is ingrained in their identity as custodians of the land for six generations. The profound connection to their corner of Niagara, rooted in family history, resonates in every VQA wine crafted at the winery. From the robust Baco Noir to the opulent Chardonnay, each bottle tells a tale of the unique terroir and the deep roots that permeate the soils of St. Catharines, Ontario.

Situated in the Short Hills Bench sub-appellation, Henry of Pelham benefits from the undulating hills and valleys that unfold within the Niagara Escarpment. This sub-appellation, known for its excellent drainage, ample sunlight, and diverse soils, offers an ideal environment for nurturing grapes with vibrant flavors. The warm days and cool nights characteristic of the area work in harmony to foster the development of grapes with exceptional character.

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Embracing their commitment to sustainability, Henry of Pelham became the first vineyard certified as local and sustainable by Local Food Plus in 2006. Since 2004, they have adhered to the rigorous standards set by Sustainable Winemaking Ontario, aligning their farming practices with world-leading principles. In 2017, their unwavering dedication to sustainability was acknowledged when they became one of only six Ontario wineries certified by the Wine Council of Ontario for their sustainable winemaking practices from vine to table.

As you indulge in a glass of Henry of Pelham wine, you savor more than just the expertly crafted liquid within. You immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of history, generations of dedication, and a steadfast commitment to the land. Henry of Pelham Winery stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Smith family and their unwavering pursuit of sustainable winemaking excellence.

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Henry of Pelham Estate Winery's Wines

  • Riesling Icewine

    Riesling

  • Baco Noir

    Baco Noir

  • Old Vines Baco Noir

    Baco Noir

  • Select Late Harvest Vidal

    Vidal

  • Estate Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir

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