Waupoos Estates Winery sits majestically perched on a gently sloping hillside overlooking Lake Ontario in beautiful Prince Edward County. Surrounded by orchards and perfectly manicured vineyards, the Winery offers an array of wines at the Tasting room, shopping in the Boutique and Dining in the full service Gazebo Restaurant.
(Est. 2001) The modern pioneers of Prince Edward County wine are Ed Neuser and Rita Kaimins. Ed Neuser, a German-born machinist who came to Canada in 1957, purchased the 100-acre farm century-old house in 1983. Ed chuckles when he recalls the night that he and Rita decided to try planting grapes. "It was after a couple glasses of wine, or maybe it was a couple of bottles," he jokes. "Everybody thought we were off our rockers - we had no experience growing grapes or making wines."
In Ed's mind the pair approached the project slowly and carefully, starting with just 1/2 an acre of grapevines in 1993. However, from 1995 onwards they quickly added on to their acreage, planting more vines every year. Today their vineyards comprise almost 20 acres. They grow four red grape varieties and eight white. Ed considers himself and Rita pioneers, "our winery was an experimental block. We didn't know what would work."
Assisting him along the way, insists Ed, was his loyalty and dedication of people like Kyle Baldwin who has managed Waupoos Estates for more than 15 years. A clear vision of what they wanted to achieve didn't hurt either. Ed explains that he and Rita traveled extensively, "we visited every wine region on the planet. We knew we wanted a boutique winery." Among the scores of challenges they faced, according to Ed, was attaining a retail license. It was a process that would end up taking 2 1/2 years to complete. "We had to lobby very hard," he says.
In the end, Ed and Rita's hard work and perseverance paid off: on June 15th, 2001, Waupoos Estates opened for business. Ed is deservedly proud of their accomplishments, "in record time we became a Designated Viticultural Area (DVA). In ten years we've put the County on the world map - it's been quite a journey."
Visit us online at www.WaupoosWinery.com