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A typical day on the bottling line involves early mornings fuelled by hot coffee, a quick takeout lunch eaten in whatever clean corner of the winery you can find, and the type of no holds barred straight-talk that comes about from monotonous labour in a small space with a tight group of people. These days are usually set to nostalgic soundtracks of old school Hip-Hop or 90’s Alt-Rock, an inevitability when the majority of staff were born in the 80’s. It was on one of these days, bottling piquette, that we christened our more weird and wonderful wines “Alt”. Our...

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Vineyards don’t take time off. Even in the middle of a pandemic, with no vineyard crew to do the work, vineyards still don’t take time off. It was apparent early in the year how extraordinarily difficult -- unprecedented, even -- the 2020 vintage was going to be for County growers. The Spring arrival of migrant workers, the main labour force in viticulture, was uncertain. With shifting shutdowns and miles of red tape to navigate, it was unknown at times if they would get here late, or not at all. It was bound to be a challenging year for any grapegrower, and...

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We knew there would be difficulties caring for our new baby vines after they went into the ground, but we had no idea how soon they would start. Lee got a call from the planting team as they were driving away from the vineyard: “With this heat wave and drought, you should be covering the vines to make sure they survive.” Our vineyard was set up for geotextiles. It was supposed to be a vineyard that we never had to bury, but that’s exactly what we were being told to do. The day we finished planting ended up being the...

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Last week Redtail Vineyards completed what may be the largest single-year vineyard planting in all of Prince Edward County — 32,000 vines spread over 24 acres in just less than 3 days. The vines arrived in two shipments on Friday afternoon, about two-thirds from our neighbouring wine region of Niagara and the rest from California. On arrival the team quickly worked to transport them into cold storage, packing our tiny facility with boxes and boxes of vines. The final two pallets, after making their long journey from the West coast, collapsed as they came off the trailer. The entire staff...

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Spring arrived in the County this year with an unwelcome guest as the COVID-19 pandemic hit a tipping point in Canada. We made the difficult decision to shut down our tasting room and retail store in mid-March, in the hopes of reducing the number of spaces where community spread could occur. As we watched Canadians implement physical distancing measures across the country, we tried to imagine what summer in the County could possibly look like. It seemed clear that a change was essential, and we would have to let go of some of the plans we’d made for the season....

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