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THREE LOCATIONS AS OF APRIL 2019
c/o Brewers Circle
St. Catherines, ON
Lower Sackville, NS
on-the-Lake to add an electric car charging
station to its parking lot.
A particularly exciting project is a biochar
program, Groux notes. Dead trunks
and cane trimmings from the grapevines
are turned into charcoal. “Then we reincorporate
that charcoal – biochar – into our
organic matter in the vineyard,” he said. “It
keeps the soil healthy.”
Each year, the winery team also picks
a local environmental project to help. Past
projects have included building birdhouses,
planting trees and planting native wildflowers
and grasses. “The staff all comes out to
take part, and even our families participate,”
Janke said. ”It’s fun and it’s important.
It really embraces the idea of being stewards
of the land.”
Just as they were in the winery’s early
days, all the Stratus grapes are handpicked
– even the icewine grapes.
Yet the team isn’t afraid to embrace
new technology and change when it will
improve the wines without damaging
This past harvest, Groux and his team
added an optical sorter, a machine that literally
sorts grapes according to their ripeness
by using infrared light. “We had been
sorting them by hand, but there are things
that the human eye cannot see,” Groux said.
“The new machine can see that one
berry is darker than another and usually
darker means riper. It allows us to separate
our fruit, berry by berry, so we can make the
best wine possible.”
Groux credits some of the winery’s
success to its Wine Growers Canada membership.
He appreciates that the organization
lobbies to defend member winery
interests in Canada, and, he says, it helps
keep his team aware of global trends and
changes, too. “It gets us out of our boots and
out of the vineyard,” said Groux, who grew
up in France.
“And it helps us understand what’s
going on, both in Canada and around the
world when it comes to winemaking legislation
and so on.”
For Janke, it’s yet another part of the
Stratus team’s efforts to always be the best
they can be.
“Above all else, what really keeps us all
fired up is this extraordinary dedication to
excellence,” Janke said.
“We are just one farm, one winery, but
we come together to make a very special
story and a very special portfolio of wines,
year after year.”
WINTER 2020 § POURED CANADA § 17