From Nobleton to Niagara they moved and now this is where the bees are enjoying the biosphere at the new home of Rosewood Estates. The quality and quantity of honey from the urban areas was diminishing so the bees took a new route to Niagara. On two new sites the apiaries were set up and the bees are exploring their fresh neighbourhood. “And the bees love it here,” says the Social Bee Krystina Roman. “This year was a really great honey season, rain and then dry; in 2012 the honey was thicker and darker and this year it is more floral. One bee puts in a lot of effort as they visit more than 100,000 flowers. “They take everything from the neighbourhood and put it into the honey,” shares Krystina. They love to visit the lavender and the Russian sage found in Niagara,” she explains.
Rosewood Estates is really a family affair. Krystina’s parents bought the land in 2000 and began building the winery in 2005, Krystina came back to work at the winery in 2012 and today manages the events, marketing and sales. Perhaps that is why she has been given the name Social Bee, she gets to meet the people interested in their product but at harvest time the whole work force, she included is involved in the harvest. She puts in 30 hour days, she explains.
Many years ago her grandfather was the beekeeper. He planned one day to make mead from his honey but never got to see his dream come to fruition. In the mid 2000’s they were granted a license to make Mead. What it Mead? Mead is honey, water and yeast. What does it taste like? Ambrosia! The food and drink of the deities!
From Grandfather to Son Eugene the skill of Mead making has been passed. Their Mead Ambrosia just won an award in the dessert category. Today their winemaker Luke Orsinski, and grandson William Roman and many others make up the team of Winemakers and Meadmakers. They all collaborate and offer their different perspectives on the process and flavour of the wine. The whole team knows what the mead and wines taste like as they go through the whole aging process.
To date they make and sell 1000 cases of Mead a year and 6000 cases of wine to the LCBO and to customers in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, online and of course at the winery doorstep. They presently have enough to fill the market that passes through their door but anticipate in the future they may have to increase their volume.
William and Krystina, very involved in the family business are very in tune with each other. “We grew up together helping with the beekeeping and we have always had the same vision. Our differences keep us balanced,” she explains. “Our grandfather and our father had a passion for bees and our passion for the winery and the wines goes beyond anything else. We make something and people are enjoying our products. We are invited into their homes and ingested. They are saying, Wow, this is made here in Ontario. We are surprising people. We have pride in everything we do as we (as in our wines) get invited into homes, into kitchens, to family occasions and to celebrations.”
How is the winery faring? “We are able to sell everything we make and we are still learning. We don’t need an export market yet and we are not ready for that. We are enjoying the local people that come and try our product and the local restaurants that use our wine.”
What are some of the disadvantages of owning a winery? “Working all the time. And when we aren’t physically working we are always thinking of things that have to be done or new things to try.”
What do you see happening in the future? “We are fulfilling our Grandfather’s dream, keeping our employees happy, promoting our Mead and bringing people to the Niagara Region. I am very passionate about the future of the industry.” What would Krystina like to see in their winery future? “Perhaps a European Spa,” she says!
To find out more about the awards they have won, hours of operation and to read more about their story visit www.rosewoodwine.com or stop in and enjoy a sampling at 4352 Mountain Rd in Beamsville. One of the bees will welcome you.