Waupoos Estates Winery

Posted 2006.08.07 0.00 in Wine by Stephanie

This was the last winery we visited on Thursday, and by far, the biggest dissapointment.

Despite their inclusion in the Wines of Ontario guidebook, the vast majority of their offerings carried no VQA appelation at all. VQA doesn’t mean you’ll like a wine, but it does guarantee that what is in the bottle, is what is on the label. Without it, the bottle could contain anything. The VQA indication is to Ontario wines, what the AOC is to French, the DOC(G) is to Italy, and so on. Worse, the staff at their tasting bar were not only ignorant, but downright rude. This is a winery that I think has good potential in their wines, but their staff and the atmosphere at the tasting bar were simply abysmal.

Rudeness: When I requested a spitoon, I was abruptly informed ‘We don’t do that here.’ When pressed, they did procure a clear plastic jug which I believe was normally used to serve water.

Ignorance: After tasting their first offering, when I requested the second they simply started to pour it into the used glass. Not even rinsing the glass! I asked for a clean glass and was told, yet again, ‘We don’t do that here.’ They did finaly give me a clean glass for my second tasting, but for the third, I had to settle for having the same glass quickly rinsed. They don’t wash glasses there apparently, so however many glasses they start out with in the morning, is all they’re going to get that day.

Rude and ignorant: Although there were three staff working the small tasting bar, they had no time for conversation about wine. I’d suggest that perhaps talking with the customers is something else they ‘don’t do here’, except one of them was very much involved with another visitor – not discussing wine, but flirting instead.

Needless to say, there was nothing offered or available for cleansing the palate between tastings. After all, why bother cleansing the palate when you’re going to be tasting out of a dirty glass? Having got all that out, now how about the wine?


The first wine I tried here was their semi-dry 2004 Geisenheim. I was unfamiliar with this grape but managed to get one of the staff to educate me, it’s an hybrid of Riesling and something else. In appearance, the wine was very pale, almost crystal clear. The nose carried strong aromas of tropical citrus, some faint mineral tones, and a touch of lychee. The wine was also very light on the palate, with a pleasant sensation akin to effervescence, and a nice touch of acidity. The finish was moderate, with some floral tones. Not a bad offering, but without a VQA mark, and coming from such a poor tasting bar, this wine rated only an 88. It could have seen a 90, were it VQA and in a better setting. The $12.95 per bottle they are asking, is about three dollars more than I would pay for a non-VQA wine.

The second wine I tried here was their 2004 Auxerrois (VQA Ontario). The staff were too busy to tell me if this was a blend or a hybrid. In appearance this wine was a light straw yellow. I found grapefruit and other tropical citrus sensations on the nose. The wine had a light, refreshing and acidic body. The finish was warm, moderate length, and interesting. However, this wine only rated an 83, and I don’t think it was worth anywhere near the $15.95 per bottle they were asking.

The last Waupoos wine I endured was their 2004 Gamay Noir (VQA Ontario). An underwhelming wine which ended the visit to an underwhelming winery. Light red, almost an orange/pink colour in the glass, the nose offered subdued fruits, and a cedar / leather experience. The body was light and warm and slightly tannic. The finish was medium-short and did not carry any fruit. This one only managed to get a 78, I’m afraid. They were only asking $12.50 per bottle, which was only about three or four dollars more than I’d pay.


After this, I was only too happy to pay my $1.50 for the tastings and beat a quick retreat from Waupoos. If they’re still around in 10 years, I might be inclined to give them another chance, once the winery has had time to mature a bit — and hire some grownups to staff the tasting counter.

Fortunately, this was not our last stop in Prince Edward County — and happily, our final stop provided us with some very enjoyable taste sensations. Stay tuned for more!

Waupoos Estates Winery

Waupoos Estates
Waupoos Estates Winery

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