Henry of Pelham is a family owned estate winery located in a special place where the valley of the Short Hills Bench meets the weathered mountain of the Niagara Escarpment.
We produce sustainably grown, award-winning wines that are available across Canada and in 20+ countries worldwide.
Watch our video about our sustainability initiatives
Henry of Pelham is certified by Sustainable Winemaking Ontario and is committed to minimizing its environmental footprint in the winery and vineyard. This is critical for the long-term preservation of both Ontario's Greenbelt, and the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
"The best thing you can find in a vineyard is a footprint. A wine's character comes from the terroir, its personality comes from the vintage. But quality comes from the influence of people."
Pillars of Sustainability
When you drink a 750ml bottle of Henry of Pelham wine, you preserve one square meter of Ontario's greenbelt in the Niagara Peninsula for another year.
We are a family owned and operated company in St. Catharines, ON that provides full-time work to 100 people in the winery, retail store and office.
We give back to our community through our fundraising program where local charities get a portion of wine sales to support their cause.
Sustainable Winemaking Ontario (SWO)
While Ontario wineries and grape growers are inherently connected with nature and therefore respectful of the environment, many wineries choose to take their environmentally-friendly practices one step further by becoming a Sustainable Winemaking Ontario Certified Winery (SWO). Henry of Pelham is proud to have been one of the first wineries in Ontario to have had both our winery and vineyards certified by SWO.
Our Estate in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
- Henry of Pelham's vineyards and winery are in the southern tier of the Short Hills Bench. We may be a small house but having all of our estate vineyards concentrated in this one area makes us the single largest grower in this little region.
- A Carolinian climatic zone, the Short Hills Bench has been recognized for its unique soils, topography and meso-climate.
- The north meets the south in the Short Hills Bench which supports flora as diverse as maples, willows, tulip poplars, and coniferous trees. Fauna include possums, coyotes, mountain lions, wild turkeys, pheasants and deer
Select an initiative below to learn more
Wetland Restoration and Biofilters
The bulk of our land is the catchment area for a much larger watershed. To help with excess water and prevent soil erosion our entire vineyard is under-drained. This provides a unique opportunity to improve the quality of the ground water that both enters and leaves our property. By adding bio-filters to our ponds, the water that leaves our property is cleaner than when it came in.
Check out the pond at Henry of Pelham here with co-owner Daniel Speck.
Part of our land has reforested over time. By leaving these stands of trees we have preserved more than 11% of our total acreage as forest. Combined with the many acres of wetlands on our property we have been able to create very well traveled wildlife corridors that run between our forests and the Short Hills Provincial Park. We also make it a practice to leave dead trees standing for raptors to perch, a side benefit being that the Kestrel falcons scare off grape eating birds which are a pest at harvest.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
The leftover materials from winemaking are not waste. Pommace (skins, seeds, stems etc) is organic matter which we compost and then return to the soil. Almost all other materials are reusable (eg. vineyard netting), recyclable (bottles, pallets, etc) or biodegradable (wood etc). Even barrels find a new life after we are finished with them.
In lieu of using many cleaning agents we use ozonated water and high pressure steam to sterilize equipment. This reduces the water volume used. Only pure H2O ever touches our equipment.
We have adopted significant but simple techniques to reduce our carbon footprint. Think of the winemaking facility as the best kitchen in the best restaurant: clean and functional. It may not be glamorous, but wrapping our stainless steel tanks in foil coated bubble wrap has done a great job insulating them. The winery is also constructed in quadrants so that we can heat or cool each room separately, often passively, with outside air.