It was Canadian winemaker Norman Hardie’s passion for wines that led him to identify areas with excellent soil quality and cool climate in the Prince Edward County and Niagara areas. After getting his sommelier certification from a reputed Burgundy University, Norman Hardie apprenticed under some of the world’s best winemakers in places such as Burgundy, New Zealand, California, South Africa and Oregon for many years.
Finally, in the year 2003, he started his own vine plantations in the Prince Edward County with 12000 Pinot Noir vines. In the very next year, he went on to plant 3000 Chardonnay and 2000 Pinot Gris vines as well to expand his production. After choosing the cultivation site with great care and precision, Norman Hardie and his team ensure that they use a very natural fermentation procedure during vinification.
Using very little amounts of sulphur, depending on natural yeast for fermentation, increasing the exposure to lees for crafting white wines, prolonged fermentation for the distinct flavour of the red wines and using natural malolactic fermentation during the spring season are some natural techniques followed here. The 2008 County Chardonnay created by Norman Hardie, was regarded as one of the best wines that year by many renowned wine experts. The vintage wines created here also loved by wine critics across the globe.
Apart from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this brand also crafts aromatic white wines, Gamay Noir wines, Cuvee wines and the classic Enigma category of wines. County Chardonnay is the flagship wine of Norman Hardie. Chardonnay, cultivated on five individual vineyards, is used for making these wines. During fermentation, Hardie and his team always use indigenous yeasts from each of these five vineyards to make the process as natural as possible. These wines are fermented in French oak barrels for about 10 to 12 months before they are bottled, so that they represent the true character of the grapes.