Stratus winery is a 62-acre site in the Niagara Lakeshore sub-appellation, moderated by both Lake Ontario and the Niagara River. Eighteen vinifera varieties are planted in 43 blocks on a combination of clay and clay loam soils over dolomitic limestone bedrock. Rigorous viticultural practices result in minimal yields of fully mature fruit. The vineyard is far enough away from the moderating influence of Lake Ontario to be able to grow grape varieties that need warmer temperatures in the summer; however, the lake’s proximity does help protect the vines from early frost in the fall.
Stratus became the first fully LEED-certified winery in the world in 2005, placing it in a league of its own among other sustainably-minded estates. Most recently, they were accredited with the LFP (Local Food Plus) Designation for both their winery and their farm.
Stratus’ winemaker, J-L (Jean-Laurent) Groux is a native of France’s Loire Valley who learned his craft in the vineyards of Burgundy and Bordeaux. While he venerates the traditions of French winemaking, he is also motivated to explore new methods and establish new traditions.