In 2011, Anton and Hildegard Sproll embarked on the journey of owning a vineyard, when they fell in love with the 14 acre property situated where Benway Road intersects the Millennium Trail in Prince Edward County. No strangers to hard work; they had just retired from running a successful bakery for 30 years. The family has all its bases covered to start up a business, with son and graphic designer, Alex Sproll and daughter and accountant, Sylvia Sproll. They enlisted the help of winemaker and grape grower, Mackenzie Brisbois to craft their wines. Trail Estate Winery is a passionate winery that strives to produces terroir-driven wines of exceptional quality.
We spoke to Alex Sproll about the highlights of his family’s own, Trail Estate Winery…
What sets your winery apart from others?
I think that what sets us apart is our focus on great food-friendly wines, made in small batches. This allows for the making of wines without being excessively commercial. This year, for example, we made some skin contact whites in insanely small batches and they’re brilliant! It’s not to say we’ll always keep things that small, but we do have the flexibility for it. This allows the winemaker to consistently push the envelope and provide interesting tasting experiences for guests — and we’ve got no animals on our labels! We also want to get people to interact with the winemaker and learn more about viticulture and wine. This year, we’ll be having a set of winemaker-led tours and tastings every Friday and structured tastings every Saturday. They’ll last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour and are bound to be a great addition to the winery.
Which of your wines is your personal favourite and why?
I don’t have a favorite; I think one of the great things is to keep trying new things! If anything though, I do prefer wines with great floral and flinty aromatics — be it Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Sauv Blanc or Chardonnay — I just find them more lively and interesting. Wine should have life! I shy away the majority of Merlot, Cab Sauvs or anything else too sweet and cloying.
What should people most look forward to when visiting your winery during this year’s Terroir Run?
This year, watch your step! Since we’re in a bit of an expansion phase, the entrance is through the roll-up door at the back, therefore, we’ve shifted the tasting bar to be in the middle of the winery. It’s a bit make-shift but the tasting bar is now literally beside the barrels! It’s also all smooth gravel around our winery at the moment, so runners can enjoy our section of softer, pothole-free road!