I find it funny that when I stop and think about some of our favourite wineries to visit, I suddenly realize that I have never blogged about some of them; Organized Crime Winery is one of those!
Tucked just off of Mountainview Road in Beamsville, Organized Crime neighbours include Hidden Bench and Fielding Estate Winery. Owners Jan and Krystyna Tarasewicz have a small, family-run winery and one or the other of them (usually Krystyna) are always in the tasting room. Krystyna has a strong character and I’ve heard she can rub people the wrong way, but we’ve always terribly enjoyed our engagements with her (possibly because we don’t take ourselves too seriously?). She’s one of the reasons we continue to visit (the other being the great wines they are producing).
And no, Jan and Krystyna are not ex-mafia types who took their fortunes and opened a winery. The first time we ever visited we asked about the name. Krystyna almost stumped us with the question “What other wineries did you visit today?”. We were stumped at first…was it Rosehall or Rosewood? Something-Creek? (Of course we are a little more versed in the wineries of Ontario now). Her point was no one could remember the names of wineries, so they had used a premiere branding house to help them craft the name. More details and the story that goes with the name can be found in this article here.
They have always been about fruit forward wines, and their vineyard practices ensure that the wines they produce are fuller and rounder than many others. Their original winemaker was Andrzej (Andre) Lipinski, who has changed the scene in Niagara with his appassimento winemaking style; I think that influence still exists in the wines today. Ross Wise has been their consulting winemaker since 2012, and has continued to deliver high quality, artisanal wines.
The first wine Deb fell in love with was the 2007 Pinot Gris. As it sells out fairly quickly, we’ve missed more vintages over the years than ones where we have been able to snag some (we did manage to get our hands on the 2014 this summer). I’m sorry to say that Deb doesn’t allow us to open much of their wine…we seem to collect it but not drink it! We did recently open a couple bottles though, including the 2014 Pinot Gris.
Organized Crime 2014 Pinot Gris: Lovely copper-salmon colour from some extended skin contact during the winemaking process. This is the kind of Pinot Gris that I love – loads of fruit, balanced with great acidity. The nose has both stonefruit – peach and nectarine, as well as more tropical notes of mango and passion fruit. There’s light candied fruit notes as well – giving the impression that this is going to be an extremely sweet wine. On the palate, there’s sufficient acidity to balance and the fruit gives way to a crisp but smooth green apple finish.
Other wines that we have lots of in the cellar include their big, bold Chardonnay (from 2010 and 2012), their Riesling, and their Syrah (sadly this has since been ripped out). They also have a wonderful red blend called Pipedown, of which we still hold a couple vintages.
Mainly open just Saturday and Sunday, make sure to visit Organized Crime Winery the next time you are in the area. I think you will be surprised…just make sure you leave some wine for us!
Organized Crime Winery
4043 Mountainview Road, Beamsville