Ottawa Winery Tour: Jabulani Vineyard and Winery

Yeah, I did say Ottawa!

One of the interesting things about developing this app is that I have discovered all of the wineries in Ontario (at least I keep thinking I have them all). I got an email from Tom Moul Sunday morning after the Citizen article ran on my app. I’d been trying to reach Jabulani to add them to the app for a couple weeks. As it was a sunny Sunday afternoon and Debbie and my son were gone for the day, I asked my daughter if she wanted to go on a “business trip”, and off we went.

Jabulani is located just outside Richmond, Ontario (closer to Munster actually), and a short 30 min drive from our house. For most people in Ottawa, this is a winery that you can find within an hour’s drive from your house! When we got there Tom was serving other folks on the peastone gravel patio and we were offered a seat in the shade. The patio and work shed are just outside the log house that also doubles as their home. Grapes were planted in 2006 and the first wines are these 2010’s. My daughter wandered off to take photos of the vineyard and winery for me while I sampled the wares, so all photo credits for this article are to her.

Tom has been making wine since he was 14, either for himself or helping others. Originally from South Africa, he was recruited here by Ernst and Young and settled in this area because he met Janet and found this piece of land. Jabulani is actually a Zulu word (expressing Tom’s heritage) that means “The spirit of happiness, rejoice and celebrate always”. This phrase is also on all their labels.

Tom & Janet Moul

I’m not particularly fond of hybrids that can withstand the cold temps, in general preferring the vinifera grapes that come from our more southerly regions. That being said, I was deeply impressed with what Tom has done with his blends and there is nothing in his repertoire that I did not like. Here’s the reviews:

2010 Frontenac Gris/Pinot Gris:Light citrus and a touch of mineral in this summer sipper. The nose is light, with notes of honey and sweet peach, which makes the hint of spiciness even more surprising. Moderate acidity cleanses the pallet. 12.9% ABV, $14.

Frontenac Gris

2010 Frontenac Gris/Vidal:With a 60%/40% blend, Tom calls this his “girly” wine. Light peach and honeysuckle wafts over the nose where I first detect lemon, but there’s little residual sugar in this one. There is a crisp acidity on the palate, with an almost lemon-peel citrus finish. Great patio sipper at $13, and also 13%ABV.

Grapes in the Vineyard

2010 Frontenac Gris/Unoaked Chardonnay sur Lie: This ~30%/70% blend (Chardonnay from Niagara) was pumped over the lies 5 times during fermentation. This process really introduced the flavours from the yeast, almost adding a buttery component despite no time in oak. This apple centered palate is enhanced with light citrus and the crisp finish reminds me why I like unoaked Chardonnay.


2010 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (Niagara): At $17, this is a fine oaked chardonnay. With French oak used for both the ferment and the aging, there is light butterscotch and definitely mild smoke on both the palate and the nose. Tom kept enough acidity in this to remove that long, buttery aftertaste dominant on many oaked Chardonnays, giving it a surprisingly crisp finish. 14.1% ABV

2010 Marquette, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc: With the Cabs hailing from Niagara, Tom added his Marquette (a grape he is very fond of) to make this deep, ruby red blend that kicks in at 15.4% ABV. This might be one of the earliest 2010 reds in the province, and if the 15.4% is any indication of what’s to come, 2010 may end up being one for the history books. With only 8 months on oak, there are enough tannins here to be noticeable, but not overpowering. With dark berries, cherries, and a bit of oak on the nose, the berry-dominated palate also has some spiciness…all held together by those medium tannins. $16 (Tom mentioned that this had won a competition at Algonquin College recently!)

2010 Marquette/Shiraz: This one kicks the alcohol up to 15.5%, and the Shiraz (again Niagara) brings all the traditional characteristics to bear: Dark purple colour, and definite pepper notes (white and black) on both the nose and palate. The dominant aroma and taste though, is that of dark berries and cassis, and maybe a hint of dark chocolate. I found the 8 months  in oak brought the vanilla notes out more in this wine than the Cab blend, and held everything together quite well. This was definitely my favourite find of the day!

With busy traffic the whole time I was there, I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one out discovering Jabulani. All you locals should get out there too – nice and close, great hosts in Tom and Janet, and some interesting wines in your backyard. What are you waiting for?!

Peastone Gravel Patio

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5 Responses to Ottawa Winery Tour: Jabulani Vineyard and Winery

  1. Lara Bender says:

    Great article! I have been to this winery, and the wines and the atmosphere are wonderful. I wrote an article about them on my own blog at

    My blog profiles agritourism experiences in the Ottawa area, including wineries, gardens, orchards, and farm tours. There are tons of places to go, including at least 10 wineries within a one hour drive of Ottawa. You can see the list here: We are very lucky to have so many great farm-based tourism opportunities in our region!

  2. mcshawn says:

    I actually saw your blog. Love the agri-tourism angle to your site. So many great things to see locally too!

  3. Janet Moul says:

    more an invite than a comment, Shawn….we’re open this Saturday and Sunday (if there is anything left) from 12:00 to 4:30…we’ve got mulled wine and Xmas goodies in the tractor shed along with samples of our latest releases…so come for a visit.


  4. Peter Fedirchuk says:

    I have been told that there is a fee for the Tasting and Tour. Is this true?

  5. @Peter: I can’t say for sure what they may or may not be doing today. Most wineries in Ontario that I have visited have posted tasting fees which are usually waived if you purchase wine (some have a minimum bottle purchase, others will waive the fee if you buy just one bottle).

    Try giving them a shout at (613) 454-5460, Email, or message them on Facebook here:

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