Finally, the rains cease long enough to spend an afternoon with Antonio Piro, sales manager and ‘face person’ of Gallucci Winery. “With rain, when its wet like this – and not sunny – the grape leaves are not full. More grapes will be needed in production because the grape juice will be less concentrated. Finally, extra work is required as the ground must be worked so that the roots get air, and expensive sprays must be re-applied if they wash off,” explains Antonio in regard to the overabundant rains of 2017.
Gallucci Winery was built by Paulo and Nella Gallucci. Antonio is married to their daughter Anne Marie. Their first harvest was in 2013. The winery opened a year later in 2014. Since, then Gallucci wines have won 12 awards. The 2014 Stouffville-grown Baco Noir picked up a Silver Medal at the Ontario Wine Awards. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, as Gallucci is guided by an award-winning winemaker, named Thomas Laszlo.
Thomas Laszlo has worked for wineries in Niagara Region, in Hungary (where he produced a Robert Parker rated 100-point wine), and in Upstate New York – focused on producing cool climate varietals around the Finger Lakes. He is the head winemaker for Gallucci.
Antonio is from Calabria, Italy. He came to Canada for marriage in 2001. He was a professional hair stylist until entering the wine business, which makes him a natural when speaking with the public. In fact, everyone working at Gallucci Winery is friendly and welcoming. Many things are happening at Gallucci, these need to be sub-divided for clarity.
The Wine Store
The Wine store at Gallucci is open for tastings and sales Wednesday through Sunday year-round. Tours of the vineyard and production facilities can be reserved Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm; it concludes with 4-tastings and a generous cheese platter for $15 per person ($18 p.p. with ice wine).
OTR Editor’s Picks:
2015 VQA Donna Nella
A beautiful combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Riesling. Many Unique aromas from grapefruit and gooseberry all the way through to guava. Starts off very fruity and finishes off-dry and refreshing. 12% Alcohol.
2014 VQA Baco Noir
A generous, medium-bodied wine full of black cherry, Damson plum and violet. More than you would expect out of a Baco Noir. 12% Alcohol.
Freezers line one side of the Wine Store – this is the foodie experience. There are meals ready-to-go and place in the oven: lasagna, cannelloni, tortellini, Pasta Al Forno, and best of all – free-run, organic chicken, whole or wings and breasts. The chickens are raised back behind the wine production facilities. Also, olive oil is available. It comes from their family farms in Italy and is bottled in Stouffville. The foods available are fresh, while their frozen state is what allows for convenience of transport and controlled timing for eating.
In addition to the frozen foods, Kit meals-to-go are available. One price per person allows you to choose a pasta, a sauce, a salad and a bread.
Gallucci is a popular spot for lunch in season. An outdoor veranda wraps the winery on three sides. It is not a restaurant per se, although passing health inspections every 6 months in the YorkSafe program – it is more a catered family affair. Gazing across the vineyard, feeling the Whitchurch breeze, and sampling Italian fare with a glass or bottle of local wine is an experience.
Lunch available Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations are strongly advised. Both a set menu and daily specials are available.