The Hare Wine Co. acknowledges the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement. Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous peoples.
The Hare Wine Co. stands on what was once the property of Nathaniel Haines. His request for land for his family indicates that the petitioner “served in the above Corps of Rangers, six years, and has received His Majesty’s Bounty of three hundred acres of land in this Township which he has considerably improved…”
Joseph Haines and his wife had settled in Johnstown, New York where their children were born including sons, Nathaniel in 1759 and Joseph Jr. in 1767. Joseph was successful in this new beginning, but he lost his property because of his loyalty to the British Crown. He and his sons joined Butler’s Rangers based in Fort Niagara.
After the Revolutionary War Joseph settled on 200 acres on Four Mile Creek where he grew potatoes and buckwheat. The Four Mile Creek was a desirable source of waterpower in the region and it was here that Joseph became the owner of a mill. His son Joseph Jr. took up an adjoining 200 acres. His other children received land grants in other parts of the province indicating that they were all considered to be Loyalists.
In the pictures below, you will see old photographs of John’s family and their workers celebrating Saint Trifon the Pruner, Bulgaria’s patron Saint of the vine-growers and winemakers. The village celebrates Saint Trifon on February 14th, by “cutting of the vines” – this is a process known as pruning, where unnecessary branches are trimmed and the vineyards are made ready for spring. Once the days work is done, the workers join together with music and wine to honour Saint Trifon, so that he may bless their vineyards and upcoming vintages with fertility and good fortune.
Grape growing and winemaking has been tradition in the Niagara Region for over 200 years. A once small industry has grown rapidly and Niagara is continually gaining more and more recognition world wide as a premiere wine destination. Early settlers experimented with native grapes such as Vitis labrusca and Vitis riparia. During the 1970’s Canadian wineries began to successfully grow European Vitis vinifera and found that high quality wines could be produced if these vines were grown with the proper techniques and management. The vines planted on our property are Vidal and Riesling which are used in our premium white blends as well as our dessert wines. All of our other grape varieties come from three carefully sourced and selected vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
John Hare’s family has been in the wine industry in Europe as far back as the early 1900’s. The family still owns and operates 80 acres of vineyards in Kochovo, Bulgaria, supplying quality grapes to the two local wineries in the village.
John Hare continues his deep family tradition for the love of wine at The Hare Wine Co. Our winery pays tribute to John’s family of growers and winemakers back in Europe by harnessing the best of our farm land in Niagara-on-the-Lake, to create perfectly balanced wines and premium varietal Icewines.
Rustic and reclaimed materials are used throughout the building, paying homage to the region’s past. The reclaimed bricks used on the exterior of the building are over 100 years old. Over 1300 square feet of reclaimed barn board flooring has been repurposed into shelving throughout the estate. The grand tasting room and retail boutique are designed to resemble a turn-of-the-century factory with high ceilings and industrial elements. The materials paper, wood and metal are used in the overall design and small details throughout the building.