Drea's Dornfelder 2021



This esoteric red wine grape was developed in Southern Germany in 1956, a Vinifera cross, now the second most planted grape in the country. Its parent grapes are of noble descent and include; Pinot Noir Précoce, an early ripening natural mutation of the grape; Schiava a variety that dates back to the Romans and; Lemberger with evidence of cultivation tracing back to the middle ages.


Andrea (Drea) Kaiser has worked at Reif Estate Winery for almost twenty years as Director of Marketing and launched her collection with the help of the Reif team, including owner Klaus W. Reif, Winemaker Roberto DiDomenico, and Assistant Winemaker Fernando Morales. Dornfelder grapes are highly pigmented, with thick black skins, that bring an intense and deep colour to the glass, an attractive feature for cool-climate winemakers. Typical aromas and flavours when fermented as a red wine include black fruit and remarkable floral characteristics. The variety also produces wine with a natural bright acidity making them exceptional ‘food’ wines. Drea's Dornfelder was crafted to let the bright flavours and aromas of blackberry, characteristic of the grape, shine by only fermenting and aging only in stainless steel tanks.


Drea came to know the Dornfelder grape when her father, iconic winemaker Karl J. Kaiser, decided to try growing it in Niagara. He liked the variety for Canada as it is winter hardy, fairly easy to grow and ripens early but more importantly because of its deep dark colour and juicy fruit flavours, not always easy to find in cool-climate reds. He always appreciated the natural fruit flavours of a grape shining through in any wine. This wine has a bright and brilliant colour with a fresh acidity making it an ideal summer red!




RELEASE DATE: March 2024



91 POINTS — "Kaiser’s father Karl loved this variety for Canada as it is winter hardy, easy to grow and ripens early. No oak used in fermentation or aging. It’s inky dark in the glass with a bold and assertive nose of dark cherries, anise/licorice, roasted fennel, black currants, herbs, and blackberry jam. It’s concentrated, bold and sassy on the palate with notes of rich blackberries and currants, brambly black raspberries, pepper, medium+ tannins for structure and a perky, lifted finish. There is nothing shy about this assertive red wine that calls for a big, juicy, rare filet mignon. Could cellar a few years but drinking fine right from the get-go.” Rick Vansickle, Wines in Niagara