A new type of vineyard tour and tasting highlights this winery’s unique terroir and connection to its “beautiful land”.
PondView Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake is excited to announce that it has officially changed its name to Bella Terra Vineyards. This change was inspired by the ongoing success and expansion of the winery’s flagship Bella Terra wines that have been garnering national and international attention since the winery’s opening day on June 1, 2010. One of its recent awards positioned their well-known Bella Terra Chardonnay amongst the world’s top ten at the Chardonnay du Monde competition in France. Owner and grape grower Luciano (Lou) Puglisi, who grew up on the same farm on which the winery stands today, calls the recent name change “a literal back-to-my-roots moment” because grape growing is a deeply rooted tradition in the Puglisi family.
The Bella Terra Vineyards’ story combines a family tradition of grape farming that now spans three generations from Italy to Canada. It celebrates over 45 years of grape growing in Niagara with a passion for producing world class wines in the unique terroir of the Four Mile Creek sub appellation in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.
In the 1970s, while on a trip to see Niagara Falls, recent Sicilian immigrants Giuseppe and Concetta Puglisi discovered the beautiful farmlands of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Reminded of their farming community back home, they decided to acquire a piece of this “beautiful land” (“Bella Terra” in Italian) to build a new home and continue a family tradition of growing grapes and tender fruits. Lou, one of three siblings, grew up working alongside his parents and later focused on expanding the family grape growing operation.
After being crowned “Grape King” in 2008 as an acknowledgement of his excellence in grape growing, Lou took the step to open a small winery. PondView Estate Winery opened its doors in June 2010 and the name Bella Terra appeared on the first vintage of award-winning Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. Fred DiProfio, winemaker at Bella Terra Vineyards, has been working with Lou Puglisi since the winery first opened to create wines that best express the complexity and high quality of grapes that the Bella Terra Vineyards provide each vintage. Fred believes that “the journey of our wines truly starts with the soils and the climate that make up our terroir. Working with Lou on the process from the vines to the wine in the bottle and then seeing people enjoy the fruits of our labour is very rewarding.”
The design of the Bella Terra label celebrates the connection of Luciano (Lou) Puglisi’s family roots in Sicily with the connection between earth and sun that are the foundation of excellent grape farming. The design is a simplified and modernized version of a Sicilian clay tile with the sun at its very centre. These colourful tiles have been popular in Sicily for centuries and can be found on many stairs and buildings around the island.
Lou is excited to share the Bella Terra story in a new way, saying “it is important to me to let our guests know that our wines start right here in our own vineyards in one of the most exciting and still developing growing regions in the world.” The recent name change is also linked to a new wine experience which visitors can enjoy during the summer and fall. The guided Bella Terra Terroir Tour & Tasting allows visitors to sip wine samples while learning about the natural history, geography, and the people that all contribute to producing award winning wines in the heart of Niagara Wine Country. Tours and tastings can be booked online at www.bellaterravineyards.ca
A small selection of the winery’s popular table and Icewines will continue to be available under the PondView Estate label.