Rosewood’s Ukrainian Wine

Larysa Zariczniak, New Pathway.

Renata and Eugene Roman bought the land that would become Rosewood Winery in the year 2000 in Beamsville, Ontario. However, it was years of cultivation before they were ready to produce their first batch of wine.

In 2008 they officially opened their winery. While going on a tour of the winery, nestled among the Niagara Escarpment, one can tell that this is the Roman’s family passion. Incidentally, while we were tasting some Rosewood mead, a bee flew in as if to remind everyone, that honey is the other passion of this family.

During the tour of the estate by the New Pathway, Renata explained the differences between grape varieties, the harvest and wine making process. Rosewood also produces mead in the traditional Ukrainian way. Along with the vast selection of wines (among which is a new Rose – Trois Femmes) they offer five different meads. One of the most delectable is the Mead Royale, which is based on ancient but simple recipes: honey, water and yeast.

What the Roman family has managed to create at their winery is impressive. They have managed to build up a small, but inspiring, wine empire that is also family run. Their daughter Krystina is the Marketing Director and son William is Operations Director.

Renata also freely admits to having a personal connection to the winery from their roots in Ukraine. Renata’s grandfather had a fruit tree garden in western Ukraine, while Eugene’s father kept bees (pasika) outside of Lviv. Both of these ancestral legacies are alive and well at 4352 Mountainview Rd. in Beamsville.

Renata points out that the winery has certain Ukrainian influences: there’s a small museum of Ukrainian artifacts that includes the 1967 barrel that Eugene’s father tried to make his first batch of mead in and all of the artwork and painting of the cellar and tasting room, was done by Ukrainian artists from Lviv.

Speaking about the Ukrainian-Canadian connection, Renata (who is also the First Vice President of Ukrainian Canadian Congress) poignantly described the history of Ukraine to that of a grape wine in Ontario. The grapes need to be sturdy and weather the worst of conditions, in order to produce some of the best wines in the world.

The history of Ukraine is the same: it has weathered the worst but has also survived and flourished. The Roman family is only one example of the success that many Ukrainian Canadians have had in Canada, and it is certainly among the most prominent ones.