Willow Springs Winery & Vineyard
Willow Springs Winery, situated atop the geographical treasure known as the Oak Ridges Moraine complete with the renowned 11-acres Testa Vineyard, is a wine and event destination not to be missed. Among all the wineries with vineyards in York Region, Willow Springs is the first winery to receive VQA Ontario certification. The winery utilizes excellent growing and soil conditions to produce truly outstanding quality wines.
Willow Springs Winery provides a beautiful backdrop for all family, corporate and group functions. The Testa pavilion, with its breathtaking views of the vineyard, is the perfect setting for all occasions. From simple picnic lunches in the vineyard to lavish weddings in the beautiful pavilion.
The Testa family
who founded Willow Springs Winery five decades and three generations ago, still operates it today. They produce world-class, award-winning VQA red, white and Icewines from their 11-acre vineyard. Their vines thrive in the unique soil, sunlight, and temperature conditions that characterize this terroir.
Winemaker Mario Testa honours the family’s Italian winemaking roots, adhering to time-honoured “old-world” techniques. Low yields, scrupulous vineyard management, hand-harvested grapes, crushed and fermented in small batches, then aged in oak barrels, produce wines of elegance and distinction.
In the early 16th century, European settlers in North America introduced grape varietals that would grow well in cooler climates. This group included the Testa family from Italy, who brought with them Zinfandel grapes and centuries of grape-growing knowledge from their homeland. In the 1950s, the family settled in Ontario to continue their proud history of cultivating exceptional varietals in the fertile soil of the Oak Ridges Moraine.
Winemaker Mario Testa
Mario continues to honour his family’s winemaking traditions. A specialist in cool climate viticulture, and a meticulous vineyard manager, Mario believes in low yields and a minimalist approach to draw out flavours from our vineyard that are unique to the Oak Ridges terroir. He oversees every step of the process, down to the rare practice of hand picking and de-stemming the grapes.
The Magnificent Moraine
Known for grape varietals of depth and complexity
The distinctive characteristics of Willow Springs wines have much to do with the emerging wine region, the Oak Ridges Moraine. The moraine is a unique geological land formation created about 12,000 years ago by advancing and retreating glaciers. Below its graceful rolling hills and valleys lies an underground reservoir – the size of 365,000 football fields! – stretching across much of southern Ontario.
This natural reservoir holds water from rain and snow. Layers of sand and gravel filter and purify the underground water, and add minerals. This, in turn, enriches the soil with nutrients. Pure spring water, fortified soil and the moraine’s cooler climate create perfect conditions for producing wines that are lighter, drier, richer in aroma and fruit flavouring.