Stratus Vineyards to Debut its First Collection of Amphora-made Wines

Stratus Vineyards to Debut its First Collection of Amphora-made Wines

Stratus Vineyards, a leader in innovative and sustainable winemaking, will introduce two new wines shaped by deep-rooted tradition at a reception and dinner at the eminent Gardiner Museum in Toronto on April 12, 2024.

“Earth & Amphora” is an event for enthusiasts of art and wine, and will showcase the first collection of Stratus wines made exclusively in clay amphorae, an initiative that again illustrates their belief in the “Future of Traditions.” “We are very excited about how this debut event commemorates Earth Month and will integrate the creativity and passion of so many,” said Suzanne Janke, Stratus’ estate director. “From the artist who sketched our amphorae, to the ceramist who created small replica amphorae, to the wines and the Gardiner Museum itself, it’s a story of craftsmanship and community – all rooted in clay.”

The Gardiner Museum, whose mission it is to foster community through the ceramic arts, is the backdrop for this exciting evening that will launch wines made exclusively in clay. The opening reception will afford guests the first opportunity to taste the new collection – 2021 Stratus Chardonnay and 2020 Stratus Cabernet Franc – thus experiencing a taste of history through the lens of modern winemaking. A smaller, convivial dinner will follow that will further demonstrate the unique profiles of amphora-aged wines.

Modern clay amphorae are handmade vessels that are modelled on the winemaking traditions of ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians, but that are now created to meet exacting specifications for composition and firing. They can be calibrated for precise oxygen management and fitted with lids, valves and doors that facilitate winemaking.

“By utilizing this evolving ancient technology, we have given ourselves more winemaking options and increased the diversity that contributes to complexity in our wines,” says Winemaker Dean Stoyka. “Think of it as having more tools in the tool kit.”

The winemaking appeal of amphorae is their unique ability to allow oxygen exchange (similar to oak barrels) while preserving the fruit qualities and freshness in the wine (similar to stainless steel tanks). This combination of attributes means that the wines made in amphorae are true reflections of the terroir they came from. As such, in keeping with the philosophy of the Stratus White Label Series, these wines were designated at harvest for their quality and suitability to this vessel.

Wine lovers and cultural enthusiasts are invited to the debut at the stunning Gardiner Museum in Toronto. Tickets for the reception ($75) include a curated tour of Magdalene Odundo’s exhibit, “A Dialogue with Objects.” To complete the evening’s experience, a dinner in the Terrace Room ($195, including reception) will be hosted by Stoyka and J-L Groux, Stratus’ founding winemaker.
The amphora-aged wines will be released at the winery on April 13, 2024. Tickets for the “Earth & Amphora” event on April 12, 2024 are available here. For more information about Stratus and its new amphora wines, please visit the website or contact

About the Gardiner Museum
Located in the heart of Toronto, the Gardiner Museum is a premier institution dedicated to exploring the art, history, and culture of ceramics. With its motto, "Create Community with Clay," the museum offers a wide array of exhibitions, workshops, and events designed to inspire and engage audiences with the versatility and beauty of clay.

About Stratus Vineyards
Set in the heart of Niagara, Ontario, Stratus Vineyards has always been at the forefront of combining innovative techniques with time-honoured traditions to create exceptional wines. As the world’s first LEED-certified winery (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), sustainability, quality and design have been foundational for Stratus. Their 55-acre farm is home to 16 grape varieties and is certified sustainable by Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario.

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