History & Legacy

Hidden Bench Estate Winery is an artisanal, terroir-focused winery dedicated to crafting premium wines solely from our own organic estate vineyards situated within the Beamsville Bench VQA sub-appellation. Non-interventionist, quality-focused and terroir-driven, Hidden Bench has established an ongoing reputation for consistent excellence both domestically and internationally.


We are very fortunate to be located in the heart of the Beamsville Bench sub-appellation, which is home to many of the best wines produced in Ontario. As both grape growers and wine makers, we believe that the limestone rich, clay based, glacial till soils of our three estate vineyards, all situated on the Beamsville Bench itself, permit us to produce complex and mineral driven wines. Our old-world style wines are age worthy and have a definitive sense of place and time.

Founded in 2003 by Harald Thiel and family, Hidden Bench’s varietal focus is Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. In addition we also produce limited quantities of our white meritage, Nuit Blanche, and our red meritage, Terroir Cache and a traditional method sparkling wine, Natur. Our 3 estate vineyards permit a current total production of approximately 120,000 bottles. Most of our limited production wines are allocated to our Wine Club members and Annual Subscribers.

At Hidden Bench our quality standards are such that we will only bottle wines which we believe merit our name. This uncompromising pursuit of quality was exemplified by the 2004 vintage, during which we declassified the total production and sold the unfinished wine in bulk, as we did not believe that the wines merited the Hidden Bench name. Although a costly decision, we believe it was reflective of our values and a good example of our uncompromising commitment to quality.

We invite you to share the fruits of our terroir by joining one of our wine clubs or by visiting us to taste, discover and purchase some of our fine wine. We are convinced that you will not be disappointed and will delight in experiencing what Terroir, Technology, Sustainability and Passion can produce.


Since Hidden Bench’s founding in 2003, our goal has been to produce terroir driven premium wines exclusively with estate grown fruit from the Beamsville Bench VQA sub-appellation. The consistent quality of our wine is a result of both the exceptional terroir and our team’s passion for uncompromising excellence, embodied in our acute attention to detail from vineyard to bottle. Our goal has been, and will always be, to produce wine that Canadians can serve with pride and confidence side by side with any benchmark international wine.


Terroir refers to the natural environment in which a wine is produced, including soil, topography and climate, and the impact this has on the taste of the wine. Our estate vineyards benefit from the exceptional terroir that comprises the Beamsville Bench VQA sub-appellation, which are composed of limestone rich, glacial till soils. Hidden Bench farms its low yield vineyards using organic and biodynamic practices to produce wines of pronounced complexity and character which bear a sense of place and time.

history & legacy


At Hidden Bench we believe that we can enhance the wine making and viticulture processes by the selective application of the latest technology, in the vineyard and the winery, while respecting the traditional non-interventionist winemaking style and sustainability we embrace.


We are only stewards of the land and, as such, we apply Procert certified organic and sustainable best practices in the vineyard, the winery and the marketing of our wines to reduce the impact of our environmental footprint on the land, our neighbours, and society as a whole. In addition, Hidden Bench strives to take a leadership role in the ongoing protection of the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO protected area surrounding our winery.


To achieve our legacy of producing ultra-premium wines, we embrace a whole-team approach, founded upon a shared ongoing passion for excellence and a contagious enthusiasm. Hidden Bench’s ongoing uncompromising attention to detail distinguishes and differentiates our wines and our winery from our contemporaries.