Atlantis Rising: A new Niagara winery featuring icewines and ciders set to open doors on July 1
It has emerged slowly but surely from the flat lands of Niagara’s portion of the Lake Ontario shoreline between Vineland and Beamsville.
Just off the North Service Road, the sign is now a familiar sight from the QEW: “Niagara Atlantis Wines,” painted in stark white on apple red letters stretching across the width of the big, shiny building that promises quite the experience inside.
It is the brainchild of John Kocsis (top photo), a multi-million-dollar project that has thrown more than one curveball at the grape grower in past could of years. But on July 1, Kocsis and his family are throwing opening the doors to one and all to experience the Atlantis Niagara winery with wine and cider tastings, a barbecue and plenty of Kocsis’s favourite rock and roll music playing all day long.
There is no doubt Kocsis has pumped a lot of money into Atlantis Niagara. The wraparound patio alone seats up to 500 people, and the interior, with 8,000 square feet of space, is equally impressive with a huge island bar that cost upward of $100,000 alone.
Throughout the tasting room there are Atlantis-themed furnishings (a lot of palm tree decorations!) and expensive LED lights that illuminate the bar (and pond outside) at night. Kocsis has installed state-of-the-art speakers and large wide-screen HD TVs around the inside of the facility that will show and play a steady diet of whatever music the occasion calls for.
Kocsis has also proudly hung a series of black and white photos of his family, who immigrated to Canada from Hungary in 1956 during the Hungarian revolution.
In 1969, the Kocsis family purchased the home farm, which was 15 acres. Since then, the family expanded to over 100 acres on five separate locations, including two parcels on Lake Ontario, one of which now sits Atlantis Niagara.
Kocsis bought the 18-acre site where Atlantis stands in 2010 and the property next door, which is just over 21 acres.
It turned out to be a smart decision as Kocsis lost 85% of vines he had planted over 80 acres in the in the brutal winters of 2014-15 at the original property and vineyards in Lincoln-Lakeshore.