A taste of County Terroir – uncork these wines!

Have you visited Canada’s fastest growing wine region – Prince Edward County? Known as ‘The County’, it is a picturesque 3 hour drive from Ottawa with the quaint village of Picton & over 25 wineries waiting to be discovered.  To give you a taste of wines awaiting to be enjoyed when you visit the upcoming 7th annual County Terroir Wine Fest, our Savvy Sommeliers share with you their tasting notes.  We look forward to seeing you at County Terroir on Saturday May 26.   More details at www.countyterroir.ca


Start with a sparkling…

Lighthall Progression Sparkling VQA 2011

Lighthall is a boutique winery in ‘The County’ focusing on growing Chardonnay & Pinot Noir grapes on their estate to make outstanding wines. Just bottled in time for County Terroir celebration, this sparkling wine is made using Vidal grapes – often saved for dessert wines.  This bubbly is far from being sweet!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Hand-crafted using the Charmat Method of sparkling winemaking, this bubbly is has refreshing acidity with aromas of citrus, pear & crunchy apple to create the lively, refreshing finish.
Suggested food pairings: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with oysters, or paired with light appetizers.

A taste of white wines awaiting to be discovered…

Huff Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2009

Huff Estates is one of the few who grow Pinot Gris grapes in The County. Never heard of Pinot Gris?  Chances are that you have!  Pinot Gris is the same grape variety as the popular Pinot Grigio from Italy.    
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Crystal clear in colour with aromas of crunchy apple, stone fruit (think peach, nectarine, pear), continues into the taste with a ‘zippy’ lime finish that continues long after your first sip.
Suggested Food Pairing: Serve with dishes that are not too heavy or complex in flavours as the food will overpower the refreshing tastes of this wine. Seafood, roasted chicken & pasta alfredo would be delicious.

Sugarbush Vineyards Chardonnay VQA 2010

Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm’s fingerprints are all over this wine!  She rounded up a group of wine enthusiasts with clippers in hand to help harvest the grapes for this wine at Sugarbush Vineyards. Winery owners Sally & Rob Peck have transformed their home & backyard into a boutique winery that is a going concern.  Definitely a winery to visit next time you are traveling around The County.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Unoaked this Chardonnay has fresh aromas & tastes of citrus (can you find orange or is it mandarin?), vanilla bean that turns into reminders of English toffee (think Macintosh Toffee). It an absolutely pleasant wine to sip & enjoy.
Suggested Food Pairing: This wine would pair nicely with butternut squash soup, cheese-laden pasta, roast turkey or chicken.


Get ready for these reds!

Rosehall Run Pinot Noir County Cuvée VQA 2009

Pinot Noir is known around the world by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape”.  This grape variety needs care & nurturing around the clock. Difficult to grow in the vineyard & always changing in the cellar, crafting a good wine of Pinot Noir is the pinnacle of any winemaker’s personal achievement.  Rosehall has a growing reputation of producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in ‘The County’. In March, Rosehall won a gold medal in the international Pinot Noir shootout in San Francisco, California – now that is impressive!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This Pinot Noir has delicious aromas & tastes of strawberry, raspberry & red licorice with a dash of vanilla on the long finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Pinot Noir is a versatile wine – it can be served chilled or at room temperature.  As the wine warms up, aromas, tastes & levels of acidity change too. Classic matches with Pinot are roast duck & mushrooms & grilled salmon too.

Grange of Prince Edward Northfield Cabernet Franc VQA 2007

The Grange of Prince Edward is one of the pioneers of the wine industry, located in a historic loyalist barn that was built in 1826. Cabernet Franc is often used in red wine blends (one of the varietals in a Bordeaux blend) yet in Ontario, this grape grows so well that winemakers are now keeping it aside to craft outstanding Cabernet Franc wines. 
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: From the highly acclaimed 2007 vintage – the growing & harvest conditions were outstanding – this elegant & impressive wine has aromas of ripe red & black fruit, leather & cigar box (can you find these in your glass?). Concentrated flavours of cherry, raspberry, red roses & typical County limestone. There’s a punch of dark chocolate that lingers with the soft tannins.
Suggested Food Pairings: Fire up the BBQ!  Sausages, lamb chops, steak, grilled mushrooms or beef tenderloin would be delicious.
Sommelier TIP: Serve this wine with a dense piece of chocolate cake!
The Grange will be featured in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. 
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