Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Broken Stone Estates Winery
– July 2016 –
What motivates a family to start making wine? In the case of Tim and Micheline Kuepfer, the answer had as much to do with family growth as it did growing grapes. Broken Stone Winery is their new venture that has completely changed their family’s life and their family life…for the better.
This husband and wife team (with their 3 daughters in tow) opened their doors only 2 years ago. We are excited to introduce you to the family & their small batch wines. We are certain that you’ll enjoy the trio of wines just as much as our team of Sommeliers did!
Get ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections…
In your Savvy Selections you will find these SUPERB wines. Each one has been specially selected for its outstanding quality and food friendliness!
–2015 Chardonnay – Moderately oaked and balancing stunning fruit and acidity, this is a perfect match to summer fare.
–2014 Pinot Noir – Classic County Pinot Noir, this well-structured wine offers big fruit and earthiness.
–2014 Reserve Pinot Noir – This is an eye-opener! So much flavour, beautifully tempered oak, and a richness we love to see in our Ontario reds.
Broken Stone Winery is one of those “off the beaten path” wineries that even visitors to The County seem to overlook. We are certain that now you have discovered Broken Stone, you will want to visit Tim & Micheline to meet them & explore their boutique winery.
Call on us at anytime you would like additional bottles of your favourite Broken Stone wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections. Your Canadian Wine Hotline is 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers & enjoy the sunshine!!
–Debbie & Savvy Team
Broken Stone Winery
Presented by Sommelier David Loan
“Down to earth”. It’s a phrase you hear a lot when talking to Broken Stone owners Tim and Micheline Kuepfer. This husband and wife team use it to describe their winemaking philosophy and to talk about the impressive wines they make.
But it comes up most often when they discuss why they chose to get into the challenging – and sometimes heartbreaking – business of wine.
Until 2009, the Kuepfer family were typical urbanites. Micheline’s marketing and demographics career was taking off, Tim was working in finance. They were raising their three daughters in Toronto and had the kind of active lives that comes with success and financial security.
But they felt something was missing. Tim had spent summers on his grandfather’s farm, stacking hay bales and enjoying the pleasures of a simpler life. Between school and swimming and hockey and soccer and everything else the city offers, were their daughters getting the same experience?
Micheline put it best: “We both wanted to go back to a simpler way of life and to show our girls that when you dream something you can make it happen if you put a lot of hard work into it.”
The decision was made to buy three acres of fields on Closson Road in Prince Edward County. Tim immediately fell in love with the gravelly soil and they agreed to plant vineyards. The Kuepfer family continued to live in Toronto during the week and spent the weekends in The County, eventually planting rootstock for the three Pinots – Noir, Gris, and Meunier – and Chardonnay.
Tim took courses through UC Davis, one of the world’s best oenology schools, and in 2011 they broke ground and opened Broken Stone Winery. From the beginning, Tim and Micheline’s daughters visited the vineyards to run in the fields, to help with farm chores, and to build their new tree house.
It hasn’t all been fun and games. While the family business has developed well, with thousands of vines planted, a new winery and tasting room built, and rave reviews for their beautiful wines, there have been setbacks.
Each weekend, the Micheline & , Tim along with their daughters PLUS & Micheline’s mother along with the 3 girls,, leave their home in the city home and head to The County to live in a trailer on the property. Tim recalls waking up in the middle of the night last year, feeling chilled and smelling smoke.
“I knew right away that we had frost,” he said. “I could smell the hay burning in my neighbour’s fields.” (winespeak: having bonfires in the vineyard is one technique winemakers use to increase the temperature of the surrounding air during frosty nights) That cold evening is burned into everyone’s mind who lives in The County: May 23, 2015. Most grape growers The County were hit hard. Tim estimates that they lost 90 per cent of their crop.
“We’ve always bought good quality fruit from other growers and other regions,” he said. “Last year, with the frost wiping me out, I had to buy more grapes from Niagara.”
Fingers crossed, 2016 is shaping up to be a fantastic vintage, Tim reports, who recently left his finance job in the city and now works full time at the winery.
They’re playing with a few ideas, like branching into sparkling wine (“We’re not there yet,” warned Tim) or trying a Nouveau Pinot Noir, allowing customers to enjoy the wine shortly after it’s made. They’re also building a small cottage alongside the winery, replacing the Airstream trailer they’ve called home for the past six years.
More than anything, Micheline and Tim are proud of what their family has built.
“Each winery has its own personality,” Tim said. “We really want to focus on estate terroir-driven wines, hand-made. We think it’s important to stay down to earth and stay genuine with our lives and how we interact with other people.” There is that phrase again!
~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~
Time to have a mini-tasting!
We picked two Pinot Noirs made with County fruit. Take note, the two Pinot Noirs are the same vintage, yet have vastly different characteristics. We recommend you taste them at the same time. Gather a group of friends, give each of them two tasting glasses, and be amazed at the distinctions between these two fabulous wines. Which one is your favorite?
Micheline prefers unoaked Chardonnay while Tim likes lots of buttery oak. They hit the perfect balance here by putting 25 percent of the wine in oak casks and then blending it with the rest.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This has lovely peach and apricot notes, with some red apple and minerality. There are hints of butter and coconut, with vanilla rounding out the long finish. Full bodied, and with above average acidity, this is a wine to enjoy with friends.
Suggested Food Pairings: We like this with a rich cream soup. Or take advantage of the harvest and make a thick corn chowder.
Cellaring: Drink at 7-10ºC. Can be cellared for up to a year.
“ Wow! Pow!” commented Savvy Sommelier Debbie after one sip.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: With a medium cherry colour and juicy, juicy sour cherry and smoke nose, this is the very definition of a County Pinot Noir. On the palate, it offers blackberries, red cherries and red Twizzler candy. Bracing acidity and medium tannins balance the fruit, with a lovely earthiness throughout.
Suggested Food Pairings: We like to pick up on Pinot Noir’s earthy notes and pair this with mushroom dishes. Wild mushroom risotto, anyone?
Cellaring: Ready to drink now, yet this could be cellared for up to 3 years. Serve between 14-16ºC.
This is a surprisingly big Pinot with intense flavours. The winemaker notes that it was aged 12 months in French oak, and bottled without filtering.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Swirling & nosing the glass, we found sweet black cherries and caramel with lots of cedar. In the mouth, it’s plush with notes of red rose, dark cherries, cedar and vanilla. Medium acidity with medium-plus tannins. There’s a rustic quality that our Savvy Sommeliers fell in love with.
Suggested Food Pairings: “”This wine would pair well with…a bigger glass!”, chuckled David Loan (the newest member of the Savvy Team) Still, it could match to any of the big, red meat dishes you might ordinarily look to Cabernet Sauvignon with, such as BBQ rib eye or shish kebabs.
Cellaring: Drinking well now, this can cellar 3-5 years. Serve at 14-16ºC.
All photos above credit to: Broken Stone Winery
~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~
With Broken Stone Chardonnay…
Summer Corn Chowder
Recipe & Photo credits CookingClassy
8 ears fresh sweet yellow corn, husked and silks removed and kernels cut from cob
3 Tbsp (45mL) butter
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch (0.75-1.5cm) pieces
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1/4 cup (65 mL) all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
5 cups (1 Litre) water
1 lb (450 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) pieces
1/2 tsp (3 g) dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 mL) half and half
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
2 – 3 Tbsp (28-42 g) chopped fresh chives
Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and just starting to brown around edges, about 8 – 10 minutes.
Add in the flour and garlic and cook 1 1/2 minutes.
While whisking, slowly pour in 5 cups water.
Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then stir in corn kernels and potatoes.
Add in thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove bay leave then transfer 2 1/2 cups of the chowder to a blender and blend until smooth.
Stir the mixture back into the pot then stir in half and half and honey.
Sprinkle each serving with chives and optional cheddar.
With Broken Stone Pinot Noir …
Recipe and photo: Epicurious.com
9 1/2 Tbsp (143 mL) butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds (675 g) fresh wild mushrooms
(such as porcini, hen of the woods, chanterelle, or stemmed shiitake); large mushrooms sliced, small mushrooms halved or quartered
7 cups (1.750 Litres)(about) low-salt chicken broth
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup (100 g) finely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 1/4 cups (231 g) arborio rice
1/4 cup (62mL) dry white wine
1/4 cup (62mL) dry white vermouth
1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving (optional)
Melt 2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 of mushrooms and sprinkle with salt.
Sauté mushrooms until tender and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl.
Working in 3 more batches, repeat with 6 tablespoons butter, remaining mushrooms, and salt and pepper.
Bring chicken broth to simmer in medium saucepan; keep warm.
Melt remaining butter with olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add rice and increase heat to medium. Stir until edges of rice begin to look translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add white wine and vermouth and stir until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.
Add 3/4 cup (187 mL) warm chicken broth; stir until almost all broth is absorbed, about 1 minute.
Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls (187 mL), stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is halfway cooked, about 10 minutes.
Stir in sautéed mushrooms.
Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls (187 mL), stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender but still firm to bite and risotto is creamy, about 10 minutes.
Stir in 1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese, if using. Transfer risotto to serving bowl. Pass additional Parmesan cheese alongside, if desired.
Recipe & Photo credit: SimplyRecipes.com
1/3 cup (850 mL) olive oil
1/3 cup (850 mL) soy sauce
3 Tbsp (45 mL) red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (62 mL) honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs (750 g) top sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 large bell pepper
1-2 medium red onions
1/2 to 1 pound (227 g to 454 g) button mushrooms
About 20 bamboo or wooden skewers
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and add the meat. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably several hours or even overnight.
Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling. This will help prevent them from completely burning up on the grill.
Cut the vegetables into chunks roughly the width of the beef pieces. Thread the meat and vegetables onto double bamboo skewers. If you keep a little space between the pieces, they will grill more evenly. Paint the kebabs with some of the remaining marinade.
Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is, and how done you would like your meat, turning occasionally. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.