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Archive for ‘Savvy experiences with wine’

It’s Tonight! Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
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The corks will be popping tonight at Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White. It’s a Taste & Buy event like never before showcasing hard-to-find wines from coast to coast…that’s right from British Columbia all the way to Nova Scotia. There will be Canadian artisan cheeses & gourmet goodies – that you can buy too.

 

It’s sold out!

We’ve had a tremendous response – thanks to you! Everything is all set.  Your name is on the guest list. Either bring a paper copy of your ticket or save it onto your smartphone.

TIP: Have dinner beforehand

The focus of this event is about sampling & shopping. Be sure to have dinner beforehand to ‘fuel up’.  Plan to book at table at one of the restaurants in Lansdowne or The Glebe.

Wear Red & White…get $50!

Show your Canadian colours tonight!  Dress head to toe in red & white and we’ll give you $50 off tickets to our next Taste & Buy event this year. Oh Canada!!!!!

 

Sip, Savour & Stock up…

Tonight’s event is all about sampling Canadian wines that you won’t find at the LCBO.  The cool part is that you can order them at the event or online.  Hurry as the special prices & shipping promos are only on orders placed by Sunday June 26 @ midnight. Tell your wine loving friends that they can order too!

Here is the complete list to DOWNLOAD NOW of all the featured wines to create your ‘gotta try’ or ‘shopping list’.  OR…use our online order form at www.savvycompany.ca/ohcanada

 

There will also be really neat goodies made by cool Canadians that you can buy onsite along with incredible artisan cheese.  Bring a picnic basket to use as you stock up & put some ‘mad money’  in your pocket.  There is no ATM onsite.

 

Pro Tips on ordering from coast to coast  – it’s New & Easy!

All of the featured wines at this  Taste & Buy event can be ordered & delivered to your home or office.  Since the bottles are coming directly from the wineries to you, here are some important details:

Ordering Ontario & Quebec wines – order 6+ wines from these provinces & shipping is FREE
Ordering BC wines – minimum order of 6 bottles PER WINERY.
Ordering NS wines – minimum order of any 6 bottles from the 2 featured wineries.
The BC & NS wines are traveling across the county to your doorstep. The wineries are offering special shipping fees for this event: $25 for 6 bottles or $40 for 12 bottles.

When will your wine order arrive?

Shortly after Canada Day…just in time for the lazy hazy days of summer.  Be sure to let the Savvy Team know if you will be away in July.

 

Order tonight or online www.savvycompany.ca/ohcanada before Sunday June 26 @ midnight!

 

Event Details

Date: Thursday June 22 – tonight 5 to
5 to 7pm: V.I.T Reception – Did you upgrade your ticket with a special V.I.T. Pass (Very Important Tasters)?  You’ll get the red carpet treatment with advance access.
7 to 9pm: Main Event
Location: Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way (Lansdowne Park)
Parking: Ample underground parking

 

NEW: It’s FREE to Ride the Bus

Hop aboard the OC Transpo bus & show a paper copy of your ticket…and the bus fare is FREE.  How cool is that – you can ride the bus to & from the event for $0 (you can’t just show your tix on your phone).

 

Win a trip to Vancouver!

You read that right… the organizers of our favorite wine festival have given us a festival pass AND a $1000 flight voucher on Delta Airlines to attend the Vancouver International Wine Festival in February 2018. Value of this prize is over $1500! When you order wine, we’ll enter your name into the draw. You can win a night out in Ottawa too! Beerocracy – a brand new pub on Somerset – has given us a $50 gift certificate for a door prize. They have great local beers & Ontario wines…we created their list!

 

Before an event, we are often asked:

What is the format of the evening?  ANSWER: Upon arrival, you will be provided a Savvy tasting glass- it is yours for the evening & to take home.

Will I be able to order my favorites?  ANSWER: Absolutely!  This Taste & Buy event features bevvies that you won’t find at the LCBO. Attached is the order form (copies will be available) or you can order online.

What is the dress code?  ANSWER: Dress as you like – this is your evening. Dress head to toe in Red & White and we’ll give you $50 voucher to apply to tickets to our next Taste & Buy event.

Is there WiFi?  ANSWER: This is new!  Select the network called: Taste & Buy.  Password: saVvy2017

Do you Taste & Tweet?  ANSWER: Spread the word by including: #ohcanadasavvy / @SavvyCompany / #RootedinCool / @WinesCanada / Go ahead & tag us on Instagram too!

 

TIP: Join our ‘Clubs’

Keep discovering with us.  Subscribe or give a gift subscription to our Savvy Selections wine-o-month club & receive a delivery of 3 hard-to-find BC, NS, Ontario & Quebec wines every month.  Love craft beer? Suds-cribe to our Savvy Hip Hops craft beer-o-month club. Our Savvy Cool Curds artisan-cheese-o-month club features cheeses from across Canada. Life does not get any better than this.

 

If you have any questions, just let me know….otherwise we look forward to seeing you tonight!

Cheers,
Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want?  Bring ’em back!
For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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We’re gearing up for a Savvy Summer!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
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Hockey is still being played & summer is almost here…get your Canada Day celebrations started with one of our most requested events:  Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White on Thursday, June 22 – tickets are going fast!

And what is Summer without Rosé wines?  No need to jump out of your deck chair, simply CLICK HERE & we’ll deliver an assortment of fine Rosé wines to your dock or deck.

Now…how is that for the start of a Savvy Summer?

 

Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White

We’re kicking off Canada Day celebrations on Thursday, June 22 by waving the Canadian flag & raising glasses of Canadian wines to celebrate that our winemakers have put our country on the wine map!
The cool part: you can Taste & Buy your favorites so you can have 100% Canadian wine on hand – all summer long.   FREE shipping on 6 or more bottles – of your top picks.

This Taste & Buy is over 50% sold out!  Get your tix quick…
Buy a $80 ticket & bring a friend for FREE OR $150 for a foursome of Canadian wine lovin’ friends

 

Here’s who is coming so far:

Casa-Dea Estates Winery * The Good Earth Food & Wine Co. * Legends Estates Winery * Huff Estates Winery * Karlo Estates * Kinsip House of Fine Distillers*  Keint-he Winery & Vineyards * Merry Dairy * Top Shelf Preserves * Trail Estate Winery * Westcott Vineyards ….this is just a start!

Soon we’ll announce the wineries from BC, Nova Scotia & Quebec who will be joining us – stay tuned.

 

NEW: Rose Wine Bar

We will have loads of Rosé wines to sip away the heat wave. Our Savvy Sommeliers will be serving up samples to Taste & Buy Rosé wines to stock your fridge full this summer.

 

Canadian Cheese Pleeeeze!

What is perfect with Canadian wines?  Canadian artisan cheese of course! Our Cheese Sommelier is organizing cheesemakers from coast to coast so you can Taste & Buy rounds & wedges of 100% Canadian cheese for your summertime picnics.

 

Oh Canada! Deets

DATE: Thursday June 22
VENUE: Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne

TIMES:
V.I.T. (Very Important Taster) Reception – 5 to 7pm ($25 upgrade pass is required)
Main Event – 7 to 9pm

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY: $80 + bring a friend FREE  OR  Group of 4 people for $150

Don’t miss out!   Get your tickets >>

 

It’s time to Clink & Drink Pink!

Summer living is easy…especially when you have a glass of Rosé wines in hand! No need to aimlessly roam the aisles of the LCBO wondering which bottle to buy.  We have you covered!

Sit back & relax in your lawn chair…Simply CLICK HERE to order a one-time shipment packed with 6 bottles of refreshing Rosés OR subscribe for the summer & we’ll deliver a different assortment of Ontario’s finest Rose wines each month.

Order by Friday, June 9th & shipping is FREE

What’s in this month’s assortment?

Our Savvy Sommeliers hand-picked 6 Rosé wines – you won’t find these special wines at the LCBO. CLICK to see what we picked >>  It’s PINK Magic

Order just June’s Selection of Rosé  OR  choose to auto-magically receive a different parcel every month throughout the summer.  For June the prices are:

SMALL Bouquet: $120 – assortment of 6 different Rose wines
LARGE Bouquet: $240 – assortment of 2 of each Rose wine (total 12 bottles
FREE shipping to addresses in major cities in Ontario.  Bring on summer!  Place your order>>

 

LAST MINUTE Tickets: Only $50!

Over the long weekend, 3 sponsors came on board & we’re able to release a special block of tickets for this Friday’s concert featuring Chantal Kreviazuk at the stunning Shaw Centre.

Kick off your summer right! Come & hear a Canadian superstar live. Her hits include (click to listen):

Feels Like Home  *  In This Life  I Will Be  Leaving on a Jet Plane  Surrounded   

These special tickets include admission to the concert.  Cash bar will be onsite serving Amazing Wine, craft beer & non-alcoholic bevvies too. Get your tix & we’ll see you there >>

 

We’re hiring!

School is almost out & we have a great summer job opportunity for a high school or university students to work with the Savvy Team. We’re looking for dynamic & creative students who are Savvy (of course!) to join us.

Interested?  Contact us on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send your resume to cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

We’re ready for all-Canadian summer – are you?
– Debbie and the Savvy Team
PS – GO Sens GO!

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

 

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They are ba-a-a-a-ack! Prince Edward County is coming….

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
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Have you heard? Prince Edward County is coming to Ottawa! For the 6th year in a row we bring you County in the Capital. At this year’s Taste & Buy event, we are adding artisanal spirits along with hard-to-find wines, craft beers & ciders. And there will be cheese & gourmet goodies too.

 

Sip, stock up & get travel tips!

County in the Capital is your chance to get a true taste of The County. Meet the makers, order your favorite bevvies & buy neat treats onsite. Plus get the ‘inside scoop’ on places to visit from Prince Edward County Tourism & those who live there.

Buy a ticket + bring a friend for FREE
until March 31st

 

Returning favorites…

401 Cider Brewery * Barley Days Brewery * Casa-Dea Estates Winery * Clafeld Fruit Winery & Cider House * County Cider Company * Devils Wishbone Winery * Half Moon Bay Winery * Huff Estates Winery * Karlo Estates Winery * Keint-He Winery * Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy * Stanners Vineyard * The Grange * Trail Estate Winery * Traynor Family Vineyard * Waupoos Estates Winery

New this year…

Del-Gatto Estates Winery * Kinsip House of Fine Spirits (formerly 66 Gilead) * Lacey Estates * The Grange of Prince Edward and we are working on more!

 

Make it EXTRA special

Become a V.I.T. – a Very Important Taster. With so many bevvies to try, for an additional $25 you can upgrade your ticket & get a V.I.T. Pass.

You’ll enjoy red carpet treatment & advance access from 5 to 7pm, then stay as long as you like for the main event.

Round up your friends & get your tickets >>
This event always sells out…

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday, April 20
COOL NEW VENUE! Horticulture Building (in the Lansdowne Complex near TD Place)
V.I.T. RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – V.I.T. Passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

 

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY

$80 per person + bring a friend for FREE – only until March 31
A group of 4 for $150
Prices include absolutely everything – all samples, a Savvy tasting glass & good ol’ HST

 

Get a taste of The County

Oh my! There will be so much to try…and buy. Wines of all kinds – sparkling, white, rose, red, even port. Craft beers & ciders too. Small batch gin, rye, rum, whisky….

One thing is for certain: EVERYTHING showcased at County in the Capital is extra special, hard-to-find & not available at the LCBO.

 

Order your faves…shipping is FREE

At this Taste & Buy event, order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite bevvies & we’ll hand deliver to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order
& take advantage of FREE shipping – to major cities in Ontario.

See you at County in the Capital,
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Calling all sparkling wine fans! Join us for a neat night out at the Museum of Nature tasting of bubblies from around the world with led by a geologist expert & me as your Sommelier. We are popping corks on Thursday, March 16 – a few tickets left >>

 

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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What a fun night! County in the Capital

Posted by Debbie

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
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Thank you for joining us at this year’s County in the Capital. We hope you enjoyed meeting the cool people who have put Prince Edward County on the map AND discovering their delicious bevvies too.

Thinking about ordering?

ACT FAST! You have until midnight tonight to place your order online at www.savvycompany.ca/pec.

All it takes is a few clicks…then TA-DA!…your favorite wines, craft beers, ciders & spirits will be shipped directly to you from The County.

Your parcel will be delivered with a smile by courier to your home or office address. It is that easy…and shipping is FREE when you order 6+ bottles.

Get shopping!

Click to print out the order form.
Order online at www.savvycompany.ca/pec.

BONUS – 4 FREE tickets!

EVERYONE who places an order will auto-magically receive
4 tickets to our next event Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White on Thursday, June 22.
It’s our way to thank you for ordering from us at County in the Capital.

 

Perfectly timed before Canada Day, this Taste & Buy event will shine the spotlight on wines from coast to coast – British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia – there will be 100s of bottles of hard-to-find wine ready for you to sip, sample & stock up.

And there will be loads of Canadian artisan cheeses to buy too.

 

Tickets for Oh Canada! Celebrate Red & White go on sale tomorrow.

Buy a $80 ticket & bring a Canadian flag waving friend for FREE
$150 for a group of 4 Canadian wine fans
Upgrade your ticket with a V.I.T. Pass for early access for an additional $25/person
Prices include absolutely everything…PLUS a Oh Canada! gift.

 

Bookmark the ticket page >>
Don’t wait because this event will sell out red-lightening fast!
www.savvycompany.ca/savvy-events/

Thank you again!

All of us in the Savvy Team enjoyed meeting you at County in the Capital…and look forward to seeing you with a Savvy glass in hand again soon.

Cheers!
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

PS – Thinking of going to Prince Edward County this summer? Plan around these great events:
* Terroir Wine Celebration – Saturday, May 13 (in Picton)
* The Great Canadian Cheese Festival – Saturday, June 3 & Sunday, June 4 (in Picton)

And….here’s our Top Tips of things to do in The County

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds
#CountyintheCapital
www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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California Dreaming…

Posted by Susan

Thursday, March 30th, 2017
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How could you start a visit to the Sonoma/Napa area without a stop in San Francisco?

It was a brilliantly sunny day when we arrived, ever-present wisps of fog drifting over the hills as we gazed out across the Pacific Ocean. San Francisco offers endless delights, from Boudin’s unique sourdough bread to Tarantino’s fresh seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf. We did all the requisite things, riding the cable car up and down the hills downtown – several cars survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906, as we learned at the Cable Car Museum and operations centre. Fisherman’s Wharf swarmed with Labour Day weekend visitors, the sea lions oblivious, as they floated alongside docking fishing boats, hoping for scraps. We visited the Mission of San Francisco de Asis (guess where the city’s name originated), which opened in 1776, days before the American Declaration of Independence was signed, and also survived intact the great 1906 earthquake and fire. Muir Woods induced awe and reverence, the never-logged forest home to giant redwoods as much as 1000 years old. And everywhere we stopped for lunch or dinner, an endless range of California wines was available for sampling.

We made our way north to Sonoma County, and from our excellent B&B there, Mediterranea, visited a number of wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma. We also spent a day travelling out to the Pacific coast, and had an absolutely amazing lunch at the River’s End Restaurant in the small town of Jenner. Don’t miss it if you are visiting the north California Coast!

 

 

Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery

Born into the Torres wine family, Marimar Torres has been immersed in the industry all her life. With degrees in business, education in oenology and a facility for languages, she was the ideal ambassador for Torres wines in her early career. After establishing her home in California, she focused her energies on increasing awareness of Spanish wines in North America. Ten years later, the sale of Torres wines in the U.S. had grown ten-fold, and Marimar was ready for the new challenge of establishing Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery.

The Don Miguel vineyard surrounds Marimar’s winery and tasting room, designed in the style of a Catalan farmhouse. Located in the cool climate Russian River Valley and named for her father, it was first planted in 1986 and now includes 81 acres of which 45 are planted principally to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with growing plantings of Albariño, Syrah and Tempranillo. Marimar has also recently planted Godello, a white grape variety that grows in Galicia, like Albariño, and produces attractive dry white wines. The Doña Margarita vineyard, named for her mother, is located in the cool Sonoma Coast AVA, the 20 acres planted solely with Pinot Noir. Marimar describes the differences between the Pinot Noir from the two vineyards as follows: the Russian River Valley Pinot is more opulent, with intense flavours of black cherry and wild berry, while the Sonoma Coast Pinot has an earthier character, similar to Burgundian wines.

Marimar Estate vineyards are all certified organic, while biodynamic principles are applied in all phases of vineyard management and winemaking. According to Marimar, since the conversion to organic principles, the wines from each block have become more expressive of their unique terroir.

To ensure the quality of the fruit, thinning takes place right after fruit set; leaves are regularly removed to ensure access to the sun; vines are trimmed by machete to remove excess top growth; and at veraison, excess grape bunches are removed to further concentrate flavour in those remaining. Hand harvesting, with several passes through the vineyard, ensures that only ripe bunches are picked.

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the winery has recently completed investments that allow it to meet all energy requirements through solar power.

Marimar continues to direct activities in the winery, established in 1992, as well as the vineyards. She has not limited herself to viticulture and winemaking, but has also published two authoritative books on Spanish cuisine, The Spanish Table and The Catalan Country Kitchen. The Torres family history in the vineyard and in winemaking dates back many generations in Spain, and while responsibility for the business has traditionally passed from father to son, Marimar is setting new traditions in the U.S., where her daughter Cristina, who grew up in the vineyards and is currently pursuing an MBA at Wharton, is the natural successor at Marimar Estate.

Due to very limited production – ranging from 5,000-10,000 cases depending upon the vintage – some wines are only available to wine club members, with only a limited number finding their way to Ontario. The 2014 ‘Acero’ Chardonnay was recently released in Vintages. We had the opportunity to try the new 2015 vintage at the winery (see the notes below). The fruit for the wine comes from the Don Miguel vineyard and is especially selected for intensity and aromatics, the grapes fermented in stainless to retain the unique character of the fruit.

Several other wines were tasted during our visit to Marimar’s Russian River Green Valley estate. These included her Albariño 2015, which offers lovely floral aromas, stone fruit and citrus flavours and a lively, crisp texture; the ‘La Masía’ Chardonnay 2014, showing alluring aromas and flavours of stone and tree fruit, a refined, creamy texture, and finely honed acidity to balance the rich fruit; the ‘La Masía’ Pinot Noir 2013, where cherry/berry, sweet spice and a whiff of citrus are underpinned by fine tannins and clean acidity; and the ‘Mas Cavalls’ Pinot Noir 2013 from the Doña Margarita vineyard, where this more feminine Burgundian wine offers classic aromas of red cherry, mineral notes and underbrush, framed by subtle tannins and lively acidity.

 

Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard ‘Acero’ Chardonnay 2015
Russian River Valley 13.5% alcohol

A lovely pale gold, this brims with fresh aromas of sweet woodruff, citrus, pear and quince. Dry, mid-weight, silky yet juicy and lively in texture, this unoaked Chardonnay freshens the palate with flavours of crisp apple, pear and lemon curd, delivering a lasting, tangy finish. Enjoy chilled on its own or with fresh seafood.

 

 

Rodney Strong Vineyards
Dedicated, Passionate Craftsmanship

Located just south of the quaint Sonoma County town of Healdsburg, the Rodney Strong Vineyards tasting room is surrounded by some of the founder’s extensive original vineyards. Not only can you take a self-guided tour, or taste flights of wines on the terrace, Chef Tara Watchee has developed a finely balanced wine and food pairing experience where both components shine. As an example, the lively red fruit flavours of the 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir were complemented by a salad of watermelon, grilled corn, basil, Black Pig bacon, verjus and estate olive oil.

The winery was established in 1959 by acclaimed dancer and dance producer, Rod Strong, who had fallen in love with wine while working in Paris. Under his innovative direction, the winery thrived for over 40 years, achieving milestones such as the first single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Alexander’s Crown – which is still produced to this day. He was one of the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley, and the first to produce a ‘Chalk Hill’ Chardonnay. As Rod Strong was developing his wines and reputation in Sonoma County and beyond, Tom Klein was pursuing his education and subsequent career as a management consultant. With the long Klein family history and experience in farming, Tom must have seemed the ideal partner to Rod Strong when they established a consulting relationship.

Eventually, the Klein family purchased the winery in 1989, then set about acquiring additional vineyards, so that they now manage 14 outstanding estates encompassing in the order of 1400 acres, all in Sonoma County, ranging from the Alexander Valley in the north out to the Sonoma Coast. The range of vineyards and terroir ties into Tom Klein’s strong belief in the importance of place in winemaking – “Place isn’t the only thing, but place is the most important thing”. Rodney Strong wines are produced using only Sonoma County fruit and are made to Tom Klein’s exacting maxim – NO shortcuts.

With the goal of building a range of premium wines, David Ramey was hired as consultant and the ‘Artisan’ cellar was created, using smaller fermentation tanks to allow for fermentation of select rows of fruit, while additional investments were made in French oak barrels. Experimentation continues and has extended to the purchase of concrete Roman eggs for fermentation, and now to the creation of the square tank cellar, an extraordinary investment. Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld has worked with LaGarde Inox, a unique steel tank producer based in Quebec, to invent, design and produce special 6000 gallon square fermentation tanks. We’ve all seen the standard round steel tanks with dimpled cooling jackets. You may ask, why are these square tanks such an improvement? For one, they use space in the winery much more efficiently, and they have a variety of unique and highly beneficial features. As an example, autumn days are often quite warm in Sonoma County, so harvested grapes arriving from the vineyards may heat up and be at risk of spontaneous fermentation. These tanks were specified to provide more cool surface area to grapes, permitting the rapid cooling of grapes as they arrive from the vineyard – voila, reduced risk of spontaneous fermentation. A specially designed pump aperture ensures the pumped over wine covers the entire breadth of the tank, providing for better contact with the cap. Further, the shape delivers more surface area of juice to cap, providing for better extraction of colour and flavours, more softness and suppleness to the wine (as proven in blind tastings by the Rodney Strong winemaking team and owner Tom Klein). The special polishing process for the insides of the tanks, which was jointly developed by Justin and LaGarde’s engineering team, reduces water consumption for cleaning and sterilization by 50-70% (critical in drought-stricken California). Justin speaks with passion and excitement about the opportunities these tanks provide for him to enhance the quality of Rodney Strong wines, as well as the sustainability of the winery operations. It’s not surprising that this Rodney Strong innovation is now being adopted by numerous other highly reputable wineries in the U.S.

With his family background in farming, Tom Klein is strongly committed to sustainability in the vineyards and the cellar. Environmental protection is an integral part of the organization’s corporate values. Solar panels were installed as early as 2001, and along the way, Rodney Strong Vineyards has developed practices that allow them to be designated Fish-Friendly Farmers. Recently, they became Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery.

We’re fortunate that many Rodney Strong wines find their way through the Vintages program to the LCBO. Many of those wines were tasted during the visit, and I’ve included notes on a few of them below.

 

Rodney Strong ‘Chalk Hill’ Chardonnay 2014
Sonoma County $24.95 (LCBO# 275552) 14.5% alcohol

Notes of tropical fruit and butter, vanilla custard and hints of mineral grace the nose of this wine, produced from fruit grown on the unique volcanic white ash soil of this sub-appellation in the Russian River Valley. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s rich and creamy in texture, yet retains freshness that is a perfect match for the lush flavours of lemon curd, sweet apple and pineapple. The mineral quality is subtly present on the palate, while nuances of warm baking spice linger on the tangy finish. Serve with pasta garnished with shrimp and scallops sautéed in olive oil and garlic.

 

Davis Bynum ‘Jane’s Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2014
Russian River Valley $ 39.95 (LCBO# 458893) 14.5% alcohol

Davis Bynum is recognized as the first winery to create, in 1973, a single vineyard Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley fruit. Rodney Strong maintains the tradition with this semi-transparent ruby gem. Notes of vanilla and sweet baking spice layer on aromas of ripe cherry/berry, complemented by earthy nuances. Dry, medium bodied, there’s a lovely freshness to the texture, well paired with the wealth of ripe red cherry and plum flavours. Delicate notes of warm spice, vanilla and cedar emerge and linger through the lengthy, tangy finish. Serve with a Provençal salad with duck confit.

Rodney Strong Pinot Noir 2014
Russian River Valley $25.95 (LCBO# 954834) 13.9% alcohol

Produced from a blend of fruit from the valley, this approachable wine offers lively aromas of red fruit, hints of earthy roast beetroot, and notions of spice and dried herbs. Dry, light-medium bodied, it’s bright with well-defined acidity and juicy with flavours of red cherry and plum, light hints of smoky oak and spice persisting through the vibrant finish. Serve with cedar-planked salmon.


Rodney Strong ‘Alexander Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Alexander Valley $28.30 (LCBO# 226944) 14.5% alcohol

Showing powerful fruit while retaining a fresh texture, this deep ruby Cabernet offers intense aromas and flavours of black berry, plum and dark chocolate-coated cherry mingling with nuances of dried herbs and earth, while the extended aging in French oak layers on notes of cedar and spice. Dry, full and powerful, the wine is crafted with balance, the supple yet perceptible tannins paired with fine acidity, framing lush ripe dark fruit. Subtle notes of toast and dark chocolate drift across the palate through the lengthy finish. Enjoy now with herbed roast lamb or cellar. (Susan Desjardins)

 

Rodney Strong ‘Symmetry’ Meritage 2012
Alexander Valley $70.95 (LCBO# 641142) 14.5% alcohol

Principally Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with Merlot and small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, each varietal is fermented separately with only the best wines used in this blend. Perfumed with floral notes and spice, offering intense fruit aromas, this is a robust well-structured wine designed for cellaring. The firm, defined tannins are a well-crafted foil for the big powerful flavours of cassis and blackberry. Luscious notes of dark chocolate-coated coffee bean and hints of spice and cedar add complexity, persisting through the lengthy dry finish. Cellar or decant the wine, to be served with rare prime rib. (Susan Desjardins)

 

 

 

E.&J. Gallo Winery Estates

We planned visits at two Gallo estates, and then made a quick stop at Louis M. Martini given its long history in the Napa Valley. Although the Gallo family has purchased a number of wineries and vineyards over the years, one of the themes that came through during our visits is their focus on retaining the unique character of the wines produced at each of the estates, while investing in the infrastructure and equipment that will honour and maintain the legacy of the original founders. E.&J. Gallo Winery remains a family business with goals of being a leader in the U.S. wine industry and a leading supplier of California wine internationally.

 

 

 

William Hill Estate Winery

After graduating with a degree in geology in his home state of Oklahoma, Bill Hill headed off to Europe. He fell in love with wine and headed to California on his return, to complete an MBA at Stanford, after which he began working in the Napa Valley. He arrived just after the 1976 Judgement of Paris had vaulted Napa Valley wines to global prominence. Given his interest in wines, he decided to purchase a 200-acre former cattle ranch on the bench lands of the Valley and in 1978, planted his first Chardonnay vines. Bill soon realized that the intense sun and heat on his property scorched the grapes; the initial vines were replaced with red Bordeaux varieties and for several years he sold his grapes to local wineries. In 1990, the winery was built and the first wines branded William Hill Estate Winery were created. Despite his success, Bill decided to sell the winery in 1992, and has since watched its evolution from his nearby home.

In 2007, the estate became a property of the Gallo family, with substantial investments made to upgrade the tasting room as well as the winery itself. Of the 200 acres, 125 are planted to vines, the bulk being Cabernet Sauvignon. William Hill wines are crafted with grapes from the estate on the Silverado Trail, as well as from fruit from vineyards in southern Napa, the Central and North Coasts.

The wines currently available at the LCBO include the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 as well as the 2012 Chardonnay. Since then new 2013 vintage was tasted at the winery, and I expect these wines will be in a Vintages release in 2017, I’ve included my notes below. Tasted at the winery, but not available locally, were the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, with lovely notes of white flowers and fine herbs, tropical fruit and citrus, wrapped in a vibrant texture; the lush ‘Bench Blend’ Chardonnay 2013, the creamy texture balanced with good acidity, infused with lovely flavours of pineapple, tree fruits and lemon vanilla custard; and the opulent ‘Benchland Series’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, a full-bodied powerhouse with robust dark fruit flavours layered on well-integrated oak and velvety tannins.

 

William Hill ‘Napa Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Napa Valley $44.95 (LCBO# 212951) 15.2% alcohol

Deep purple, this Cabernet is aged in French and American oak, a touch of Petite Syrah and Merlot giving added depth and complexity. Perfumed with aromas of ripe red fruit and juicy black berries, it hints at vanilla and sweet spice. Dry, full bodied, the wine displays perceptible yet supple tannins, well-integrated oak that offers notes of cinnamon toast and vanilla and a fresh texture. Bright, lively raspberry, black cherry and berry are fresh on the palate, rushing through the dry, toasty finish. Serve with beef short ribs.

 

William Hill ‘Bench Blend’ Chardonnay 2013
Napa Valley 14.9% alcohol

Blended from fruit from several vineyards, aged in French oak, this elegant Chardonnay offers lifted aromas of tree fruit, citrus and pineapple, vanilla custard infused with sweet spice. Dry, on the full side of medium bodied, the palate is lush with flavours of pear, tangy apple and lemon zest, underpinned with a refined backbone of acidity. The creamy texture and spice bring to mind creme brûlée, while delicate notions of white pepper add warmth to the long finish. Deftly balanced.

 

 

 

Louis M. Martini Estate Winery

There’s an incredible story behind this long-lived winery. The Martini family emigrated to the United States and worked as fishermen on the west coast in the early 20th century. From tasting local grapes, and then making wine for consumption by the family, young Louis M. Martini developed an interest in winemaking and eventually returned to Italy to study winemaking at the University of Alba in Piemonte. By the time he returned to the U.S., Prohibition had come into effect, making it difficult for him to pursue his passion. Nevertheless, since the family had grape holdings, they found ways to use their grapes for the production of sacramental wine, for medicinal use and in legal home winemaking kits.

As it became clear that prohibition was coming to an end in the early 1930s, the family moved its operations from the Central Valley to Sonoma, opening their new winery near St. Helena in 1933, one of the 5 original Napa wineries to be founded after Prohibition. Within 2 years, they had more than doubled production and sales, and in 1936, pioneered the use of temperature-controlled fermentation. The St. Helena site continues to be the base of their operations, and is where Louis M. Martini passed on responsibility for winemaking to his son Louis P. Martini in 1953. Louis P showed great creativity, and has been credited with creating the first wind fan used in the vineyards, with bottling the first single varietal wine – a Merlot (previously, wines were simply blends of the grapes in any given vineyard), and with first experimenting with fermentation in steel tanks. His son, Mike Martini took on responsibility for winemaking in 1974, and continued as winemaker until 2015, seeing the family business through the transition in 2002 to ownership by their friends, the Gallo family. The Martini winery offers an incredible legacy, including vineyards of bush vine Zinfandel planted in the 1880s.

 

Louis M. Martini ‘Napa Valley’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Napa Valley $32.95 (LCBO# 232371) 14.5% alcohol

Opaque ruby with violet highlights, this offers captivating aromas of spiced rose, raspberry and blackberry, with a dash of spice and cedar. Dry, robustly full bodied, the wine offers great fruit intensity balanced by a fresh texture and soft tannins. Long and dry on the finish, this is an approachable, well-crafted wine offering great value.

 

 

J Vineyards

J Vineyards is the legacy of Judy Jordan, who grew up in her family’s vineyards in the Alexander Valley. Determined to travel her own road, she studied geophysics at Stanford University and, in 1986, bought an old prune factory and some surrounding acreage with the idea of making sparkling wine. Her first method traditionelle wine was released in 1991. Due to her success with sparkling wines – and despite the naysayers – she decided to beginning making still wines- Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – the first of which was released in 1994.

Unfortunately, the great Russian River flood of 1995 completely destroyed her entire operation and inventory. Determined to re-establish her business, she purchased the current property in Sonoma County in 1996, completing the winery in 1999. The site includes a remarkable ‘tear drop’ shaped vineyard which includes 20 clones of Pinot Noir on a half acre, allowing the winemakers to experiment with blending. The site also includes the Cooper vineyard, planted with Pinot Gris, and the Backdoor vineyard, home to Pinotage. The balance of the 200 acre estate properties are spread throughout the Russian River Valley.

After years of successful production, and having sold grapes for many years to the Gallo family, Judy retired from the business and took advantage of her established relationship to sell J Vineyards to the Gallo family in 2015.

At J Vineyards, we tasted the Brut Rose, composed of 66% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 1% Pinot Meunier, a clean, fresh wine showing a delicate and persistent mousse and lovely subtle notes of red fruit. The Cuvée 20 is an almost equal blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, again with the 1% Pinot Meunier, offering nuances of butter pastry, fresh citrus and tree fruit, the characteristic creamy, lasting mousse, and a lovely touch of pithiness through the finish. The Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is composed from the fruit of 12 different clones from 4 vineyards. It’s a dry, mid-weight wine with classic cherry cola aromas and flavours complemented by attractive notes of warm spice and toast from French oak barrel aging.

 

The only wine tasted and currently available from the LCBO is:

J Vineyards Chardonnay 2013
Russian River Valley $31.75 (LCBO# 418236) 14.3% alcohol

Produced from estate grown fruit, aged in French oak (30% new) , this wine offers lovely tropical and tree fruit aromas, hints of citrus, sweet spice and vanilla. Dry, medium bodied, the creamy texture brings to mind vanilla custard, lemon curd with a dash of zest, and ripe tree fruit. The wine retains its freshness and offers a touch of warm spice through the flavourful finish. Serve with roast lemon rosemary chicken.

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One Night Only! Next Week – Wed March 29th

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 20th, 2017
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Psst…have you heard? We’re having our 1st ever Pop-Up Wine Shop. It’s happening next week & we invite you to come as our guest – no tickets…no cost…just RSVP!

A bunch of Niagara wineries – big & small – will be serving wines that you can only find in Ottawa at our Pop-Up Wine Shop. This spur-of-the-moment wine shopping event will
feature:
* 13th Street Winery
* GreenLane Estate Winery
* Redstone Winery
* Tawse Winery
* Two Sisters Vineyards
* Vieni Estates Wine & Spirits
* Vineland Estates Winery
* Westcott Vineyards

Hurry to jump on this opportunity to sip, sample & stock up for Spring (try saying that fast!). There will be newly released wines, top-selling wines, refreshing Sparkling & Whites, ready-for-spring Roses & Reds of all kinds.

Be our Guest!

We have designed this Savvy Pop-Up Wine Shop just for you! There is absolutely no cost for you to attend. Bring friends & introduce them to the new Savvy way to shop for outstanding Ontario wines.

Simply RSVP to put your name on our guest list. Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

Pop-Up Wine Shop Deets

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Wednesday March 29
POP-UP SHOP HOURS: 6 to 8pm
BRAND NEW VENUE: Innovation Centre @ 7 Bayview Road in Hintonburg (Ottawa)

COST: $25 per person….BUT for you, it’s FREE. Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

ONLY 150 spots

To make this an extra special shopping experience with have lots of one-on-one time to chat with the winemakers, we are limiting our guest list to 150 wine lovers. Be sure to get your name on our guest list – quick! Use Promo Code: SAVVYSHOPPER

 

Stock up!…shipping is FREE

At this Pop-Up Shop order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your favorite wines & we’ll deliver by courier to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Can’t make it but want to order?

Call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) to place your order & take advantage of FREE shipping – to major cities in Ontario.

 

BONUS 50% off & INSTANT upgrades!

Come to the Savvy Pop-Up Shop & when Prince Edward County is in Ottawa on April 20th for County in the Capital, we’ll give you 50% off regular tickets. PLUS we’ll automatically upgrade you to get a FREE VIT (Very Important Taster) pass! This will give you the red carpet treatment & early access to the event so you can spend more time mixing & mingling with the cool folks from The County.

See you at our Pop-Up Wine Shop!
– Debbie and the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

PS – Spring cleaning? Found some Savvy wine tasting glasses you no longer want? Bring ’em back!  For every 4 glasses, we’ll give you a $5 gift certificate you can apply towards tickets to an upcoming Savvy Event.

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany
@SavvyWines
@SavvyHipHops
@SavvyCoolCurds

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100+ hard-to-find wines, craft beers, ciders & cheeses too!

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
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This is THE hottest ticket in town…and you’re invited to join us & bring a friend for FREE. We’re hosting the always popular 5th annual Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy event where you will meet the makers of the finest wines, craft beers & ciders from across Ontario…and gourmet artisans too!

 

Sip & Stock up for the holidays

On your mark….get set…Power Shop! To prep you for this special Taste & Buy night, we’ll send you the list of featured products AND our Savvy Sommeliers & Cicerones will be at the event ready to share ‘must try’ tips.

There’ll be wines of all kinds – sparkling, white, red & even port, PLUS a variety of craft beers & ciders too. You won’t find any of the featured bevvies at the LCBO or grocery stores.

Special PROMO
Buy a $70 ticket + bring a friend FREE

 

Look who is coming from Niagara, The County & Ottawa region too!

Amazing Wines * Aure Winery * Chateau des Charmes * County Cider Company * Fielding Estates Winery * Legends Estates Winery * Karlo Estates * KIN Vineyards * Melville Winery * Trail Estates Winery * Tuque de Broue Brewery * Veini Estates * Vineland Estates Winery …and more will be announced!

 

FREE Shipping

This is an OUTSTANDING offer! At this event, order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY of your favorites & we’ll deliver by courirer to your home or office – absolutely FREE.

 

Event Deets

DATE: Thursday December 1st
NEW VENUE! Horticulture Building @ Lansdowne, Ottawa
V.I.T. RECEPTION: 5 to 7pm – special passes required
MAIN TASTING EVENT: 7 to 9pm

 

Shop for cheeses too

Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons will be shining the spotlight on hard-to-come-by cheeses from Ontario & Quebec that we’ve featured in our Savvy Cool Curds cheese-o-month-club. You can buy your new cheesey favorites to take home for the holidays.

 

Get the red carpet treatment….be a V.I.T.

Buy a Very Important Taster Pass (V.I.T.) for an additional $25 & enjoy advance access from 5 to 7pm…then stay on as long as you like for the main event. Limited to 150 passes.

This OUTSTANDING event always sells out quickly.
Buy your tickets >>

 

Hold on!!! There’s MORE…

For the Love of Cheese

Did you know it’s Cheese Month at the Canadian Agriculture & Food Museum? We are co-hosting these cheese-y activities every Tuesday evening – join us!
Nov 15: Wine & Cheese with a TWIST
Nov 22: Holiday Cheese Boutique
Nov 29: Fondue Fest & Racelette Rendez-Vous

FREE Tix!

Email us your favorite Canadian cheese & we’ll add your name to our draw for 2 tickets to any of these events. Need some help with pickin’ cheese? Check out our monthly Curd on the Street Magazine.

A FUNdraiser not to miss…

The Canadian Nurses Foundation called on us to create Sip & Savour FUNdraising event to help raise $1 million in one year to develop educational & special health care programs that will increase the number of nurses in Indigenous communities.

Join us on November 16 at The Westin Ottawa where Executive Chef Kenton Leier will be pulling out all of the stops to prepare an incredible menu paired with fine Ontario wines. It will be a delicious night with chefs & winemakers. Only 150 tickets….and selling quickly!

Don’t miss this event. Click to get your tickets >>

 

See you at all of these OUTSTANDING events…
– Debbie & the Savvy Team

Savvy Company
613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)
cheers@savvycompany.ca
www.savvycompany.ca

Keep in touch with us…
@SavvyDebbie
@SavvyCompany

www.facebook.com/SavvyCompany
instagram.com/savvycompanyinc

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Top tips for your next visit to The County

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 21st, 2016
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Prince Edward County…if you haven’t been…Start the car! Make a point to book a family vacation, play hooky and spend a long weekend or make a day of it. The County awaits!  To compile the 100+ things to do, I asked the locals and tourist for their tips. I was overwhelmed by the response….and as I write this article, more recommendations are flooding my inbox…and I will add updates to keep this list up to date.

101 Things (or more) to do in Prince Edward County

pec map for FBI have to admit that I haven’t done ALL the things on this list, but certainly plan to jump in my car soon! For starters… I always recommend getting off Highway 401 and taking the Glenora Ferry. This free ferry ride is less than 10 minutes (check the departure schedule). Mark my words, this ride will reset your pace to ‘County time’. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy being surrounded by water and get the welcoming 2 fingered wave from the ferry driver as you arrive.

Water all around

Be baffled by the geography of Lake on the Mountain. This unique body of water is one of Ontario’s natural wonders defying geographical and geological theories. Ponder its mystery over a drink at the Miller House Café and Brasserie…you can stay overnight here too!

Parks & beaches too

water-sandbanks-FOSPrince Edward County is synonymous for Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo at right), yet, there are many more beaches to discover: Wellington Beach and Park, North Beach Provincial Park, Westlake Beach. Switch from white sand to smooth pebbles and wander along Little Bluff Beach.

 

Old barns

Check out some great old barns at The Old ThirdClosson ChaseKarlo EstatesThe Grange of Prince Edward County and Hinterland Winery.

Traveling with Savvy Company

Places to stay – oh so many!

Clarmont Inn & Spa, Merrill Inn, The Drake Devonshire, Waring House, Angeline’s Inn, The Manse Boutique Inn. All of these places have gourmet restaurants too – book a reservation to make sure you get a spot!

Where to dine

Sample County wines at many of the restos including East & MainBlumen Garden & The Agarian

Visit Angeline’s Inn in Bloomfield & pick up some of their neat postcards with historical photos of The County in years gone by. While you are there, book your reservation for lunch or dinner at The Hubb Eatery & Lounge. You will definitely make delicious memories here!

Craving a pizza? There are several wineries that have a wood oven pizza place including Norman Hardie Winery – the perfect place for pizza and a Pinot Noir (try saying that fast!)

Spend Sunday morning at the Sunday Market at 106 Bridge or brunch made by Chef Michael Hoy. And in the afternoon, enjoy live jazz & al fresco dining on the patio at Huff Estates Winery.

Cuddle baby lambs & explore forest trails to walk off the amazing meal of farm to table cuisine enjoyed at Windhover County – a 140 year old Victorian Farm that has been transformed into a boutique inn.

Take a break from gourmet meals and make your way to the Lighthouse Restaurant at the Picton Harbour Inn – a popular local hot spot for breakfast – best sausages ‘n eggs, mile high pancakes &french toast in town.

…or nibble

Top places for treats & tea: The Vic Café, The Pink Lunch Pail Bakery, Tall Poppy Café, Miss Lily’s

Hands down the best old fashioned doughnuts are at Schroedter’s Farm Market Bakery & Cafe. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, a bowl of homemade soup&sandwiches will hit the spot. There are great gluten free goodies too.

Take a break from visiting wineries and stop in to visit the Pyramid Ferments Gut Hut. A wide variety of artisan made Sauerkrauts, Kimchis and Kombuchas – all using seasonal ingredients – are made in small batches.

Have you tried Maple Cheddar from Black River Cheese Factory?

Nightlife

Think there’s no nightlife in The County? Ha! You haven’t been to the movies at Mustang Drive-In on County Road 1.

Picton’s Main street has got it all. At The Regent Theatre, check out the list of movies, live musical performances & special talks as well as the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival. While you are there, snap a selfie with Sir John A Macdonald. His statue is located in front of the Armory.

Best view in town

The locals share this secret: enjoy the view of Picton from the Millenium Lookout – access it from County Road 22

Ice cream’s finest

Cave in…have ice cream at Slickers County Ice Cream in Bloomfield, stop in at Black River Cheese Factory or the locals hot spot is Cones & Shakes in Picton

Love museums?

Here is a ‘hit list’- Mariner’s Park Museum in South Bay, Rose House Museum in Waupoos, Wellington Historical Museum, Macauly Heritage Park and Ameliasburgh Pioneer Village

Wines, beers, ciders…and more

Pop into The County Canteen– Picton’s first brew pub – stop in for a flight of craft beers. The Acoustic Grill is a great place to see local bands.

Meet the dogs & owners at Three Dog Winery. In the summer they do yoga in the vineyard (the owners that is!) and XC ski parties too.

Ever been to a speakeasy? Click here to find where X marks the spot.

Pop the cork & taste some of the best Canadian-made sparkling wines at HinterlandHuff Estates, The GrangeBy Chadsey’s Cairns Lighthall Vineyards.

County Cider tasting June 2015Calling all cider lovers! You’ll want to hit these places for hard ciders made with County grown apples: The County Cider Co. (in photo at left), Bergeron Estate Winery & Cider House, and Clafeld Fruit

Head down at harvest and join in picking grapes at Sandbanks WineryHalf Moon Bay Winery Broken Stone – something that the entire family can do.

Chat with Bryan at Keint-He Winery.  He’ll help you pronounce that!

An open invitation to everyone! Brett French – the brewer at Barley Days Brewery – gives anyone reading this an invitation to drop by to sample his beers…ask for him and he will give you the skinny on how he makes each. And County Road Beer Co. just opened, so be sure to stop in here too!

Prince Edward County is known as a wine region, yet there is a distillery – 66 Gilead – that is neat place to visit & try their Canadian Pine Vodka, Loyalist Gin, rums & whiskies too.

Want some exercise? 

A local favorite bike ride is along Big Island Road following the beach on the northeast shore of Prince Edward County as well as along the Loyalist Parkway (Highway 33).

Drive or bike along the Barn Quilt Trail. There are over 100 barnswith painted quilts – neat!

Get running! The day after the annual Terroir Wine & Farmers Market Festival, get your shoes on to do the 10 km Terroir Run that winds through wineries along the way. The Wellington Women’s Half Marathon in June (complete with firemen handing out water along the route!) In October, The County Marathon is a great way to explore the backroads.

…and there is still more!

Lavender Farm by DT June 7 2015See a sea of purple at the Prince Edward County Lavender Farm. Tip: plan to visit the Lavender Festival or stop in when the plants are in bloom in mid to late June. Take photos in the gardens, learn how lavender is harvested & the oil is made. If you are lucky – stay at the B&B there too.

Play life size chess in the vineyard at Casa Dea Estates Winery.

The locals raved about –Birdhouse City with over 100 birdhouses of reproductions of historic buildings, whimsical designs & other recognizable structures.

A sign that will make you laugh as you drive by:Dead People’s Stuff Antiques.

Lose yourself flipping through neat books at Books & Company or the cool consignment shop – City Revival – on Main Street in Picton.

 

OenoGalleryToo many galleries to visit in one weekend! Some to make sure to visit: Oeno Gallery (photo at right courtesy of Oeno Gallery) Huff Estates Winery, Love Nest Studios. Follow the Arts Trail to discover incredible local artists along the way.

Crazy about airplanes? Lock-Sloy (aka Camp Picton) is one of Canada’s last intact 1940 British Commonwealth Air Training sites. Driving through here, it is easy to imagine what this place was like in the hay day.

If lighthouses are your ‘thing’, then make sure to visit Point Petre and South Bay Lighthouse – bring some local wine & cheese to have a picnic.

If vintage cars are your ‘thing’, then plan your trip to Prince Edward County to take in the Street Meet in early August. It is a blast reliving the past at this annual car show with over 200 classic cars come from all corners of Ontario and Quebec.

Karlo bridgeVisit North America’s largest dry stone bridge (in photo at right) at Karlo Estates – made by the winery owner & friends. A great place for a family photo or a picnic.

Sit on the porch at a B&B or your weekend cottage and read Geoff Heinrick’s book A Fool & Forty Acres all about the hard work of getting a vineyard planted in The County.

Take a cooking class at From the Farm. Tell Cynthia that we say hi!

Festivals galore

wine festivalFestivals that will give you a taste of The County: Maple in the County in March, then in May – Terroir where winemakers and artisan food producers are all under one roof. The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in June is a weekend of 100% Canadian artisan cheese (and wine and beer too).

TASTE – Community Grown in September (in photo at left) celebrates the harvest with local wines, ciders and farm fresh goodies. Join the fun at Wassail – a pre-Christmas festival where you sing for your drink. Check www.visitthecounty.ca for a comprehensive calendar.

Dining delight – Countylicious – twice a year, 8 restos offer a prix fixe culinary celebration for $30 or $35 plus grats & tax.

Red White & Blues festival at Rosehall Run features music in the vineyard.

PosterCool Collectibles

Collect a couple or all 8 of the cool County Posters with neat illustrations of all corners of Prince Edward County to remind you of the fun discoveries you had on your County getaway (photo attached –credit illustration by Marc Keelan-Bishop).

Sisters Jane Rutter & Susan Felton have brought pieces of history & heritage memorabilia back to life at the cool shop called Cannery Row.

Local produce abounds

In the summer, stop by one of many veggie stands – Laundry FarmsHagerman FarmsCherryvale Organic Farm & Vicki’s Veggies.

Stop in at Highline to grab a box of their gourmet mushrooms.

Only have time for a quick visit?

Go to the brand new The Local Store where all kinds of County treasures, artists & food stuffs are under one roof…in a heritage Loyalist barn.

Send us your tips on PEC!

As you can see, there are oodles of things to do in The County. While only 2 hours from Toronto or 3 hours from Ottawa, it is a place where you can really switch off! In fact, there are over 1000 places where you will probably lose cell phone reception.

Have fun as you discover Prince Edward County & email us with your favorite spots!
Debbie

 

Can’t get away?  Don’t worry….The County is coming to Ottawa!

Prep for your road trip by attending County in the Capital. Meet the makers from 20+ wineries, cideries, breweries &artisan food producers – all from The County. This is a unique opportunity to Taste & Buy your new favorites

County in the Capital picEvent Details:

Date: Wednesday April 20th
Time: 7 to 9pm
Place: Ottawa City Hall
Entry: Advance Tickets only: $55 (bring a friend for $5)
www.countycomes2ottawa.eventbrite.ca

This article was written by Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm & will be featured in Ottawa Life Magazine on May 22.

 

 

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Come to an Outstanding Event

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
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Quick…before we SELL OUT! Want to sample wines, artisanal spirits & ciders from EVERY corner of Ontario? Then get your tickets now to this Outstanding in their Fields Taste & Buy – where you will meet the makers of .  That’s right…Prince Edward County, Beamsville Bench, Niaraga-on-the-Lake & for the first time ever, a winery from Lake Erie North Shore AND the Outstanding image wine glassOttawa Valley! How cool is that?!?

You name it…we’ll have it to TASTE & BUY!

Bubbles, white, red & dessert wines, refreshing ciders along with artisanal gin, vodka & rye….there will even be outstanding artisan chocolate too! Get ready to sample & stock up for the holidays.

Best shipping Promo EVER!

EXTRA BONUS! FREE shipping when you order 6, 12 or more bottles of ANY combo of your new found favorites.

 

Buy your ticket for $70 & bring a friend for FREE

 

 

Try these ciders…

County Cider CompanyPrince Edward County

County Cider (500mL) $6.95

Pear Cider (500mL) $7.90

Feral Cider (1L) $9.95

 

Vieni Estates  – Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Sparkling Apple Cider $15.95

 

Artisan spirits…

Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers Niagara *first time featured!*

Unfiltered Gin 22 (750mL) $39.95

Rose Gin (750mL) $44.95

Cherry Gin (750mL) $49.95

The White Rye (750mL) $37.45

Method 95 Vodka (750mL) $39.95

Limoncello (375mL) $24.95

 

Craft Dark Chocolate…

Hummingbird Chocolate Maker – Almonte *first time featured!*

 

Wines from…

Amazing Wines Niagara-on-the-Lake

2013 Chardonnay $14.95

2013 Cabernet Franc $14.95

Calamus Estate WineryBeamsville Bench

2013 Steely Chardonnay $14.95

2013 Roberts Riesling $15.20

2013 White Night (Reg. $13.20)$11.20

2012 Calvin’s Cabernet $17.50

2012 Cabernet Franc $23.20


Casa-Dea Estates
Prince Edward County

2013 Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling $18.95

2012 Chardonnay $15.95

2013 Gamay $15.95

2011 Pinot Noir $19.95


Château des Charmes
Niagara-on-the-Lake

2013 Chardonnay Musqué $16.95

2013 Sauvignon Blanc $17.95

2012 Gamay Noir ‘Droit’ $16.95

2012 Cabernet Franc $25.95


Calamus Estate Winery – Beamsville Bench

2013 Steely Chardonnay $14.95

2013 Roberts Riesling $15.20

2013 White Night (Reg. $13.20)$11.20

2012 Calvin’s Cabernet $17.50

2012 Cabernet Franc $23.20


Kacaba Vineyards
Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

2013 Reserve Riesling(Reg $17.95) $15.95

2014 Pinot Gris $17.95

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon(Reg $24.95) $20.95  ***Not yet released***

2011 Terrace Vineyard Syrah $24.95


KIN Vineyards – Ottawa Valley *first time featured!*

2014 Chardonnay $29.95


North 42 Degrees Estate Winery
– Lake Erie North Shore *first time featured!*

2013 Riesling $15.95

2012 Sauvignon Blanc $17.95

2013 Sauvignon Blanc $17.95

2013 Gewürztraminer $19.95

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $20.95


Pondview Estate Winery
Niagara-on-the-Lake

2014 Viognier $16.95

2013 Bella Terra Pinot Gris $19.95

2013 Cabernet Merlot Reserve $18.95

2013 Bella Terra Cabernet Sauvignon (Reg. $39.95) $37.95


Sandbanks Estate Winery
Prince Edward County

2014 Riesling $14.95

2014 Pinot Grigio $15.95

2014 Gewürztraminer $15.95

2013 Baco Noir $14.95

2013 Mouton Noir $19.95

2013 French Kiss $19.95

Southbrook Vineyards – Niagara-on-the-Lake

2013 Connect Organic Chardonnay $19.95

2013 ‘Wild Ferment’ Chardonnay $34.95

2013 Triomphe Cabernet Merlot $22.95

2013 ‘201’ Cabernet Franc $34.95

2007 Poetica Cabernet Merlot $54.95

2005 ‘Barrel Ferment’ Vidal Icewine (375mL) $34.95


Sue-Ann Staff Winery
 – Beamsville Bench 

2013 Fancy Farm Girl Flirty Bubbles $27.95

2013 Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink $17.00

2012 Pinot Grigio $18.00

2011 Robert’s Block Riesling (Reg. $26.00) $21.00

2014 Fancy Farm Girl Flamboyant Red $14.95

2012 Vidal Icewine $24.95


The Grange of Prince Edward 
Prince Edward County

2012 Select Chardonnay $19.95

2012 Select Riesling $19.95

2011 Select Gamay Noir $20.95

2011Select Cabernet Franc $24.95

Show special: 1 bottle of each wine for total of $80.00 ($5 savings)


Trail Estate Winery Prince Edward County

2014 Riesling $23.95

2014 Unoaked Chardonnay $23.95

2013 Baco Noir Reserve $30.00

2013 Cabernet Reserve $39.00

2014 Riesling Icewine $38.00


Traynor Family Vineyard
Prince Edward County

2014 Pinot Gris $24.95

2013 Chardonnay$24.95

2014 Sauvignon Blanc$24.95

2014 Alta Red$19.95

Vieni Estates  – Beamsville Bench 

Momenti Rosé Sparkling $16.95

Sparkling Bollicine $16.95

2012 Pinot Grigio $14.95

2012 Brigantine Reserve $18.95

2012 Cabernet Franc Private Reserve $29.95

 

 

Be a Very Important Taster!  

Special Advance Acess 
$25 plus your event ticket

This extra-special pass is only an additional $25 & provides you advance access to spend more time mixing & mingling with the makers and most of all sampling their products.  With your V.I.T. pass you can arrive at the Taste & Buy anytime between 5 to 7pm…then stay as long as you like for the main event. Only 125 passes available.

Event Details
DATE: Thursday November 19, 2016
V.I.T. Passholders only: 5 to 7pm
MAIN EVENT: 7 to 9pm
LOCATION: Summit Room – 29th Floor of Ottawa Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent Street


Advance Tickets Only
Regular ticket for $70

V.I.T. Pass – Buy $25 upgrade for early access
Ticket prices include wine samples, light snacks, HST….and a special Savvy wine tasting glass


Get Ready to Sip & Stock up!  

This Taste & Buy event will feature outstanding wines, ciders, artisanal spirits that you probably haven’t tried before… you definitely won’t find them at the LCBO. This event is the perfect opportunity to stock up for the holiday entertaining & gifts.   

To help you prep your power shopping, we will email you the list of everything that will be showcased.  All parcels will be hand delivered by courier to your home or office – now that is convenient! 

NEW! FREE Shipping on 6 bottles

Now this is an OUTSTANDING offer.  Order ANY combination of 6, 12 or more bottles from ANY of showcased wineries, distillery or cidery & shipping is FREE.

Unable to join us but want to order?

No problem.  The Savvy Team would be delighted to make arrangements for your wine delivery – simply call us 613-728-8926 or order online.

 

And…there’ll be Outstanding views too!

You’ll oooh & ahhh at the panoramic view of the city lights from the 29th floor of the Ottawa Marriott Hotel.  The room will revolve all night long.  Check out the fun photos from our last Taste & Buy.

See you there!
Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

 

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Fancy a trip to The County?

Posted by Debbie

Friday, September 11th, 2015
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It is harvest time in wine country!  The Savvy Bus is heading to Prince Edward County on Saturday September 26 with our Savvy Sommeliers will be your tour guides. There is always a great buzz at this time of year, so why not join us to experience it first hand?

taste-2015-mainHop on board, sit back & relax in our luxury coach as we explore the backroads of Prince Edward County.  We will stop in Picton to take in TASTE – Community Grown, a farm-to-table festival where you will meet The County’s finest winemakers, chefs, brewers and farmers too – all under one roof in the historic Crystal Palace.  Sip & sample the great wines & craft beers from the region…and even buy bottles to bring back home.  Being in the height of harvest, there will be a bounty of farm fresh produce & gourmet goodies too.

The Savvy Bus is 50% sold out  –  Book your spot on the bus >>

TASTE – Community Grown

TasteThis is the region’s premier food & wine market, celebrating their culinary community from farm to table.  Chefs, winemakers, craft beer producers and farmers will all gathered in the same place on the same day.

You can shop till you drop too!  Take home fresh produce of the season, one-of-a-kind products from our local farmers & Ontario VQA wines directly from participating wineries.

Winery tour stop #1

traynorAfter taking in TASTE, we will head off to visit wineries. First stop – Traynor Family Vineyards, the newest in The County.  Mike Traynor purchased the property back in December 2008 when it was just a frozen cornfield but he could see his vision from that moment. Since then, family & friends have been invited to the vineyard to assist with some consuming tasks. With hard work…there are fun times too!  Traynor hosts a number of events such as Prunapolooza and Harvest Soiree’s, which have been a great way to allow people to become part of the wine making process and to leave with a  warm memory and wonderful experience from The County.

Mike’s parents are retired and have purchased a place nearby the vineyard so…they are always on the ready to lend a helpful hand. On weekends, often Mike’s wife Rebecca and son Quintin are seen around the vineyard too.

The winery opened it’s doors Labour Day weekend of 2014, and since then, Mike’s vision of creating a comfortable space where people can come visit and enjoy has become a reality!

Winery tour stop #2

Keint He winemakerNext stop will be at Keint-He Winery & Vineyards  a Burgundian inspired winery right here in Ontario that produces Pinot Noir with international character.

Unlike many grape producers, at Keint-he they like to think of their vineyards as ‘a habitat for the vines’. “Our Pinot grapes prosper in harmony with their environment, not in spite of it”, explains co-owner Bryan Rogers. They’ve applied the Burgundian model of viticulture to The County microclimate. That means that the 28 acres of vines that they’ve planted now, will never exceed 35 acres – this is high density planting and they believe in it.

Keint-he produces domestic wines that exhibit European minerality and acidity. The vines are lovingly raised in the limestone rich soils of our three distinct and unique vineyards. The grape growing & winemaking team at Keint-he only focuses on those grape varietals that most effectively showcase the terroir of the region. The result is award winning, terroir-based wines that reflect our standard for quality and the character of the region in which they were produced.

Dinner anyone?

Agrarian logoTo finish off our day, a light dinner will be provided by Bloomfield’s own Agrarian Cheesemarket & Speakeasy and served amongst the vines of Keint-he Winery.

Agrarian Chef, Neil Dowson, likes to takes advantage of the wonderful produce this area has to offer as he shares his modern spin on classic comfort food and the result is delicious! From the farm, dairy, bakery and winery right to your table. On your next trip to The County, be sure to stop at the Bistro to pull-up a chair, enjoy great food and soak up the rustic warmth of our dining room.

Agrarian on tapWhat is a Speakeasy you ask?

Well according to the dictionary it’s ‘a place where alcoholic drink was sold illicitly during Prohibition’ and it comes from speak + easy (in the sense: gently, quietly).  At the Agrarian’s Speakeasy it is a funky space featuring craft brews on tap, great ciders, wine and killer cocktails. Live music on Saturday evenings are just a few of the fun events this place has to offer. Food, drink, friends!

Savvy Bus Ticket info

Advance Booking Only – click here for tickets
Savvy Special: $149 (regular $165)
Price includes absolutely everything! Roundtrip transportation in a luxury coach, Sommelier guides, admission to TASTE, winery tours, dinner in the vineyard & good ol’ HST.

The Master Plan…

The Savvy Bus will depart downtown Ottawa at 8:30am from the Ottawa Marriott (100 Kent St). We will pick up passengers at the new BRIDGEHEAD Coffee Shop in the Pinecrest Mall & Starbucks at 1151 Division Street (near the 401) in Kingston.

Our plan is to arrive at TASTE by 11:30am.

At 3pm, the Savvy Bus will continue our road-trip with a drive through Picton, take the scenic route along the Loyalist Parkway to Traynor Vineyards for a tour & tasting, then onwards to Keint-he Winery where we will be treated to a dinner surrounded by vineyards. By 8pm, the coach will depart for Ottawa. 

The fun filled day (and a delicious one at that) should wrap up around 11pm when we return back to Ottawa.

Bonus!

A Savvy Sommelier will be on the coach with you offering wine tips, telling you stories about Prince Edward County & answering any ‘County’ questions you may have along the way.

Everyone is welcome to join us on this roadtrip! 

Order your tickets now for the Savvy Bus

 

 

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