Posts Tagged ‘Among the Vines B&B’

Di Profio Wines..a perfect summer package!

Posted by Shawn

Monday, July 13th, 2015
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Di Profio Wines
–  July 2015 –

It seems like summer is flying by. In some parts of our province, we are just starting to feel the heat we’ve waited for since the dreary dead of winter. For Ontario’s wineries, this is the quiet time between the bustle of tying or unearthing canes in the spring and the panic of harvest in the faJoseph DiProfioll. Not that there isn’t work to do – the vines need to be trimmed and there’s always something to look after as the grapes turn from flowers into delicious fruit.

This month features wines from a small, family-run winery located seconds from the idyllic village of Jordan Station. Di Profio Wines has one of the most interesting tales and some great summer wines for you to enjoy!

Ready to uncork & enjoy your Savvy Selections? 

In your Savvy Selections you will find 3 DELICIOUS wines. Each one has been specially selected for its unique ability to pair with summer food and enjoy with friends. Don’t let the “Zinc” theme fool you – these wines are all about balanced fruit and freshness, and you’ll find that there are so many foods that work with each of them!

2013 “The Kitchen Zinc” – Fresh, crisp, and fruit-forward in style, this perfect entertaining white wine will have folks asking for more! A lovely blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Vidal, Viognier, Muscat, and Gewurztraminer, it reminds you most of Sauv Blanc but then adds some great tropical fruit and floral hints from the additional components.

2013 Gamay Rosé – A refreshing fruit driven Rosé based on 100% Gamay that not only pairs well with many foods, but is a fine drink on its own, enjoyed cold on a sunny deck or patio.

2012 “Zinc-Tastic – This fruit dominated Cabernet-Merlot blend with mellow tannins and great acidity is the perfect companion to this summer’s BBQ dishes!

One of the hazards of our job…

One of the several bonuses of my work is that you meet fascinating people involved in the wine industry.  Often is the case that they become friends.  This is certainly the case with Carollynn & Joseph Di Profio (in photo).  Savvy Sommelier Shawn McCormick first introduced me to them and now…I stay at their B&B whenever travels take me to Niagara.  In this eZine Shawn (and I) look forward to introducing you to the winery, their wines & the cool people who pour their heart & soul into everything that they do…and they are retired!

You won’t find these Di Profio wines at the LCBO

We have done it again!  Our Savvy Sommeliers have found great wines (at great prices) that we are confident you will enjoy…every sip!  Di Profio Wines produces such small amounts that you won’t find them on the shelves in your LCBO. Call on us at anytime at 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) for additional bottles of your favourite Di Profio wines – or other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections.

Cheers & enjoy your summer!
Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Di Profio Wines

Presented by Sommelier Shawn McCormick

I literally jumped at the chance to write about Di Profio wines when asked, as I have known proprietors Joe Di Profio and Carollynn Desjardins for almost four years now. My wife and I first stayed at their lovely B&B when the winery was just a set of plans, and they were temporarily making wine in a converted barn. Through the years, I have learned a lot about their incredible journey from retired school officials to farmers and winery owners.

You’re Never Too Old

Joe and Carollynn met when they both worked with school board in North Bay. They retired years ago to winters in Mexico and were loving their life of warm weather and time on their boat, the “Mia Cara”.

Di Profio WineryFate brought them back to Ontario and due to a health issue they ended up in the Niagara region. Once recovered, they decided that they wanted to stay in the area to be close to their son Fred.

They weren’t really looking to start a winery, but they had been thinking about a legacy they could leave for their children. They liked the idea of building something they could pass down to the generations.

When they saw and bought the 12 acre property that is now Di Profio Wines, the vineyard was in horrible shape, having been neglected for years. Consultants they hired at the time recommended that they just rip everything out and start over, but Joe thought that there was a lot of the vineyard worth saving. He was right.

Over the last 5 or so years they have built a new winery building, and added deck and porch areas, as well as a food service trailer. They’ve recovered what they could of the vineyard, and replanted what they couldn’t. They are now fully under vine and producing about 1500 cases of wine annually.

A B&B And a Winery?

The property (now renamed after their boat – the “Mia Cara” vineyards), included a large, fully finished house. While the vineyards had been neglected for years, the house was in great shape, if large for their needs. “What are we going to do with all this space?” asked Carollynn. She soon decided that they would open a Bed & Breakfast, despite never even having stayed in a B&B herself! Together they have created a unique guest experience where you literally are “Among the Vines”. In addition to working in the vineyards and the tasting room, Carollynn does double duty as B&B host!

A Family Affair

You may say that the Di Profio family, originally from Italy, has winemaking in their blood. Joe’s father Guiseppe Di Profio was the first Di Profio in Canada to make wine, back 60-70 years ago. Today, Di Profio uses his name on their very special appassimento style wine “Peppe’s Pride” which is only made in specific years.

The wine-making bug skipped a generation, but when Joe’s son Fred trained as a winemaker, it piqued Fred DiProfioJoe’s own interests in wine. Fred has his own winemaking company looking after a couple of different wineries, yet still finds time to tend to the winemaking duties at Di Profio. With Joe in the fields, Carollynn at the tasting bar, and Joe’s grandson Jack staying with them this summer, you’re sure to find one of the family members working in the winery or the fields if you stop in to visit.

What is it about Zinc?

Joe had visited wineries in Italy and noticed they all had zinc topped bars. In much the same way that they used to put zinc on barn roofs to stop moss or algae from growing, zinc provides an anti-microbial surface which makes for a great bar top! They sourced rolled zinc and found a local copper roofer who would work the material. Di Profio’s zinc-topped bar is now affectionately known as “The Zinc”.

What’s Next?

With capacity for about 3000 cases, they see organic growth of the winery from the current 1500 cases through repeat customers (currently around 80%). With two harsh winters under their belt, they have a few planting changes to make to ensure longevity of the vineyard, and to provide the right varieties for the wines that sell the best. As an example, some areas where Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc don’t do as well will be replaced with Vidal (used in their “Teacher’s Pet” Special Select Late Harvest wine). Joe mentions that there are some abutting vineyards that might feed future grape needs. So much for retirement!

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Even with several wines to choose from, it wasn’t too hard to pick the wines for this month’s selections – after all, a white, a red, and a rosé make for the perfect package in the summer! All of the wines chosen are fantastic food pairing options and you’ll find them easy to pair. They all exhibit great fruit and acidity – two qualities that will enhance your dishes.  The best part is, they are all balanced and can be sipped on their own, making them extremely versatile.

“The Kitchen Zinc” 2013, $16.50

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This wine has quickly become Di Profio’s most popular wine, andDi Profio Wines Kitchen Zinc 2013 continues to sell more every year even with increasing production! This summer sipper is light and fresh on the palate. It offers a delicious nose of tropical fruit – namely gooseberry, passion fruit, kiwi, and sweet, ripe melon. Behind the tropical fruit are lighter citrus, fresh cut grass, and wet river stone notes. There is an initial hit of the sweet tropical fruit, and then a cleansing, tart lemon refreshes before the long grapefruit pith finish.

Suggested Food Pairings: Enjoy with grilled swordfish, an asparagus quiche made with fresh Ontario asparagus, or a tropical salad!  See the grilled pineapple salad recipe in the following pages.

Cellaring:  Drink soon at 7-10ºC.

Gamay Rosé 2013, $15.70

Di Profio Gamay RoseSavvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Beautiful bright pink colour. Strawberry and ripe raspberry notes on the nose reminiscent of Swedish berry candies. There is the slightest hint of herbaceousness akin to fresh-cut rhubarb and notes of sweet Honeydew melon as it warmed. The palate is slightly sweet strawberry  fruit at first ,showing good weight without being sticky. This is followed with strawberry-rhubarb and red currant. There is a refreshing acidity which cleanses your palate but leaves a nice lingering finish. It is a wine that is both sweet and dry at the same time!

Suggested Food Pairings: Another versatile wine that will work with many dishes including grilled shrimp, summer salad, or most BBQ fare. Try it with our veggie pizza recipe further in!

Cellaring: Drink now. Serve between 7ºC-10ºC.

“Zinc-tastic” Cabernet Merlot 2012, $23.00

This blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot from a great growing year exemplify that Ontario can make delicious, full-bodied red wine as well as whites.2012-zinc-tastic1

 Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  A deep rich ruby colour and a purple hue give hints as to the makeup of this wine. The aromas of dark and red fruit – plums, cassis, black cherry, red cherry come with light spice and mocha notes. There is the slightest smoky herbaceousness reminiscent of a tamed jalapeño pepper.  Red cherry and red currant dominate the subdued leather and earthy components on the palate. There is decent acidity and slightly grippy tannins that indicate you could hold this for a few years, or pair with some juicy protein.

Suggested Food Pairings: Pair with bison burgers, venison sausage, mushroom lasagna or rare steak. See the recipe in the following pages for Smoky Cheddar Paprika Burgers.

 Cellaring: Drinking well know, can cellar for up to 5 years. Serve at 16-18ºC.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

With The Kitchen Zinc…

Grilled Pineapple & Jalapeños w Fresh Mango & Avocado salad

From Ripe Life (recipe & photo credit)
Serves 2-4
Makes 4 side salads or 2-3 large dinner salads

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh lime juiceRipe Life grilledpineappleandjalapeños
1 teaspoon agave syrup

½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon cilantro chopped
I pineapple cored and peeled sliced into 1 inch rounds
4 jalapeños sliced in half length ways seeded
2 mangoes peeled pitted diced
2 avocados peeled pitted sliced
¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Method

Make vinaigrette by whisking lime juice, agave, salt and olive oil.

Stir in cilantro.

Heat BBQ to medium high.

Lay pineapple in hot grill for several minutes to caramelize and flip over. At the same time grill jalapeños. When peppers and pineapple are slightly softened and grill marks appear remove from grill. Chop into chunks and gently toss with mango and avocado.

Dress with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve.

With Gamay Rosé …

Green Onion, Arugula, & Goat Cheese Pizza

From Shawn McCormick’s family kitchen
Serves 2-3
Also good with Wild Leeks (Ramps) or Garlic Scapes instead of Green Onion!

Ingredients

2 Pizza shells or flatbreads
6-8 Green onions, chopped
Handful of arugula per pizza
8 oz goat cheese, crumbled
8 oz mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
Olive oil
Pepper

Method

Brush the shell or pre-cooked crust liberally with your favourite olive oil.

Wash, dry, and chop the arugula into bit sized pieces. Distribute it and the chopped green onions and red pepper across both shells.

Scatter the crumbled goat cheese and then coat with a thin layer of mozzarella (to hold it all together).

Grind some fresh black pepper over it and heat in 350ºF oven or BBQ for about 10 minutes.

Allow to rest for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil if you like, and serve with Gamay Rosé.

 

With Zinc-tastic …

Smoky Cheddar Paprika Burgers

From Shawn McCormick’s family kitchen
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 kg lean ground beef
6-8 oz smoked cheddar
1/2 medium onion, diced finely
1 tsp hot, smoked paprika (more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp chipotle spice (optional)
1 egg
½ cup dried bread crumbs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Dice the cheese into small cubes, about ½ cm

(Optional) Sauté the onions in olive oil until clear and soft

Beat the egg and then mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form into patties – should make 6 large patties or 8 smaller ones.

Cook as you normally would on BBQ or frying pan. Serve on your favourite bun with toppings of your choice!

 

Drop by & say hello to Carollynn at the Zinc Bar the next time you’re in Niagara.


Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Summer is here…Let’s Clink & Drink Pink!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
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It’s time to raise a glass of Rosé wine to welcome in summer…our One Dozen Rosés is back!  For the second year in a row, we’re offering an assorted case of refreshing & delicious Rosé wines crafted in Ontario to be delivered to your home, office or even cottage. Our team of Savvy Sommeliers has tasted too-many-to-count bottles to hand-pick this selection for your enjoyment all summer long.  In fact, there were so many great Rosé wines that we’re offering a different One Dozen Rosés  each month.

Grab your corkscrew or crack open the seal on these Rosé wines to enjoy with a picnic, serve with lunch or better yet…watch the sunset as you unwind on your deck or your dock.

You don’t even have to get off your lawn chair!  Click & order >>

Each Rosé wine has a cool story. To add to your enjoyment of the selected wines, our Savvy Sommeliers have compiled this Rosé Report – a different one will appear here each month – with our Sommeliers’ tasting notes for each wine in your assortment along with some easy summertime recipes from our kitchen to yours.

Only $199 & shipping is FREE!

 

In July’s case of One Dozen Rosés you will find…

Huff Cuvee-JanineHuff Estates Cuvée Janine Sparkling

$25.00
Prince Edward County

Winemaker Frederic Picard is true to his French roots when making wines at Huff Estates.  Raised amongst the vineyards and wineries in Burgundy France, this man has wine running through his veins.  Both of the selected wines from Huff are great examples of how Frederic lends his winemaking talent (nurtured in France, South Africa & other parts of the world) to craft elegant wines in Prince Edward County.

A special price on this Bubbly! We were delighted when the team at Huff Estates offered us an extra special price (regular $30) so we could include this bubbly in this month’s assortment.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Everything about this wine exudes fun – the colour, the refreshing dry tastes and all of the possibilities for food pairings.  Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, the wine is made using the classic French Méthode Champagnoise that is aptly named for the winemaking technique for Champagne. The second fermentation (that creates the bubbles) happens in each individual bottle.

A vibrant cranberry coloured bubbly with a lovely nose of red fruit, a touch of mineral and a hint of sweet citrus (pink grapefruit or blood orange). Very dry and medium bodied, it’s juicy and refreshing with tastes of red cherries, berries and tangy cranberries that play through garnished by a lively touch of white pepper on the finish.

Food Pairing Suggestions:  Put in your fridge for any occasion (we do!) – a beautiful sunset, friends dropping by or why not begin a long weekend with the popping of its cork!  In our Rosé Recipe Box, we share with you a stunning looking (and delicious) Gorgonzola and Strawberry Canapé that is easy to make. Chill & enjoy every sip of this sparkling wine.


Huff Rose 2013Huff Estates Ros
é VQA 2013

$19.00
Prince Edward County

This is one of Huff’s signature wines. Rosé lovers clamour for it every year.

Sommeliers Tasting Notes: Lively, this refreshing wine is bone dry with a light pink hue that resembles classic Rosé wines from Tavel, France. In two words: pink grapefruit.  Added to that, light floral notes with citrus (think lime and mandarin) to create a well-crafted refreshing balance. Made with 100% Cabernet Franc grapes grown in The County, there is the regional characteristic minerality & crisp acidity that makes this a class act wine. Now that you’ve been tipped off about this wine, you’ll be on the lookout for it each year. Always a solid wine.

Food Pairing suggestions: Serve chilled on its own to unwind, with sushi or pack for a picnic.  In our Rosé Recipe Box, we have included the Smoked Salmon Sushi Pizza recipe to make for your next picnic.


Di Profio Gamay Rose 2013
DiProfio Gamay Rosé

$15.70
Niagara-on-the-Lake
This boutique winery has a growing reputation for making outstanding wines. Sandwiched between the 20 Valley region and Niagara-on-the-Lake, this is definitely worth the stop…and they have a wonderful B&B on the estate!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A stunning colour in the glass. Aromas of beets, candy floss, it smells sweeter than it is…in fact, it is deliciously dry. Each sip is loaded with tastes of red fruit (cherry, raspberry or strawberry perhaps). This Rosé has a nice refreshing acidity, a long berry finish. Bring on summer with this outstanding wine!

Suggested Food Pairing: Another one to pack for a picnic or serve on the dock. Chill & pack in your basket (no need for a corkscrew) to enjoy with tabbouleh, hummus, quinoa salad. In our Rosé Recipe Box, we have included a Chickpea, Barley & Feta Salad that will do the trick!

 

Kacaba Rebecca Rose 2014Kacaba Vineyard Rebecca Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Looking for great red wines made in Ontario? Kacaba is definitely one of our top picks. This year’s of rosé wine is made with 100% Gamay grapes grown on the estate, this is ‘not just another summer sipper’ states John Tummon, Kacaba’s winemaker. It is a wine to be enjoyed year round… before or during a meal.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright cotton candy pink colour. Concentrated aromas of fresh juicy red cherries, ripe red berries and cotton candy of course! These aromas continue into the taste with an added cranberry flavour to give it even more body. A smooth texture in your mouth, this bright and refreshing wine is so easy to enjoy.

Suggested Food Pairing: One definitely to serve during a meal – lunch or dinner. Chicken satay, grilled vegetable kebabs would be delicious. We also think that it would be perfectly paired with pan seared fish – such as the perch recipe that we’ve provided for you from Port Restaurant located in Pickering. The recipe is found in our Rosé Recipe Box. Enjoy!

 

Rosewood Trois Femmes Rose 2013Rosewood Trois Femmes Rosé VQA 2014

$15.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
From the family run winery and Ontario’s first Meadery, this year’s Rosé from Rosewood is 100% Pinot Noir grapes. The wine was made with the skins intact with the juice for 3-5 days then fermented until it reached the fruity flavours and the colour that the winemaker wanted to create.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: One word will describe this wine: STRAWBERRY. From its colour, the aroma and taste, this wine has the wonderful summery taste of fresh strawberries. “It has the zippiness of rhubarb too”, commented Savvy Sommelier Debbie during the Savvy Team tasting of 40+ Rosé wines. A very well-balanced, smooth wine that combines notes of strawberry tastes of watermelon and freshly crushed ripe berries – all things that are iconic about summer.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is a no fuss wine. It would be delicious with anything off the grill, seafood, homemade pizza, charcuterie and light meals. Try something completely different – Beet-zza! We will provide this cool new recipe in our Rosé Recipe Box.

 

Sue Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl Foxy Pink 2013Sue-Ann Staff Foxy Pink VQA 2013

$17.00
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
This has been an amazing year for our friend Sue-Ann. In April, she decided to finish the chapter of her career where she was making wine at other wineries and focus 100% on her namesake winery – Sue-Ann Staff Estates. And the decision quickly paid off. Her new Fancy Farm Girl wine brand has won label design awards as well as accolades for her wines. This one is the Rosé in her portfolio. Be sure to read the back label to learn more about Sue-Ann’s style – a farm girl who loves to be a diva too!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: The bright coral pink colour alludes to the style of this wine. Bright vivid aromas of watermelon, strawberry candy, even marshmallows leap from the glass. These aromas continue as you sip on this off-dry wine, then the bright zippy acidity will make your mouth water while prepping your palate for another sip and another.    Enjoy on its own with friends (or not!) or with sushi, tuna, salmon, pizzas, picnics, salads and soooo much more.

Suggested Food Pairing: Keep chilled in your fridge for when friends come over for a spontaneous get together. Call out for sushi or fire up the gill with some salmon steaks or better yet…get fancy with the Grilled Chicken & Strawberries with Balsamic. This simple recipe will be in our Rosé Recipe Box – stay tuned!


Creekside Cabernet Rose 2014Creekside Estates Cabernet Rosé VQA 2014

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Another great winery to visit when you take a summer getaway to wine country. Not only do they make lots of great wines, but their patio overlooking the vineyard is also worth stopping for.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright neon pink in colour with gorgeous aromas of wild strawberries, flowers& green apple that follows into the taste. This crowd-pleasing wine is juicy yet dry. Medium bodied and well balanced with refreshing acidity…it is summer in a glass.

Suggested Food Pairing: You can’t go wrong with this wine. The colour, the bouquet & the taste…they all will remind you of summer. This versatile wine can be served chilled on its own or with any of the creations in our Rosé Recipe Box. Be sure to have a batch of the Rosemary & White Bean Dip in the fridge at the cottage just in case you feel the urge coming on to crack open this bottle of wine as the sunsets.

 

Clink & Drink Pink all summer long!

Here is a sneak peak of the wines that will be featured in the upcoming months.

In August the One Dozen Rosé will include:

Aure Rose VQA 2011, Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Casa-Dea Cabernet Franc Rosé, VQA 2014, Prince Edward County

Devil’s Wishbone Pinot Gris Rosé VQA 2014, Prince Edward County

Greenlane Rosé VQA 2013, Beamsville Bench (Niagara)

Vieni Momenti Sparkling Rosé, Beamsville (1 bottle)

– Vieni Alleria Rosé VQA 2014, Beamsville (1 bottle)

Vineland Estates ‘The Game Changer’ Rosé VQA 2014, Beamsville

Order your One Dozen Rosé at
www.savvycompany.ca/rose

 

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We discovered a new Niagara winery – Di Profio Estates

Posted by Eva

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Di Profio Wines
–  May 2013 –

 

Di Profio Wines is unique in that it is one of few wineries surrounded completely by neighbours.  Residences meet with edges of farms.  The vineyards grow down from the escarpment on flat land running north & south on 12 acres.  They are so flat that a viewing platform was built to view the u-shaped vineyards. They enjoy the best of both worlds with their vines. The south clay loam vineyards were planted 17 years ago with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay (1 of 7 in Ontario) & a little Vidal, whilst north vineyards are sandy loam where Riesling, Pinot Gris & Merlot  thrive for their 4th season.  And there are still 5000-6000 vines yet to plant.  Both north & south vineyards drain directly into Lake Ontario just  1km away.

In your Savvy Selections delivery, you will find:

Riesling 2011 enjoy this easy-drinking summertime sipper

Gamay Noir 2011 chill this slightly for a Beaujolais-style Gamay

Cabernet Merlot 2011 match this fresh & lively Cab Merlot with hamburgers

OPTIONAL WINE: If you asked me to add a bottle or two of the Select Late Harvest Vidal 2011 in your delivery then you are indeed in for a treat! 

Fred’s winemaking style is described as alive, vibrant and mellow (not sharp!).  The Gamay Noir is so drinkable.  Joe exclaims that having mature Gamay grapes in the fields is unique.  The new 2011 Cabernet Merlot is their fastest seller – so mellow without heavy tannins.  The gravity flow process is very efficient in its methodology.  Last year, they produced 535 cases, which will grow to 1000 cases this year.  Their goal is 3000-5000 cases but they will always remain a small winery supplying wine to restaurants, their own Zinc wine boutique & internet sales. 

On the following pages, Éva encourages you to visit Di Profio Wines as well as their Bed & Breakfast, Among the Vines. You will find her sommelier tasting notes along with recipes to would pair with the featured wines. 

Among the Vines Bed & Breakfast

Joe & Carollynn’s Bed & Breakfast is nestled between Jordan Village & Jordan Station amongst the vines of the Mia Cara Vineyard & next door to Di Profio’s winery.  They welcome you with open arms to join them to enjoy wine & improve their knowlege. They promise to make you feel as welcome as old friends.

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, Di Profio wines are not on the LCBO shelves. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Di Profio wine – or other featured Ontario wineries – just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…
Di Profio Winery 

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Eva Nagy

 

It all began with Guiseppe Di Profio known as “Peppe”, who like many Italians living in Canada imported his grapes from California in the ’40’s and ’50’s & experimented with different varieties & barrels to create the quality reminiscent of Italy.   The winemaking bug skipped a generation & landed on his grandson Fred, who studied Oenology & Viticulture at Brock University. 

During my interview with Joe, he affectionately said that his son Fred `bothered` him into buying a vineyard complete with a house on the property that they converted into Among the Vines Bed & Breakfast.  Now in its 4th year of operation, Joe & his wife Carollynn welcome 225 people each year.  

When Fred`s parents purchased the vineyard, it was completely abandoned. In its 12 years, it had overgrown & the dead vines never been replaced & replanted. Joe & Carollynn were advised to completely flatten the vineyard & begin again, but they retorted with, “we are not millionaires”.  In fact, they retired as teachers only 4 years earlier! They both felt it was time to change gears, even with no experience as farmers and `a green thumb only good enough to grow dandelions` laughs Carollynn.  They pruned an absolute forest.  They knew that at minimum each vine needed to produce two suckers to grow healthy vines and eventually bunches of grapes. Carollynn decided that she would “coax the vines with a lot of talking”. Much to Joe`s chagrin. It worked though as some of the vines had not 2 but 14 suckers!  A lovely forest of green ensued. 

There is always something to laugh about

Indeed it seems crazy to come out of retirement to purchase a vineyard with absolutely no farming background.  No doubt, it has been a steep learning curve yet, Carollynn & Joe did receive lots of help.   `There is a peacefulness to the vineyard`, explains Joe. `We both enjoy being completely involved from roots to bottle, for there is a story behind every one. 

Is that bottle shock?

Carollynn once thought that they could sell a bottle of wine immediately after it had been bottled, however, Fred quickly taught her about bottle shock.  Carollynn jokes that her bottle shock is the sore back as result of bottling!  Joe & Carollynn have coined all of this learning as `their anti-Alzheimer’s Project`.  At the winery, visitors learn about growing grapes in their vineyard rather than terroir or the technicalities of brix. `Sure, there are the technical details, but one must enjoy the grass roots`, explains Joe. And having a good time is indeed infectious in the DiProfio family. 

Everything is hand-done

All of the grapes are select & hand-picked, then double hand-sorted & hand-processed.  The DiProfio team prides themselves on the quality of their fruit, compared to the mush of grapes that have been machine-processed.  `We once supplied Gamay grapes to a nearby winery. One time, upon delivering the grapes, the winery staff came out to admire the beautiful hand-picked grapes.  Simply gorgeous they exclaimed!“ It is obvious that Joe loves the harvest when he can see the fruition of what his years of work. “Great wine, great grapes”. 

1 year and counting…

Based on Fred’s design, an architect created a striking looking structure that does not resemble a typical winery, rather a striking burgundy & black twisted & angular cube. Inside, the 3 floor building operates with gravity flow winemaking process. Joe, Carollynn & Fred  celebrated their 1st anniversary of the new building on June 15th. This year also brings celebration of 100 years of winemaking in their Italian family.  In Peppe’s honour, they will release an Appassimento-style Cabernet Sauvignon, aptly named “Peppe’s Pride” due to be released by the end of the year – we will be on the look out for this wine! 

Joe is very proud of his wines and the medals they have earned so quickly for their wines. It reminds him that all of the hard work is being recognized. In early spring,   there are no leaves on the vines yet, but Joe is out in the vineyard feverishly spraying trunks & canes to avoid black rot & to keep down fungus growth.  Mildew is another headache in the spring as it can quickly spread throughout vineyard with the gentle winds blowing off of the nearby Lake Ontario.  Managing Mother Nature in his vineyard, Joe jokes that this is where his biology degree comes in handy.  `Every day is different & I love the challenge of getting out there to grow grapes`. 

While the winery and their vineyards are only a few years old, the wines are easy drinking and ready to be enjoyed now. As each year passes, the vines will produce more grapes that with Joe & Carollynn`s care, will continue to impress with quality wines. 

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections! 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Riesling 2011 VQA $16.15

If you are looking for an easy-drinking summertime sipper then you have found it!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Light gold in the glass. Fresh aromas of apple, pear, citrus, mineral, slight petrol & floral with slight hint of sweet ripe fruit on the long finish. Mouth-watering acidity is immediate but quickly mellows to white grapefruit & lime flavours. Very well balanced.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smitten Kitchen’s French Onion Tart.

Decanting & Cellaring: Rieslings are often consumed when young.  Rule of thumb with Rieslings is 5-10 years aging for dry Rieslings with such acidity.

 

Gamay Noir 2011 VQA $16.55

Vigorous & youthful.  Are you looking for a refreshing Beaujolais-style Gamay?  Chill this slightly for a very refreshing red.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Vibrant purple ruby in colour. Aromas of fresh strawberry, rhubarb & cranberry waft from the glass & replay on the palate with the addition of red cherry, cocoa & chocolate flavours.  So fresh!

Suggested Food Pairing: homemade thin-crust Margherita pizza or mushroom tarts.

Cellaring: Enjoy this lively Gamay Noir now. 

 

Cabernet Merlot 2011 VQA $18.00

A blend of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot creates a terrific wine for sipping alongside hamburgers.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Dark plum in colour.  Earthy & herbaceous flavours give way to berries, dark plum, black cherry, cola, clove & cinnamon with a distinct figgy-ness.  Aromas replay on the palate with the addition of smoke.  Young vines create such a fresh & vital red wine.

Suggested Food Pairing: As previously mentioned, this is a great sipping wine & can be enjoyed on its own or with BBQ-ed hamburgers given its smoky flavour.

 

OPTIONAL WINE: Select Late Harvest Vidal 2011 VQA $18.55

A sweet treat delightful on its own as dessert or alongside a fruit tart or soft cheeses.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour.  Floral, stone fruit, mineral & sweet citrus aromas.  Sweet, crisp & fresh with honey, super-ripe stone fruit, tangerine, pineapple & grapey flavours.  The acidity balances the sweetness perfectly.

Suggested Food Pairing: Di Profio’s Select Late Harvest Vidal can easily be served as dessert.  If you wish to further indulge then a fruit tart or soft cheeses would match perfectly. 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Di Profio Riesling VQA 2011 …

French Onion Tart

From Smitten Kitchen
Serves 6 

Below is (roughly) the recipe for a savory tart shell recommended by Larousse Gastronomique. If you have a go-to crust that you love, feel free to use it here. If you can’t be bothered making one, there’s no shame in buying one at the store.

Ingredients

Crust

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) chilled butter, in cubes
3 tablespoons cold water

Filling

1 1/2 pounds yellow onions (about 4 medium), halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
S
cant 1/2 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of sugar
1 cup low-sodium beef, veal or mushroom stock/broth
2 teaspoons cognac, brandy or vermouth (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces or 60 grams) grated Gruyere, Comte or Swiss cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream (half-and-half and milk work too, but cream tastes best)

Method

Crust

Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl or the work bowl of a food processor. Add butter; either rub the butter bits into the flour with your fingertips, with a pastry blender or (in the food processor option) by pulsing the machine on in short bursts until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle in cold water and mix it with a spoon, a few more cuts with a handheld pastry blender, or by pulsing the machine a couple more times. The mixture should form large clumps. Knead it gently into a ball; it will be on the firm side but should be easy to roll. 

Lightly butter a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable base. Don’t have one? Try a standard pie dish or even a 9-inch cake pan. The second two options will be hard/impossible to unmold later, but there’s no harm in serving the tart from its baking pan.

Roll your dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is about 11 inches in diameter. Peel the top plastic layer off and reverse the dough into the prepared tart pan, lifting the sides to drape (rather than pressing/stretching the dough) the dough into the corners. Press the dough the rest of the way in and up the sides. Trim edges, which you can leave ever-so-slightly extended above the edge of the tart pan, to give you some security against shrinkage. Chill for 15 minutes in your freezer.

If par-baking the crust (see notes up top for pros/cons): Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter a piece of foil and press it tightly into your firm-from-the-freezer tart shell. Fill tart shell with pie weights, dried beans or rice or pennies and blind bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully remove foil and weights, and return to oven for another 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly golden at edges. Set aside until needed.

Filling

Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onions to the pan, toss them gently with the butter and oil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan. Cook the onions for 15 minutes, then remove the lid, stir in the salt and sugar and saute without the lid for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are fully caramelized and have taken on a deep golden color. Pour in cognac, if using it, and the stock, then turn the heat all the way up and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the pan.

Simmer the mixture until the broth nearly completely disappears (wetter onions will make for a wetter quiche), about 5 to 10 minutes.  Adjust the salt, if needed, and season with freshly ground black pepper.  Let cool until warm. You can hasten this process by spreading the onions out on a plate in the fridge, or even faster, in the freezer.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg and cream together. Gently stir the lukewarm onions into the custard.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Assemble & bake tart

Fill prepared tart shell with onion-egg mixture. Ideally, this will bring your filling level to 1/4-inch from the top, however, variances in shells, pans, pan sizes and even onion volume might lead you to have a lower fill line.

You can beat another egg with cream together and pour it in until it reaches that 1/4-inch-from-top line if you wish. Sprinkle cheese over custard and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the filling and turned slightly releases no wet egg mixture.

Serve hot or warm, with a big green salad.

 

With Di Profio Gamay Noir VQA 2011…

Mushroom Tart

From LCBO recipes by Lucy Waverman, Autumn 2003
Serves 6

Onions can be substituted for mushrooms, if desired. The pastry is very rich and needs to be patted out, not rolled. With the addition of 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar, the pastry can be used for mini butter or fruit tarts. Use foil tart tins, if desired. These tarts freeze well and will keep for a month.

Ingredients

Pastry

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) cold butter, diced
1 cup (250 mL) cream cheese, diced 

Filling

2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
8 oz (250 g) fresh mushrooms, chopped
8 oz (250 g) wild mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped green onion
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method 

Place flour and salt in food processor. Scatter over butter and cream cheese.  With on-off motion, pulse together.  Remove from processor and form into ball.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Pinch 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls from pastry and pat into small tart or muffin tins. Chill until needed.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Heat butter in skillet, add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes until juices disappear. Add garlic and cream, bring to boil, add lemon juice, green onion and parsley and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon into pastry cases.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is edged with gold, and mushroom filling is hot. Turn out of tins and cool 10 minutes.

These may be frozen on cookie sheets, placed in freezer containers and reheated from frozen state at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes or until filling is hot.

 

With Di Profio Cabernet Merlot VQA 2011…

Chris’ Bay Area Burger

From allrecipes.com
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
4 hamburger buns, split

Method

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Mix together the ground beef, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil.

Divide into four balls, and flatten into patties. Cook the patties for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.  The internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). 

Remove from grill and place onto hamburger buns.  Top with desired toppings & condiments.

 

With Di Profio Select Late Harvest VQA 2011…

Fresh Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream

From Brown-eyed Baker

Ingredients

For the Pastry Cream
Serves 10 

2 cups half-and-half
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
Pinch of salt5 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Crust

1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

For the Fruit

2 kiwis, halved lengthwise, and cut into half-circles about 3/8 inch thick
2 cups (about 9 ounces) raspberries
1 cup (about 5 ounces) blueberries

Method

Pastry Cream

Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.

Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.

Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half into the yolk mixture to temper.

Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.

Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.

Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

Crust

Whisk together the yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bow; set aside.

Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.

Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until workable).

Unwrap and roll out between 2 lightly floured large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9- to 9½-inch tart pan.

Ease the dough into the pan corners and press the dough against the fluted sides of the pan; if some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding the excess dough back on itself. Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough all over with a fork.

Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes. (The dough-lined tart pan can be sealed in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag and frozen up to 1 month.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a square of foil into the frozen tart shell and over the edge, and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.

Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Assemble the Tart

Spread the cold pastry cream over the bottom of the tart shell, using an offset spatula or large spoon. Arrange the kiwi slices in an overlapping circle around the inside edge of the pastry.
Arrange the raspberries in rings just inside the kiwi. Mound the blueberries in the center. (The tart can be refrigerated, uncovered, up to 30 minutes.)

Remove the outer ring of the tart pan and place the tart onto a serving platter; serve.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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