Posts Tagged ‘County Terroir Wine Festival’

NEW! Hop on the bus to County Terroir Wine Fest

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Exploring Prince Edward County wine region is now made even easier! Join us for the Terroir Tour – a round trip coach from Ottawa to Terroir Wine Festival on Saturday May 26.  Tickets are $79 when booked before Tuesday May 22 (regular $89). 

Terroir Wine Festival is the best way to explore The County wineries and to meet the winemakers too – all under one roof!  Our Savvy ommeliers along with winemakers & wine personalities are offering seminars & tastings too.


Hop on the Ottawa bus!

Together with Sandbanks Vacations, we have arranged a Terroir Tour to take Ottawa wine lovers to Terroir & back again.  Wine touring doesn’t get any easier than this!  Each coach will be accompanied by a Savvy Sommelier who will share insider tips on must try wines & winemakers to be sure to visit at Terroir. 

Terroir Tour package $79 when you buy before Tuesday May 22

Regular tour package price: $89
Price includes: coach & admission for Terroir Wine Festival. 
HST will be added at booking.

 Already have your Terroir ticket?  No problem!  You can hop on the bus for $55 + HST

 Details about this package:

  • Same day roundtrip by coach
  • Departs 11am from Costco Huntclub parking lot (415 West Hunt Club Road) returns to Ottawa at approx 9pm
  • Estimated time of arrival at Terroir 1pm. 
  • Coach leaves Terroir at 6pm to return to Ottawa – loads of time to take in Terroir & explore Picton!
  • NOTE: Minimum 30 passengers is needed
  • Are you in Toronto? There is a roundtrip Terroir Tour package too!

To book, call Craig at Sandbanks Vacations on 1-877-399-2508 or


101 Things to do in Prince Edward County

Hot off the press!  Here’s 101 Things To Do to make your next trip to PEC the best yet!

We look forward to having you join us at Terroir next weekend!



Wines to discover at Terroir Wine Festival in The County

Posted by Debbie

Monday, May 14th, 2012



To prepare you for wine discoveries at next weekend’s Terroir Wine Celebration, our Sommeliers share with you tasting notes of more Prince Edward County wines.  Whether you enjoy white wine, red wine or are in the mood for a glass of Rose or sparkling wine, these wines will WOW you!


Huff Estates Vidalessco Sparkling VQA 2011

There is no better way to begin a dinner party (or any meal for that matter!) than with the pop of a cork of a bottle of bubbly!  This unique wine is made with Vidal grapes.  Vidal is often left on the vines to make icewine, yet at Huff Estates winemaker, Frederic Picard (originally from Burgundy France), decided to do something completely different – create a crisp & refreshing sparkling wine fashioned after the Italian Prosecco.  

Savvy Sommelier Debbie interviews Frederic  in the vineyard – watch the video

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Dry with fine mousse (winespeak: bubbles) elegant aromas & tastes of citrus (can you find mandarin or lime?) & toasted almond.

Suggested Food Pairings: For fun, serve sparkling wine with salty potato chips (the saltier the better!). The salt reacts with the bubbles & makes an even more lively sensation in your mouth – like fireworks!


The Grange’s Trumpour’s Mill Chardonnay VQA 2007

A visit to The Grange of Prince Edward County Winery is not only an opportunity to taste the wines, explore the vineyards and marvel at the historic restored buildings on site; a visit provides a Canadian history lesson too.

This month, we feature The Grange in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club.  This Chardonnay impressed our Savvy Sommeliers.  Chardonnay was among the first varietals planted on the Granger estate. A grape which lends itself to a range of styles, this exemplar is unoaked and displays the texture and complexity of extended lees contact.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Offering tantalizing aromas of jasmine, honeyed stone fruit, pear and mango, this is a balanced creamy yet dry wine, weighty with flavourful fruit and kissed with a touch of toasted nuts. It finishes slightly warm and gently spiced.

Suggested Food Pairing: Enjoy this wine with pasta in a cream-based sauce, with crab cakes or lobster, or with savoury roast chicken.

Cellaring:  Delightful now or over the next couple of years!


Karlo Estates Frontenac Gris Rose VQA 2011

Karlo Estates is a must visit as one of ‘The County’s’ wineries – housed in a heritage Loyalist barn. Owner & winemaker Richard Karlo has developed his career from being a wine judge to an amateur winemaker, then consulting winemaker & now winery owner. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Last year’s Rose from Karlo was full of rhubarb & citrus aromas & tastes.  This vintage boasts watermelon, tangerine & ruby red grapefruit.  Crisp & refreshing, this medium bodied Rose feels delicious in your mouth & tastes wonderful too!

Suggested Food Pairings: This is a perfect wine to unwind with at the cottage, pack with a picnic or on enjoy while you soak up the sunshine in the backyard.  Serve on its own or with spicy food.


Rosehall Run Cabernet Franc Cold Creek VQA 2008

Cabernet Franc is often used in red wine blends, yet in Ontario, this grape grows so well that winemakers keep it aside to craft outstanding Cabernet Franc wines.  Rosehall Run Vineyards owner & winemaker Dan Sullivan found a parcel of land in The County – complete with a creek running through it – with outstanding Cabernet Franc grapes. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Bright garnet red colour in the glass, bursting with aromas of ripe red berries, raspberry that packs an impressive punch of dark chocolate.   On the palate it is dry, medium bodied with soft tannins reminders of sour cherry & cassis.

Suggested Food Pairings: The lingering finish makes this wine a perfect match for both light & heavy dishes from BBQ sausages, lamb chops, roast duck & even grilled salmon. Debbie loves this wine with a chunk of dark chocolate! 

Stanners Vineyard Cabernet Franc PEC VQA 2010

Stanners Vineyard is one of the newest wineries to open in The County is run by the Stanner family & everyone in the family is involved!  Located near the town of Hillier (about 20 mins away from Picton), they are surrounded by other neighbouring wineries.  The Stanners made 2 Cabernet Franc wines – one all County while the other is a blend of Niagara & County.  This one was the favorite at the recent County in the City wine tasting event in Ottawa.  It was fun to try the 2 wines side by side – and this you can definitely do when you visit Terroir Wine Festival! 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Plum in colour, there are delicious aromas of blackberry, raspberry & plums too that fill the glass then continue into the taste.  It is dry & well balanced wine with a medium long finish.  A very impressive wine.  Well done!

 Suggested Food Pairings: An easy drinking red wine that would be good with grilled burgers, lasagna or even BBQed steak.  Stock up for the summer!

We look forward to seeing you in The County at Terroir on Saturday May 26th!


A taste of County Terroir – uncork these wines!

Posted by Debbie

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012


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


Start with a sparkling…

Lighthall Progression Sparkling VQA 2011

Lighthall is a boutique winery in ‘The County’ focusing on growing Chardonnay & Pinot Noir grapes on their estate to make outstanding wines. Just bottled in time for County Terroir celebration, this sparkling wine is made using Vidal grapes – often saved for dessert wines.  This bubbly is far from being sweet!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Hand-crafted using the Charmat Method of sparkling winemaking, this bubbly is has refreshing acidity with aromas of citrus, pear & crunchy apple to create the lively, refreshing finish.

Suggested food pairings: Served well chilled, this wine is lovely on its own, with oysters, or paired with light appetizers.


A taste of white wines awaiting to be discovered…

Huff Estates Pinot Gris VQA 2009

Huff Estates is one of the few who grow Pinot Gris grapes in The County. Never heard of Pinot Gris?  Chances are that you have!  Pinot Gris is the same grape variety as the popular Pinot Grigio from Italy.    

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Crystal clear in colour with aromas of crunchy apple, stone fruit (think peach, nectarine, pear), continues into the taste with a ‘zippy’ lime finish that continues long after your first sip.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve with dishes that are not too heavy or complex in flavours as the food will overpower the refreshing tastes of this wine. Seafood, roasted chicken & pasta alfredo would be delicious.


Sugarbush Vineyards Chardonnay VQA 2010

Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm’s fingerprints are all over this wine!  She rounded up a group of wine enthusiasts with clippers in hand to help harvest the grapes for this wine at Sugarbush Vineyards. Winery owners Sally & Rob Peck have transformed their home & backyard into a boutique winery that is a going concern.  Definitely a winery to visit next time you are traveling around The County.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Unoaked this Chardonnay has fresh aromas & tastes of citrus (can you find orange or is it mandarin?), vanilla bean that turns into reminders of English toffee (think Macintosh Toffee). It an absolutely pleasant wine to sip & enjoy.

Suggested Food Pairing: This wine would pair nicely with butternut squash soup, cheese-laden pasta, roast turkey or chicken.


Get ready for these reds!

Rosehall Run Pinot Noir County Cuvée VQA 2009

Pinot Noir is known around the world by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape”.  This grape variety needs care & nurturing around the clock. Difficult to grow in the vineyard & always changing in the cellar, crafting a good wine of Pinot Noir is the pinnacle of any winemaker’s personal achievement.  Rosehall has a growing reputation of producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in ‘The County’. In March, Rosehall won a gold medal in the international Pinot Noir shootout in San Francisco, California – now that is impressive!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This Pinot Noir has delicious aromas & tastes of strawberry, raspberry & red licorice with a dash of vanilla on the long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Pinot Noir is a versatile wine – it can be served chilled or at room temperature.  As the wine warms up, aromas, tastes & levels of acidity change too. Classic matches with Pinot are roast duck & mushrooms & grilled salmon too.


Grange of Prince Edward Northfield Cabernet Franc VQA 2007

The Grange of Prince Edward is one of the pioneers of the wine industry, located in a historic loyalist barn that was built in 1826. Cabernet Franc is often used in red wine blends (one of the varietals in a Bordeaux blend) yet in Ontario, this grape grows so well that winemakers are now keeping it aside to craft outstanding Cabernet Franc wines. 

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: From the highly acclaimed 2007 vintage – the growing & harvest conditions were outstanding – this elegant & impressive wine has aromas of ripe red & black fruit, leather & cigar box (can you find these in your glass?). Concentrated flavours of cherry, raspberry, red roses & typical County limestone. There’s a punch of dark chocolate that lingers with the soft tannins.

Suggested Food Pairings: Fire up the BBQ!  Sausages, lamb chops, steak, grilled mushrooms or beef tenderloin would be delicious.

Sommelier TIP: Serve this wine with a dense piece of chocolate cake!

The Grange will be featured in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. 
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