Posts Tagged ‘Empire Cheese’

Another reason to head to Prince Edward County: Terroir Wine & Farmers Market

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
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Terroir is decanting once again for its 10th year to celebrate Spring! This anticipated annual event presented by Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association returns to the beautiful Crystal Palace in Picton, next Saturday – May 3rd, 2014

Just announced: Terroir is the first Wine sampling event & Farmers’ Market in Ontario licensed to sell VQA wines onsite. This means for the first time in Ontario, guests will be able to purchase wine while at the event, and take it home with them!

pec pix 1Bryan Rogers from Keinte-He Winery says, “This is a really great opportunity for people coming out next Saturday! They can try wines and then, for the first time ever, they can buy those wines right there and then and walk out the door with them. It’s an exciting time to be drinking Prince Edward County wines.”

The Grape Growers of Ontario and The Wine Council of Ontario have been working with The AGCO to allow VQA Wines for sale at Farmers markets and “it has finally happened” says festival organizer Scott Rondeau. “They [AGCO] are really trying to support the local wineries. It’s really great that they are showing so much support for local wines and allowing us to do this.”

“It is really good to see the government creating a new way to sell 100% Ontario wines. Farmers’ Market sales will be particularly helpful to the smaller wineries who don’t currently have a presence at the LCBO” says Richard Karlo of Karlo Estates.

Jump on the Savvy Bus!

Discover The County with the Savvy Sommeliers.  Enjoy Terroir to the fullest, $99 per person – includes round-trip transportation on a luxury coach, your ticket to Terroir, a visit to a County winery. . . or two!  The bus will depart from downtown Ottawa with pick-up stops enroute in west Ottawa as well as Kingston.

Reserve your spot now > >

So much awaits you at Terroir

wine tasting at TerroirMany County wineries will be sampling and selling their new spring releases and unique wines while pairing them with delicious gourmet food tastings. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the winemakers themselves, take part in seminars and demonstrations, enjoy live music, shop for baked goods, preserves, meats, sauces, veggies and more, while tasting some of Ontario’s finest wines.

With over 30 wineries, Prince Edward County has much to experience. The County was named one of the 14 Must-Visit Destinations of 2014 by enRoute magazine

A Wine & Cheese…with a TWIST

Debbie at TerroirOur Savvy Team of Sommeliers will be at Terroir.  Be sure to make time to join Wine Sommelier Debbie Trenholm & our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons for their Wine & Cheese with a TWIST ‘seminar’.

During this half hour, sip & nibble as you learn about County wines & cheeses from the Savvy gals who are constantly visiting the backroads of The County.

 

 

Who will you meet at Terroir?

Featured Wineries

Broken Stone Winery
By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery & Vineyard
Casa Dea Estates Winery
Closson Chase Vineyards
Devil’s Wishbone Winery
The Grange of Prince Edward County
Half Moon Bay Vineyards
Harwood Estates Winery
Hillier Creek Estate Winery
Huff Estates Inn & Winery
Karlo Estates
Keint-He Winery & Vineyard
Lacey Estates Vineyard & Winery
Lighthall Vineyards
Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard
Rosehall Run Winery
Sandbanks Estate Winery
Stanners Vineyard
Three Dog Winery
Thirty Three Vines Winery 

Participating Food Vendors

Niagara College Culinary Program
Urban Herb on the Curb
Picnic PEC
Empire Cheese
Agrarian Bistro & Speakeasy
East and MainIced Cupcakery 

Farmers’ Market Vendors

Humble Bread
Nyman Farms
Emerson Pringle Carpentry
Essential Relaxation
PEC Hot Sauce Co.
Thyme Again Garden
Portland Bridge Pickling Society
PEC FareVikki’s Veggies
Jo’s Backyard Doughs
Raw Food
Barking up the Green Tree
PEC Lavender Farm
County Cooperage Wine Vinegar
Scottish AccentsPink Lunch Pail 

Admission

The event’s $35 in advance ticket price includes all wine samples and three food pairings. Additional food items are available for purchase.

$40 at the door (subject to availability)

Tickets can be purchased at www.countyterroir.com

 

Hope to see you there!

Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

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The Best of the Fest …Cheese Festival that is!

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
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I laughed, I cried (they were tears of joy for the abundance of cheese), and ate a heck of a lot of cheese. Close to 4000 cheeselovers assembled in Picton, (aka Prince Edward County) June 1st to 3rd to celebrate their love for curd at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival. A plethora of over 125 different types of cheese showcasing our nation’s best from PEI to Vancouver Island were ripe and ready – soft cheese, hard cheese, blue cheese, stinky cheese, pungent cheese, young and old cheese, rustic cheese, raw cheese, and sheep, cow, goat and even buffalo milk cheese.  Joining them in the Artisan Cheese & Fine Food Fair were all the best compliments to cheese — artisan foods of crackers, breads, charcuterie, jams, chutneys, jellies, honey, and fine wines, ciders, and craft beer.

I was adamant to not miss a single second of my cheesey weekend, and so planned to leave on Thursday early evening.  After packing the car to the hilt with event supplies, my large electric cooler, and other cheesey bits and pieces for my tutored tasting I was on the road again, although much later than expected, but happy my destination yet again involved cheese.  Of course, I had to fit in a last minute stop/cheese pick up at Clarmell Farms on the way, for chèvre & goat gouda cheese as a special treat for the Cooks & Curds Gala chefs on Saturday night.  Big hugs and thanks to Paul & Grace Mussell for the snack & extra coffee to keep me awake as I hit the road.

Rain, rain go away!  Friday began ducking raindrops during quick wine stops at Rosehall Run & Huff Estates before heading to the Crystal Palace to check out the site and check in for volunteer duties.  Despite crappy weather, the show must go on – dedicated volunteers diligently worked to set up the site, get exhibitors moved in, assemble registration packages, complete guest cooler bags, get volunteers oriented, cut & organize cheese, direct trucks/rentals arriving, set up special event facilities, and decorate, among many other logistical tasks. Amid very organized chaos, everyone silently prayed as one mind to the cheese gods for beautiful weather Saturday and Sunday (thank you, cheese gods).  Friday ended with a casual meet & greet of the stellar lineup of chefs featured at Saturday’s Cooks & Curds Gala, courtesy of Swallow’s Ivy Knight, chef wrangler extraordinaire, Ottawa’s own Michael Blackie  – Executive Chef of the National Arts Centre – among them.

Saturday started peacefully with more prayers (thank you, cheese gods) and quickly turned to cheese frenzy with tutored tastings on cheddar & cheese 101, ongoing demos, sampling of all kinds, a cheese food court, Food Network celebrity Bob Blumer’s grilling artisan cheese pizza, and me taking it all in from behind the scenes helping cheesemakers, selling cheese, and organizing hospitality for the chefs, post-gala.  Congrats to Chef Michael Blackie for top honors for the second year in a row, recognized by the People’s Choice Award he shared with Montreal’s Francois Gagnon at Cooks & Curds for his delicious Highland Blue Cubic Melt.   An outstanding 400 guests took part in the strolling dinner.

Family day Sunday arrived too early after a late night, but provided more of an opportunity to chill & chat with the Quebec cheesemakers featured in my “Taste of Quebec” tutored session and sample my picks one last time.  I wandered at a more leisurely pace to nibble on yet more cheese, take in the milking demo, photograph Yvette the water buffalo in the dairy farm before showcasing the best of La Belle Provence. I was pleasantly surprised to see friend & Ottawa cheesemonger Peter Fiander volunteering with the prep team in the kitchen under the guidance of newly certified Cheese Sommelier and festival cheesemonger Jackie Armet.  Thanks to Savour Ottawa member Maggie Paradis, of Fromagerie les Folies Bergères for the spotlight goat milk cheese on my plate – soft, surface-ripened La Sorcière Bien Aimée.  Made on April 24, our advanced planning made sure it was perfectly “à point”.  Jackie’s daughter Clare can certainly attest – she enjoyed every finger lickin’ moment of it.

Volunteering is a great way to get closer to cheese, meet cheesemakers and increase your cheese IQ.  Consider joining the cheese team for 2013.

All in all it was a whirlwind, but super cheesey weekend.  Here’s my roundup of “Best of the Fest” and here’s a look at the photos I took too!  Just looking at them will make you hungry!

–  Monforte Dairy launching a new Spanish-styled, dry, crumbly, pasteurized sheep’s milk blue – rustic, powerful – and in need of a name – tweet @monfortedairy  if you have ideas for Ruth.  The Piggy Market carry Monforte products locally.  My tasting notes for Black Sheep can be found here

–  Glengarry Fine Cheese expanding their horizons with a new artisan buffalo milk blue and goat gouda made with milk from Clarmell Farms. Often found at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market, Thyme & Again Creative Catering, Farm Boy, Sobey’s, The Piggy Market, and Serious Cheese

– Tosano sheep’s milk cheese from Mariposa DairyI was thrilled to again try my outstanding cheese bite for 2011, Lindsay Bandaged Cheddar which is rarely available anywhere – if you see it, snap it up without hesitation.

–  New friends at Seed to Sausage – best pairing of charcuterie for cheese around (also great party pals).  Available at The Ottawa Bagel Shop & The Piggy Market locally as well as being featured at Play Food & Wine, Beckta Dining & Wine, Murray Street Kitchen, and Town, among others. The venison and fennel salami was a fave.  Thanks again for your support!

–  Shout out to budding cheesemakers at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese – in business for a mere 6 months now, and new on the Ontario cheesemaking scene with Gouda & Swiss style soft, firm and hard farmstead cow’s milk cheeses.

–  BackForty Artisan Cheese, even with a change of ownership to Jeff & Jenna Fenwick still continues to shine with Madawaska, Bonnechere, and beautiful rustic wheels of Highland Blue.  We look forward to tasting Jeff’s own creations in 2013 (or sooner in Ottawa!).  Look for them at the Carp Farmer’s market on Saturdays.

–  Cheesewerksthrilled to see my old cheesey classmate Kevin’s dream turned into reality – well done on the branding and delivering on the promise of superb artisan grilled cheese, as the festival’s Official Grilled Cheese.

–   Michael’s Dolce – with new Rhubarb & Black Pepper Jam (pair with Coulée Douce, Laliberté, Riopelle, Bliss or Figaro) & unbelievable Citrus Ginger Chutney (fresh chèvre, Sorcière Bien Aimée).  Peach Cardamom Jam is my pick for his most versatile, goes with every cheese flavor.  I had fun making pairing recommendations on the fly as we chatted with visitors at the Taste of Ottawa booth.

–   Thanks to friends of cheese – wine & craft beer makers Karlo Estates, Rosehall Run, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company & Barley Days Brewery for the donations to keep our Cooks & Curds Gala chefs happy (very important to keep the chefs happy, so huge thank you!)

–  Hats off to The Ontario Waterbuffalo Company/Quality Cheese for their first ever cheddar made from waterbuffalo milk.  Mild, creamy & a great snack.

–  Always great to see friends Vicki from Empire Cheese (very creative, your new cheddars flavored with Mrs. McGarrigle’s Mustards), Black River Cheese (love Maple Cheddar), Best Baa Dairy (wouldn’t be a cheese fest without you, Eweda, Mouton Rouge & Ramembert), and the team from Glen Echo – featuring Cow’s Creamery Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from PEI, Salt Spring Island Cheese (oh, Juliette!) & Kootenay Alpine Cheeses (Alpindon made its way into Bob Blumer’s blue cheese cappuccino)

Sightings of cheeseheads young and old sparks  an idea for 2013 – think there should be a cheesehead fashion show next year Georgs? King & Queen Curd perhaps?

–   Lise Morrisette & Plaisirs Gourmets who brought Quebec to Ontario including the talented Marie-Chantal Houde Fromagerie Nouvelle France maker of multi award-winning Zacharie Clouthier, her raw sheep’s milk cheese.  And, Jean Morin of Fromagerie du Presbytère  – his cheeses were an easy sell – they speak for themselves – Brie Paysan showing especially ripe & ready with rustic vegetal aromas & flavors, and renowned Bleu D’Elizabeth & Louis D’or , 9 month & rare 2 year.  If you see Jean at an event, ask him for the good stuff – he usually has it along with him hiding under the counter somewhere.

–  New from Niagara – Upper Canada Cheese’s Nosey Goat Camelot alongside classic Niagara Gold – a bit reminiscent of Cape Vessey – coming along nicely as a cheese, much further developed, soft, subtle than when first released.

–   Mad Mexican’s Jose Hadad provided my snack for the drive home to Ottawa. Amazing I didn’t end up with more of his salsa, roasted tomatillo/avocado and salsa verde in my lap.

–   Lastly stunning craft beer & cider matches in Beau’s Beaver River, Mill Street Brewery’s Wit & County Cider Company’s County Cider paired with robust cheeses from my Taste of Quebec session – best with Petits Vieux (Fromagerie Médard), Zacharie Clouthier, Fleuron (Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde – it’s a beautiful thing), & Fromagerie F.X. Pichet’s organic Baluchon among others.

Hats (or cheeseheads) off to all the hardworking staff, volunteers, cheesemakers, artisan food producers, winemakers, presenters, chefs, celebrities, sponsors, speakers, supporters, mother nature and in particular, all you cheese lovers who attended for making this best celebration of Canadian curd yet.  If you didn’t make it, grab a pen and book the June 1st weekend in your calendar right now for the third annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival in 2013.

My photo album of The Cheese Festival is on Savvy Company’s Facebook page – enjoy!

-Vanessa

 

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