Posts Tagged ‘Rosehall Run Winery’

139 Things to do in Prince Edward County

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
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We are always asked for travel tips. One destination in particular is Prince Edward County.  Just a short 3 hour drive from Ottawa or 2 hours from Toronto, it’s an easy daytrip or a weekend getaway.

This region, surrounded by water, is turning heads as Canada’s fastest growing wine region.  And it is not all about the wine either! “The County” has been named as Maclean’s Magazine’s Canada TOP 10 Places You’ve Got to See in 2014.  The town of Picton, Bloomfield, Milford, Wellington, Cherry Valley and all the points in between was hopping four years ago…and now there’s even more reasons to visit; our list is just a start.

Our 101 Things to Do in Prince Edward County was so popular that we’ve refreshed and updated for the second time.  To help you discover all the neat things that are going on in The County, we got the Savvy Team together (over a glass of wine of course!) & jotted down our favorite things to do in Prince Edward County.  Then we had a contest on Instagram and Facebook asking for hidden gems in the area…and went to the best source – the locals who live there for their secret spots.  Here is the list for now….and if we missed something that needs to be included, don’t be shy….Let us know by email, Facebook or Instagram.

How far down the list can you get? 

Start the car…and get rolling!

1. Visit North America’s largest dry stone bridge at Karlo Estates. And if you’re lucky, you’ll meet Spencer – one of Karlo’s winemakers – in the vineyard or in the cellar. (Spencer with a glass of his soon-to-be-released Rose, shown in photo right) 

2. Visit the Oeno Gallery at Huff Estates. Be sure to take advantage of their sculpture celebration happening from May to October 1st.

3. Want your wine tours to have a more rustic feel? Check out the historic barns at The Old ThirdClosson ChaseKarlo EstatesThe Grange of Prince Edward County and Hinterland Winery.

4. Sample amazing aperitif and dessert wines (and ports) – Sandbanks WineryHillier CreekKeint-He WineryKarlo Estates

5. Taste some of the best Canadian-made sparkling wines at HinterlandHuff Estates , Rosehall Run, Casa-Dea Lighthall Vineyards.

6. Cheese Please!  All weekend long at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival (usually in June).

7. Sample County wines at great local restos – East & MainBlumen Garden & The Hubb.

8. Nothing goes “feta” with wine than cheese, so be sure to pop into Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. for some artisanal cheese.

9. The infamous Toronto’s Drake Hotel  now has a County location – Drake Devonshire.  Stay over or go for dinner.

10. Indulge in poutine and milkshakes at the Dari Bar in Wellington.

11. Enjoy some great apple cider & lunch of lamb burgers The County County Cider. (Owner, Jenifer Dean, serving her famous cider, in photo right

12. Need some coffee before OR after sampling wine? Miss Lily’s Café or the Bean Counter in Picton.

13. Find your favorite mantra pinned to the wall in the Cherry Valley General Store (hint: they’re all about slowing down to smell the roses!).

14. Stop by one of many veggie stands – Laundry FarmsHagerman FarmsCherryvale Organic Farm.

15. Sit on the porch at a B&B or your weekend cottage and read Geoff Heinrick’s book A Fool & Forty Acres.

16. Pop in to the Agrarian Cheese Market & Speakeasy, featuring craft brews on tap, great ciders, wine and killer cocktails with live music on Fridays & Saturdays.

17. Take a cooking class at From the Farm.

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

19. Get inspired by sustainable growing while you chat with Lee & Bryan at Keint-He Winery.  They’ll help you pronounce that!

20. Hop on your bike & ride the back roads while exploring Canadian history along the Loyalist Parkway.

21. Take in Terroir Wine Festival at the Crystal Palace (Early June).

22. Plan for a beach day at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

23. Feel those rhythm mc-blues as you attend the PEC Jazz Festival (Mid August).

24. Discover new music talent from across North America at The Acoustic Grill in Picton.

25. Dive into the fantastic water sports at West Lake.

26. Take a billion pix of the gorgeous stain glass windows & hang out in the hammocks at Closson Chase ….then indulge in their wines.

27. Spend a Sunday afternoon on the patio at Huff Estates Winery listening to live musical talent. (Be sure to get a taste of their new wood-fired pizza! Photo on right)

28. And for more live music, enjoy some dinner-side entertainment at East & Main Bistro.

29. Red White & Blues festival at Rosehall Run features music in the vineyard. (September)

30. Meet the dogs & owners at Three Dog Winery. Or you can practice your downward dog at their built-in yoga studio

31. Get limbered up for the Full Moon Yoga Festival (August)

32. Hear James call his Chardonnay vines ‘Bella’ at Long Dog Winery.

33. Stock up on your picnic goodies at Chef Michael Hoy’s Weekend Market at 106 Bridge Street in Picton.

34. Start your day “sunny side up” with bacon & eggs at Picton Harbour Inn. Declared by Grapevine Magazing as the top breakfast joint in PEC.

35. Harvest parties at Sandbanks WineryHalf Moon Bay Winery Broken Stone are fun for the entire family.

36. Book a getaway room at The ManseNewsroom SuitesThe Inn at Huff EstatesMerrill Inn or the Cottage at Angeline’s.

37. Take an early morning walk on the ‘secret’ beach (at the bottom of Cold Creek Road).

38. Go apple picking at Campbell’s Orchards.

39. …or cool off with ice cream at Slickers.

40. Did you know that Hinterland Vineyards has peach slushies for the kids?

41. Visit the old-time school house at the Ameliasburgh Historical Museum.

42. Drinks & Dinner at Merrill Inn – guaranteed delicious!

43. What the heck is Wassail?  Ask around about this pre-Christmas festival where you sing for your drink.

44. Do a County Chardonnay-a-thon trying every Chard you can find.  Be sure not to miss Lighthall, Stanners, Exultet, RosehallKarlo….is just a start.

45. Pull a pint of Pumpkin Ale at Barley Days Brewing Co.

46. Maple in the County is a great spring weekend getaway

47. Check out the cideries that are popping up – 401 Cider Company, Apple Falls Cider, Clafeld Cider House, Kings Mill (in Stirling – near PEC), County Cider Co, and The Hard Way (in Bath – near Glenora Ferry)

48. Visit the Lavender Farm when the lavender is in full bloom (June/July) or take in the lavender from across The County at the Lavender Festival

49. Chat with Pat at Del-Gatto Estates .…where he lives la dolce vita!

50. What was that on the barn?  A Barn Quilt!  It’s a THING in The County & there are over a 100 of them.

51. They say one person’s trash is another’s treasure, so why not start your hunt at the many famous antique stores in Prince Edward County.

52. Discover a lost world of treasures at the County Spring and Fall Antique Show & Sale

53. Follow the Arts Trail & meet incredibly talented artists along the way.

54. In the summer, sip Rose wines as you tour around the Wine Trail – see how they all are different – different grapes used, hues of pink…and tastes!

55. Catch a movie at the Regent Theatre.

56. Visit the gallery at Small Pond Arts to see Milé Murtanovski’s paintings made with wine. The gallery recently reopened so be sure to make an appointment!

57. Unwind one of the few classic drive-in movie theatres in Ontario: Mustang Drive-In

58. Take a break for wine touring & leisurely shop on Bloomfield or Wellington Main Streets.

59. Meet the newest cider maker in town – Ryan Monkman.  In his ‘spare time’ he works for 8…yes eight!…other cideries to help them make world class hard cider – the craft way.  In addition to working with others, his FieldBird Cider is truly unique.

60. How about a visit to Dead Peoples Stuff? (antique store).

61. Lunch al fresco at Casa Dea Estates Winery, Huff Estates or The Grange.

62. Go house hunting – it does not cost anything to dream!

63. It might be a wine region, yet there is a distillery – Kinsip House of Fine Spirits – that is a must visit.  Especially for their Canadian Pine Vodka, Loyalist Gin, rums & whiskies too. (Photo on right) 

64. Watch the sunset over Hubbs Winery or let Batista – the winery owner – chat your ear off until the stars come out!

65. Enjoy classical music in a small church during the Prince Edward County Music Festival (September)

66. Make annual family traditions by renting one of the many of the Sunrise Cottages.

67. Drop by Highline Mushrooms to buy fresh gourmet mushrooms.

68. Homemade donuts like my grandfather would make await at Schroedter’s Market at Huff Corners – at Hwy 62.

69. Spend an hour or two checking out City Revival – a high end consignment shop.

70. Marvel at the Lake On The Mountain– it’s mystical up there. After you have figured out the geographic phenomena, head to the pub for a drink.

71. Stop at Black River Cheese Co. in Milford to try…and buy…all kinds of cheese.  Savvy Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons recommends: Maple Cheddar & fresh curds (TIP – when you put curds in the fridge, they lose their squeak)

72. Where else can wines be as easy as Not Red, Almost Red and Not White? At Sugarbush Wines.

73. Did we already tell you about North Beach Provincial Park? You gotta go!

174. Go strawberry, raspberry or blueberry picking on the roadside – they grow wild! (July, August, September)

75. Grab some wine after your round of golf at Picton Golf CourseBarcovan Golf Club or Wellington On The Lake Golf Course.

76. Pop in & out of all of the cool shops along Picton Main Street. Treat yourself with a crepe too!

77. Bird-watching!! And don’t miss BirdHouse City. If you can’t get enough birds, be sure to check out the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. (Trails are open-all-year-round but banding begins August 21).

78. More bird business…count how many birds yo spot at the Prince Edward County Birding Festival (May)

79. Take the scenic route. Drive along the Loyalist Parkway – Hwy 33.  Start in Kingston or Napanee and it will meander all the way to Trenton.

80. Gorge on the farm fresh food at Seedlings (formerly The Hubb) in Bloomfield.

81. Get tickets to TASTE! (late September).

82. The December Busy Hands Craft Sale at Books and Company & Miss Lily’s Café – great sale for gifts.

83. Pop into Rosehall Run Winery for neat locally made gourmet goodies.

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

85. Stop for Italian thin crust pizza at Bergeron’s Estate Winery…and have a glass of wine or cider too!

86. Take photos of Lake Ontario with morning fog near Moonlight on the Lake B&B.

87. Buy Ontario wine…craft beer…and cider too!– not available in the LCBO – shop directly from the makers while you are in Prince Edward County

88. Get married!

89. Running and drinking…drinking and running during Terroir Run (June) or County Marathon (Registration in Sept).Terroir boots logo

90. Taste wine in a converted cheese factory that now houses Exultet Estates.

91. Rent a cottage on the water for a week and really live The County life.

92. Stop at a yard sale.

93. Take the Glenora Ferry – its free & runs every 15 mins (in the summer) or every 30 mins (in fall & winter)

94. Take a workshop at The Red Barns, an artisan’s playground, featuring blown and stained glass, pottery, and iron art.

95. Visit Canada’s first off-grid winery Redtail Vineyard.

96. Browse the books and say hello to Miss Ella Vader, the book mascot at Books & Company.

97. Spend a weekend at Claramount Inn & Spa. H.E.A.V.E.N.L.Y.

98. Stop by Huff Estates and get your picture taken with the giant steel pinecones.

99. Tired of wine tours? Satisfy your craft cravings with breweries like 555 Brewing Co. , Midtown Brewery, Prince Eddy’s and Barley Days.

100. Find out what all the buzz is about at Honey Pie Hives and Herbals!

101. Buy local ad support local farmers at the Wellington Farmer’s Market (July & August)

And there’s more …

So there is 101 Things  – all new from our last edition of this blog – but there is still some many events and activities to see and to in The County.  Let’s keep going….

102. Get belly laughs at The County’s Summer Comedy Series (May to Sept)

103. Let The County bring out your history buff with a Historic Walking Tour of Picton (July to Oct)

104. See The County from the coastline at Point Petre Wildlife Conservation Area, Sandbanks Dunes Beach, Little Bluff Conservation Area,

105. Winter is a great season for the County too so strap on those snow shoes or skies and head to one of the many trails in PEC.  For a longer trail try the Millennium Trail – a whole 49km to enjoy!

106. Have a getaway for Family Day at the Sandbanks Snow Fest and other family friendly activities

107. Get out on the water in a canoe, kayak or paddle board rented from Twin Birch Suites & Cottages or right at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

108. They say that we’ll spend 29.75% of our lives sitting so why not get outside with a hike in the County.

109. Try not to tip over while you cycle through the County’s best wineries on one of the many bike routes.

110. Put your feet up at The Ferg: a Scandinavian historic house.

111. Feel the beat at one of the areas famous music festivals like the Sandbanks Music Festival (September), Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival (September), Prince Edward County Jazz Festival (August), PEC Fest (August) or County Pop (April).

112. Let the sweet and silvery voices take you to the south while to visit PEC’s Quinte’s Isle Bluegrass Celebration!

113. Park yourself down at a picnic table in the vineyards at Trail Estates or Traynor Family Vineyards

114. Stop and smell the roses at The County Blooms – The County’s Garden Show

115. Discover your artistic side at Art in the County (June/July) or at the old school Women’s Institute Art and Craft Sale

116. Show you national pride at Canada Day Celebrations in Wellington

117. Feel like royalty as you discover wineries in a horse drawn carriage with The County Carriage Co. (Photo on right)

118. Start practicing you lines to watch the Festival Players Theatre Company Productions

119. Get ready to rumble at the Consecon Soap Box Derby

120. Preserve the history of wine making, brewing, and more at the Ontario Fermentation Festival

121. Get your team together for the Wellington Lions Club Dragon Boat Festival (August)

122. It’s not Burning Man but you will get to camp in the woods and enjoy a line up of amazing performers for 4 whole days at the Country Jamboree (August)

123. Check out the cute pups and tractor pulls at the Picton Fair (September)

124. Get your bike in gear for the Gran Fondo (September). You can choose to a scenic ride of 50, 100 or 150 km.

125. Celebrate the harvest at Milford Fall Fair or Ameliasburgh Fall Fair

126. See The County with an artist’s eye at the PEC Studio Tour or the County Arts Fair

127. Support local at TASTE Community Grown (September) or The Makers Hand

128. Get into the Halloween spirit at Pumpkinfest (late September)

129. Come back at Christmas too for the Picton Santa Claus Parade

130. Ahoy! It’s time to set sail with the County Sailing Adventures. They can host private events or take you on a 2 or 3 hour cruises.

131. Find the plaque in Picton that explains the town’s claim to fame – where Sir John A. Macdonald grew up.

132. Be surrounded by creativity in the Rose Cottage Studio and Gifts in Picton.

133. Rest and recuperate at one of The Open Collaborative’s retreats. Choose from the “Run”, the “Activate”, the “Reset”, or the “harvest”.

134. Shop ‘til you drop at the Quinte Mall

135. Find your equilibrium on a Stand Up Paddleboard with Floating Lotus SUP

136. Get into the great outdoors with a luxury prospector tent at the Fronterra Farm Camp.

137. Find your perfect new outfit at Luna Boutique.

138. Be sure to veer off the highway and visit the newest winery in The County – Moranin Wines (just opened July 2018)

139. And last BUT definitely not the least…have breakfast, lunch and treats at Enid Grace Cafe in Wellington – go early because she makes only enough croissants, muffins, scones & cakes enough for the day.  Once your favorite treat is gone, you’ll have to wait til the next day.

 

 …and the list goes on!  

Even more tips and calendar of events can be found on Prince Edward County’s tourism web site is prince-edward-county.com

Wherever you decide to go – for a day trip, getaway or long weekend – why not work your way through this long list of things to see and do. It’s a beautiful place where you can make great memories of food, wine, great scenery – and more.  Call on our Savvy Sommeliers anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) for tips of places to visit.

Enjoy Prince Edward County!

 

 

 

 

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Hop on the Savvy Bus to Terroir Festival & Prince Edward County

Posted by Amanda

Friday, April 24th, 2015
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Join our Savvy Sommeliers for a day discovering Prince Edward County on Saturday May 8.  The Savvy Bus is back by popular demand & we’re making it easy for you to enjoy a day out in The County with a Sommelier as your tour guide.

It’s a Road-trip!

terroir2011v4.cdrSit back & relax in our luxury coach as we explore the backroads of Prince Edward County.  We will stop in Picton to take in Terroir Wine & Farmers Market to discover all of the great wines & foods under one roof at the historic Crystal Palace. Many County wineries will introduce their new spring releases & pair their wines with locally made gourmet foods right before your eyes!

Your Savvy Bus Tour will continue as we visit The County’s only craft brewery – Barley Days Brewery for a taste of something different.  Then to top it all off, dinner will be served in the vineyard at Casa-Dea Estates.

It will be a fun day meeting the dynamic people who are involved in the growing reputation of ‘The County’.

Advance Booking Only

Savvy Special: $149 (regular $165)

Price includes absolutely everything!
– Roundtrip transportation in a luxury coach
– Sommelier guides
– Admission to Terroir Wine & Farmers Market
– Winery and brewery tours
– Dinner in the vineyard
– and…good ol’ HST

Only 10 spots left! Book your seat on the bus >>

The Master Plan…

5 team members standing-001The Savvy Bus will depart downtown Ottawa at 8am from the Ottawa Marriot (100 Kent St). We will pick up passengers at Starbucks in Pinecrest Mall & Starbucks on Princess Street (near the 401) in Kingston.

We are aiming to arrive at Terroir Wine & Farmers Market by 11:30am.

Check out this long list of participating vendors who will WOW you with their locally-produced food & wine. Local wineries include:

Broken Stone Winery
By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery & Vineyard
Casa-Dea Estates Winery
Closson Chase Winery
Devils Wishbone Winery
Half Moon Bay Winery
Harwood Estate Vineyards
Hillier Creek Estates
Huff Estates Winery
Karlo Estates
Keint-he Winery & Vineyards
Lacey Estates Winery
Lighthall Vineyards & Lighthall Cheese
Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard
Rosehall Run Winery
Sandbanks Winery
Sugarbush Vineyards
Thirty Three Vines Winery

Learn while you Taste…

There will be 3 fun & informative sessions on during the day – including a blind wine tasting hosted by our own Debbie Trenholm as well as these seminars:

Everything You Need To Know About Growing Heirloom Tomatoes

If you have a small back yard garden or deck or  balcony… you can grow heirloom tomatoes. Vicki Emlaw will answer any questions you have and a selection of good old fashioned tasting tomato plants will be available for sale.

What Kind of Cool Are You?

Join The Cellar Sisters in an exploration of cool-climate Chardonnay and determine your “kind of cool” – crisp, fruity, rich or smooth. Blind taste four different PEC Chardonnays and select the one style which appeals to you most. Learn about each wine and receive a handout detailing all the unique Chardonnay available at Terroir for tasting and purchase so you can continue seeking out your “kind of cool” throughout the afternoon!

Compelled to Can

Bree Seeley advocates that preserving food is more than a twee hobby, it is a dynamic practice that powerfully shapes the identity of our regional cuisine. Preserving food allows cooks to fortify a commitment to Ontario terroir and asserts a role in supporting more sustainable food networks. The delicious results create unique contours in meals and hospitality. Join Bree as she outlines how enthusiasm for robust flavours gives way to a fulsome pantry and colourful year-round Ontario eating.

And the bus goes on…

Barley Days logoAt 2:30pm, we will roam the country roads bound for Barley Days Brewery for a tour & tasting, then onwards to Casa-Dea Estates where we will be treated to a dinner surrounded by vineyards. By 8:30pm, the coach will depart for Ottawa.

Paul Battliana Casa-DeaThis schedule gives you time to enjoy all of the activities at Terroir, see the picturesque countryside & discover The County’s only brewery followed by a delicious dinner with Casa-Dea’s winemaker Paul Battliana (in photo at left) who MacLeans Magazine has named as ‘One to Watch’ in Canada.

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 road-trip!
Book your seat on the bus >>

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All set! New Year’s Eve Dinner with Wine Shopping List

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, December 25th, 2014
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You’ve been planning, shopping, baking, cooking, decorating, and mailing (phew!) to get ready for the Holidays…so let us help you create a great dinner for the last day of the year. This take-home New Year’s Eve Dinner from Thyme & Again is an elegant menu prepared by their creative chefs using local ingredients. All you have to do is call the great folks at Thyme & Again by noon on Monday December 29th. Avoid the crowds, the kitchen and the stress!

Includes a Wine Shopping List too…

To make your New Year’s festivities extra easy, our Savvy Sommeliers  have provided wine recommendations from fine Ontario wineries to pair with these festive dishes. All of these wines are available at various LCBOs in Ottawa. For more wine recommendations from Savvy Sommeliers, call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) www.savvycompany.ca

Here’s to a delicious dinner & exciting 2015!

 

 

Special New Year’s Eve Menu with Wine Pairings

 

 

sparkling wine closeup of glasses

HORS D’OEUVRES

Coffee Poached Pears; Chèvre with Candied Walnut & Orange on Seed Crackers (V, GF)

Mini Perogie with Braised Shortrib & Cheese Curds

North of Seven Vodka Flambée Lobster stuffed Gruyère Profiterole

Kick off the festivities with a bubbly! Savvy Sommeliers recommend:

Casa Dea Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling, Prince Edward County $18.95
13th Street Cuvée Sparkling Brut Rosé, Niagara $24.95
Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut, Niagara $29.95

 

ED wine bottle and corkscrewSTARTERS

Acorn Creek Sunchoke, Apple and Chestnut Soup with fresh Thyme

Bluegrass Farms Baby Arugula; Smoked Tofu “Bacon”; Parmesan Tuille; Crouton;Lemon Garlic Dressing (V, GF)

Confit Duck and Shiitaki Mushroom Phyllo Pastry, Baby Greens and Honey Soy Drizzle

Crowd pleasing wines recommended by Savvy Sommeliers:
Rosewood Süssreserve Riesling, Niagara $14.95
Malivoire Gamay, Niagara $16.95
Kacaba Cabernet Merlot Syrah, Niagara $18.95

 

MAIN COURSESED glasses of wine

Oil Poached Striploin with Le Coprin Mushroom Tapenade
Rosti Potato with Zucchini Ribbon
Wine to serve: Huff Estates South Bay Merlot, Prince Edward County $29.95
*Will be featured in Savvy Selections wine of the month club in January 2015

~

Shrimp and Alliums stuffed Roasted Chicken Breast and Sherried Tomato Cream
Duck Fat “Confit” Fingerling Potatoes with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Wine to serve: Lailey Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara-on-the-Lake, $19.95

~

Seared Black Cod with Lemongrass and Scallions
White and Bamboo Rice Pilaf with Miso Glazed Bok Choy
Wine to serve: Pondview Bella Terra Chardonnay, Niagara-on-the-Lake $24.95

~

Mixed Wild Mushroom and Brandy Ragout Stuffed Portobello with Cauliflower Purée (V, GF)
Rosti Potato with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Wine to serve: Rosehall Run Defiant Pinot Noir, Prince Edward County $18.95

~

Pork Two Ways: Hall’s Apple Cider Braised Pork Belly and Pan Seared Chard Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Medallion with Calvados Apple Butter
Duck Fat “Confit” Fingerling Potatoes with Miso Glazed Bok Choy
Wine to serve: Fielding Estates Pinot Gris, Niagara $18.95

DESSERTS

dessert Thyme & AgainSalted Caramel Crème Brûlée with Smoked Chili Truffle, Triple Chocolate Biscotti, Fresh Raspberries (GF available without biscotti)

Callebaut Dark Chocolate Mousse Cakelette with Drunken Cherries, Toasted Marshmallow, Espresso Cream, Fresh Strawberries (GF)

Key Lime & White Chocolate Cheesecake with Dulce de Leche, Parisian Macaron, Fresh Blueberries (GF)

Lemon & Raspberry Tart with Raspberry Coulis, Ginger Biscuits, Meringue Kisses, Fresh Blackberries

Our Savvy Sommeliers recommend to serve with these delicious desserts:
Southbrook Vineyards Framboise, Niagara $15.95 (dessert wine made with raspberries)
Cave Springs Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling VQA 2008, Niagara $24.95
Tawse Riesling Icewine VQA 2009, Niagara $34.95

 

Menu codes:
N = Contains Nuts or Seeds
V = Vegetarian
GF = Gluten Free 

Your dinner order includes:

hors d’oeuvre
starter
entrée
locally baked bread
dessert


Price per person:

Beef: $48
Chicken: $45
Pork: $48
Cod: $45
Vegetarian: $38

Please contact Thyme & Again Creative Catering directly to place your order.
1255 Wellington St W.
Ottawa ON  Tel: 613-722-0093
www.thymeandagain.ca

Have a very happy New Year’s Eve with friends & family, from all of us at Savvy Company.
Debbie & the Savvy Team

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101 Things to do in Prince Edward County

Posted by Debbie

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
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Where are you going this Long Weekend? We are always asked for travel tips. One destination we are frequently asked about is Prince Edward County.  Just a short 3 hour drive from Ottawa or 2 hours from Toronto, you can go for the day or a weekend getaway.

Stanners Vineyard vinesThis region, surrounded by water, is turning heads as Canada’s fastest growing wine region.  And it is not all about the wine either! The County has been named as Maclean’s Magazine’s Canada TOP 10 Places You’ve Got to See in 2014.

To help you discover all the neat things that are going on in The County, we got the Savvy Team together (over a glass of wine of course!) & jotted down 101 of our favorite (and there are still many more) things to do in Prince Edward County.

How far down the list can you get?  Do you know about other fun things to see & do in PEC that we can add to our list?

101 Things to Do in Prince Edward County Wine Country

 

1. Visit North America’s largest dry stone bridge at Karlo Estates.

2. Visit the Oeno Gallery at Huff Estates.

3. Do the Creepy Corn Maze (Oct).

4. Eat some freshly baked pizza at Norman Hardie’s.

5. Check out some great old barns at The Old Third, Closson Chase, Karlo Estates, The Grange of Prince Edward County and Hinterland Winery.

6. Sample amazing aperitif and dessert wines (and ports) – Sandbanks Winery, Hillier Creek, Keint-He Winery, Karlo Estates

wine_tasting_sparkling7. Taste some of the best Canadian-made sparkling wines at Hinterland, Huff Estates, The Grange, By Chadsey’s Cairns & Lighthall Vineyards.

8. Cheese Please!  All weekend long at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival (June).

9. Sample County wines at great local restos – East & Main, Blumen Garden & The Hubb.

10. Buy some artisan cheese to go with your wine at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.

11. Toronto’s Drake Hotel now has a County location – Drake Devonshire.  Stay over or go for dinner.

12. Indulge in poutine and milkshakes at the Dari Bar in Wellington.

13. Enjoy some great apple cider & lunch of lamb burgers The County County Cider.

14. Need some coffee after sampling wine? Miss Lily’s Café or the Bean Counter in Picton.

15. Find your favorite mantra pinned to the wall in the Cherry Valley General Store (hint: they’re all about slowing down to smell the roses!).

16. Stop by one of many veggie stands – Laundry Farms, Hagerman Farms, Cherryvale Organic Farm.

17. Sit on the porch at a B&B or your weekend cottage and read Geoff Heinrick’s book A Fool & Forty Acres.

18. Pop in to the Agrarian Cheese Market & Speakeasy, featuring craft brews on tap, great ciders, wine and killer cocktails with live music on Fridays & Saturdays.

19. Take a cooking class at From the Farm.

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

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

22. Get on your bike & ride the backroads or along the Loyalist Parkway.

Terroir wine festival23. Take in Terroir Wine Festival at the Crystal Palace (May).

24. Plan for a beach day at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

25. Attend the PEC Jazz Festival (summer).

26. Discover new local music talent at The Acoustic Grill in Picton.

27. Slide down the dunes at West Lake.

28. Harvest grapes with Norman Hardie & celebrate afterwards with a pig roast & bbq (fall).

29. Take a billion pix of the gorgeous gardens at Closson Chase then indulge in their wines.

30. Spend a Sunday afternoon on the patio at Huff Estates Winery listening to live jazz.

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

32. Meet the dogs & owners at Three Dog Winery.

33. Get lost on the back roads.

34. Hear James call his Chardonnay vines ‘Bella’ at Long Dog Winery.

35. Stock up on your picnic goodies at Chef Michael Hoy’s Weekend Market at 106 Bridge Street in Picton.

36. Best bacon & eggs in town are at Picton Harbour Inn.

Debbie at 2012 harvest37. Harvest parties at Sandbanks Winery, Half Moon Bay Winery & Broken Stone are fun for the entire family. Here I am (photo at right) picking grapes at last year’s harvest – boy that was hard work!

38. Book a room at The Manse, Newsroom Suites, The Inn at Huff Estates, Merrill Inn or the cottage at Angeline’s.

39. Take an early morning walk on the ‘secret’ beach (at the bottom of Cold Creek Road).

40. Ice cream at Slickers.

41. Go apple picking at Campbell’s Orchards.

42. Sparkling wine awaits at Hinterland Vineyards – and peach slushies for the kids.

43. Visit the old-time school house at the Ameliasburgh Historical Museum.

44. Drinks & Dinner at Merrill Inn –guaranteed delicious!

45. What the heck is Wassail?  Ask around about this pre-Christmas festival where you sing for your drink. Does this photo get you thinking about Christmas?

46. Do a County Chardonnay-a-thon trying every Chard you can find.  Be sure not to miss Lighthall, Stanners, Exultet, Rosehall, Karlo….is just a start.

maple_web_logo47. Pull a pint of Pumpkin Ale at Barley Days Brewing Co.

48. Maple in the County is a great spring getaway

49. All aboard!  Stop in at the red caboose at 33 Vines Winery – it is their tasting room.

50. Visit the Lavender Farm when the lavender is in full bloom (June).

51. Chat with Pat at Del-Gatto Estates…where he lives la dolce vita!

52. Kick back & chillax in a Muskoka chair with a glass of Sandbanks wine…in their vineyard (must trys – Cabernet Franc Reserve, Baco Noir, Marchel Foch).

53. Go antiquing.

artstrail-bluesign54. Follow the Arts Trail & meet incredible artists along the way.

55. In the summer, sip Rose wines around the Wine Trail – see how they all are different – different grapes used, hues of pink…and tastes!

56. Catch a movie at the Regent Theatre.

57. Visit the gallery at Small Pond Arts to see Milé Murtanovski’s paintings made with wine.

58. Unwind one of the few classic drive-in movie theatres in Ontario: Mustang Drive-In

59. Take a break for wine touring & leisurely shop on Bloomfield Main Street.

60. Six Barrels for Six Chefs at Huff Estates Winery (June).

61. Get your heirloom tomatoes and lots of other fresh from the farm veggies at Vicki’s Veggies

62. How about a visit to Dead Peoples Stuff? (antique store).

63. Enjoy heaven in a glass with a sip of VanAlstine White Port at Karlo Estates.

64. Lunch al fresco at Casa Dea Estates Winery, Huff Estates, The Grange or Norman Hardie Winery.

65. Go house hunting – it does not cost anything to dream!

66. It might be a wine region, yet there is a distillery – 66 Gilead – that is a must visit.  Especially for their Canadian Pine Vodka, Loyalist Gin, rums & whiskies too.

67. Watch the sunset at North Beach.

68. Enjoy incredible classical music in a small church during the Prince Edward County Music Festival (September)

69. Make annual family traditions by renting one of the many of the Sunrise cottages.

70. Drop by Highline mushrooms to buy fresh gourmet mushrooms.

71. Homemade donuts like my grandfather would make await at Schroedter’s Market on Hwy 62.

72. Spend an hour or two checking out City Revival – a high end consignment shop.

73. Be marvelled by Lake On The Mountain – it’s mystical up there.

Premium Goat Milk Cheddar, Back Forty Artisan Cheese Co. and Black River Cheese Company74. Stop at Black River Cheese Co in Milford to try…and buy…all kinds of cheese.  Savvy Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons recommends: Maple Cheddar & fresh curds (TIP – when you put curds in the fridge, they lose their squeak)

75. Where else can wines be as easy as Not Red, Almost Red and Not White? At Sugarbush Wines.

76. Ride the waves at North Beach Provincial Park.

77. Go strawberry, raspberry or blueberry picking on the roadside – they grow wild!

78. Grab some wine after your round of golf at Picton Golf Course, Barcovan Golf Club or Wellington On The Lake Golf Course.

79. Pop in & out of all of the cool shops along Picton Main Street.

80. Bird-watching!! And don’t miss BirdHouse City.

81. Take the scenic route. Drive along the Loyalist Parkway – Hwy 33.  Start in Kingston or Napanee and it will meander all the way to Trenton.

82. Order everything on the chalkboard at The Hubb Restaurant in Bloomfield.

83. TASTE! at the Crystal Palace (late September).

84. Have afternoon tea or a treat at Tall Poppy Café in Wellington.

85. The December Busy Hands Craft Sale at Books and Company & Miss Lily’s Café, hosted by Vicki’s Veggies – great sale for gifts.

86. Pop into Greer Road Grocer at Rosehall Run Winery for neat locally made gourmet goodies.

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

88. Stop for Italian thin crust pizza at Bergeron’s Estate Winery…and have a glass of wine too!

89. Take photos of Lake Ontario with morning fog near Moonlight on the Lake B&B.

90. Buy Ontario wine – and beer! – not available in the LCBO – shop directly at the wineries & brewery in Prince Edward County!

91. Get married!

92. Running and drinking…drinking and running during Terroir Run (June) or county Marathon (Oct).

93. Taste wine in a converted cheese factory that now houses Exultet Estates.

94. Rent a cottage on the water for a week and really live The County life.

95. Stop at a garage sale.

96. Take the free Glenora Ferry.

97. Take a workshop at The Red Barns, an artisan’s playground, featuring blown and stained glass, pottery, and iron art.

98. Visit Canada’s first off-grid winery Redtail Vineyard.

99. Browse the books and say hello to Miss Ella Vader, the new book mascot at Books & Company.

100. Spend a weekend at Claramount Inn & Spa. Heavenly.

101. Stop by Huff Estates and get your picture taken with the giant steel pinecones.

…and the list goes on!   Even more tips and calendar of events can be found on Prince Edward County’s tourism web site is prince-edward-county.com

 

Wherever you decide to go this Long Weekend…or anytime, why not work your way through this long list of things to see and do in Prince Edward County. It’s a beautiful place where you can make great memories of food, wine, great scenery – and more.  Call on our Savvy Sommeliers anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) for tips of places to visit.

Enjoy Prince Edward County!
Debbie

 

 

 

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If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages…

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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If you’re a lover of Ontario wines, as many of our Savvy Selections subscribers are, you’ll be delighted with the September 13 LCBO Vintages releases, which showcases the diversity of terroir and wines across the province.

Vintages magazine Sept 13 2014

State of the Art in Ontario

This billion-dollar industry has come into its own over the last 30 years, and we’ve been contributing to it! Most Ontario wine is consumed in Canada, and the shift in consumer tastes away from spirits to dry table wine can only accelerate the growth of the industry.

Old Vines, Part of Our Heritage

The province’s wine industry is located at approximately the same latitude as Burgundy, so we can ripen most Vitis vinifera grapes – Paul Bosc Sr. was one of the first to demonstrate this at Château des Charmes, where the first vines were planted in 1978 – and produce a range of wine styles, from crisp sparkling wines, such as The Grange of Prince Edward County Sparkling Riesling and Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé, through off-dry and dry white or red wines to the iconic ice wine that reintroduced the Canadian wine industry to the world, represented in this release by Château des Charmes’  beautifully crafted ‘Estate Bottled’ Vidal Icewine.

Nature & Nurture

There’s a particular focus in this Ontario feature on the Cabernet Franc grape, which ripens particularly well in Niagara.  Used in Bordeaux blends, and produced as a single varietal wine in the Chinon and Bourgeuil appellations in France, Cabernet Franc has come into its own in Canada’s wine regions. The Ontario feature includes great examples from such producers as Peller Estates, Southbrook, Tawse and Thirty Bench (its Red is built around Cabernet the Cabernet grapes).

Taste the Place

I have visited Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore several times, and usually make at least one annual pilgrimage to Niagara. It never ceases to amaze me how many new wineries are sprouting from the soil, how successful the well-established ones are, and how many wine lovers are stopping in to taste the wines, meet the winemakers, and take home a selection of wines. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to visit one of the regions in person, take advantage of this Vintages release to put together your own tasting party of Ontario wines!

Taste 2011For a real-life taste, come to TASTE 2014.  Come & meet some of the region’s finest chefs, winemakers, beer, spirits and cider masters. Sample the best gourmet food from top local restaurants and artisan food producers. Buy fresh produce and VQA wines in our farmer’s market. Come to Prince Edward County and see why TASTE Community Grown is Eastern Ontario’s most anticipated culinary event of 2014.

Tuscany’s Third Pillar – again

There’s always a secondary feature in the Vintages release, and this one will appeal to lovers of Sangiovese, specifically the Prugnolo gentile clone that is used in the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  This wine is designed for aging and is known for its firm structure, dark fruit and earthy character. Five producers are represented in the release – take your pick!

And, of course, there are some great values to be had in the general release, a couple of which are included in the selection below.

Cheers,
Susan
susan@savvyselections.ca
Sources:  The Ontario Wine Industry: Provincial Policy at a Crossroads, Pelling & Hira

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

September 13, 2014 

 

Flat Rock RieslingFlat Rock Cellars Riesling 2013

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario
$16.95 (Vintages 43281) 11.0% alcohol

Fabulous aromas of peach, nectarine, pear, lime and some mineral notes lift from the class of this off-dry white wine. It’s a masterpiece of balance, showcasing a beautifully crisp texture juxtaposed to round, well-ripened fruit flavours and that subtle mineral character. It’s juicy and flavourful to the last drop! Sip well chilled paired with soft cheeses on a warm autumn afternoon.

 

Talmard Macon UchizyMallory & Benjamin Talmard Mâcon-Uzichy 2012

AOC Mâcon-Uzichy, France
$16.95 (Vintages 733956) 13.0% alcohol

This classic white wine of southern Burgundy combines stone and orchard fruit aromas with the scent of sweet woodruff and smoke. Dry, medium bodied, it’s ripe round texture is perfectly matched to a fine seam of acidity. Flavours of apple and lemon-lime dance on the palate, garnished with a touch of toasted nut. Well balanced and absolutely lovely, it’s a match for lemon roast chicken or your choice of seafood. 

 

13th Street Cabernet Merlot13th Street Cabernet/Merlot 2012

VQA Creek Shores, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages 56598) 13.5% alcohol

Dense and inky, this red wine blend offers lovely aromas of ripe dark fruit, earthy notes and hints of lavender and dried herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s polished tannins and tangy texture harmonize with dark berry and plum. There’s depth and intensity here, spice and smoky toast complementing the fruit on the extended finish. Enjoy with grilled red meats.

 

Chakana Cabernet SauvignonCkakana ‘Yaguaraté Collection’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 

Mendoza, Argentina
$13.95 (Vintages #663161) 14.5% alcohol

Ripe aromas of black currant, spice, toast and licorice lift from the glass of this appealing, full-bodied varietal wine. It offers a warm welcome, round mouth feel, soft tannins and generous ripe fruit accented by spice and tasty notes of coffee bean. This red wine is a crowd-pleaser with a pleasantly dry finish, it’s a great value and made for barbequed meats.

 

Dominio Cepas Viejas MenciaDominio de Tares ‘Cepas Viejas’ Mencia 2009

DO Bierzo, Spain
$29.95 (Vintages #379891) 14.5% alcohol

Subtle aromas—cherry, berry, leather, meaty notes, spice and vanilla—tantalize the nose and offer a well-rehearsed intro to the velvety, round texture of this captivating old-vines wine. It’s produced from Mencia, a grape native to Spain’s northwest and shown, through DNA testing, to be related to a grape native to Portugal.

Dry, combining finesse and power, it showcases great intensity and depth of fruit, a well-defined, refined structure, and the complexity of French and American barrel aging. The dry finish offers warmth and great length. Just fabulous, treat yourself to a bottle and you’ll enjoy tasting this wine before a dinner built around rare grilled meats. 

 

GRAND TOTAL: $97.75

 

 

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Like Father…like Son…2 become winemakers!

Posted by Eva

Monday, August 18th, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Stanners Vineyard

– August 2014 –

 

Have you been to Prince Edward County lately?  On your next trip, promise me that you will drop in to visit this month’s feature winery Stanners Vineyard. Located ‘at the top’ of the winery map not far off Hwy 401 at the Trenton exit, the winery is perfectly situated to be your first stop into Prince Edward County or last stop enroute home.  Mark my word…the visit with winery owner & winemaker Colin Stanner & a tasting of his wines will make your County trip complete.

In a life previous to this, both Cliff (father) and Colin (son) Stanners were research scientists: Cliff has a PhD in physical chemistry and Colin a PhD in cell & molecular biology.  The two also had considerable experience in winemaking before embarking on the adventure of owning a vineyard & winery.  In Montréal, Cliff was a force to be reckoned with in an amateur winemaking club.  In the meantime, Colin and his wife (Mary) moved to California in the 1990’s where he took an Intro to Oenology (winespeak: the science & study of all aspects of wine & winemaking) course at the highly acclaimed University of California –  Davis Campus (aka UC Davis)  learning about wines of the world & winemaking basics.

 The attraction of Pinot Noir

Much experimentation ensued in Colin’s basement small-scale winery where he converted local California grapes into well respected wine.  Both Colin & Cliff saw the potential of making high quality wine from Pinot Noir grapes in Prince Edward County (recently named the 4th ‘Designated Viticulture Area’ in Ontario).  While Cliff neared retirement, the father & son team were primed for a new adventure.  They made the leap to turn their passion for nature & premium wine into reality.  The result rivals French Burgundy wines but their goal is not to imitate but bring forth the beauty of the minerality that is characteristic of Prince Edward County wines.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore $25 – buttery caramel that then turns smoky with a flinty minerality cutting through.  At 15%, you might think it too much but think again.  Stanners Chardonnay is exquisite. I have said it before…I dream of this Chardonnay.

2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario $30 –  This is textbook minerality from Prince Edward County in a Burgundian-style Pinot Noir.  Chill this slightly as you would an elegant & delicate Beaujolais-style Gamay.

2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County $25  – WOWza! The aromas leap out of the glass: ripe dark fruit, baking spices, rose and black liquorice.  This will keep in the cellar but let’s be honest….can you really wait?

Award-winning wines …

Stanners Vineyard bottlesStanners Pinot Noir is the most critically acclaimed wine of their portfolio.  The 2010 garnered a Silver medal and judges ranked it right up there amongst the Top 4 Pinot Noirs in Canada!  The Royal Winter Fair voted it the best wine of the show.

And you heard it first…here, WineAlign’s National Wine Awards of Canada announced that Stanners 2011 Pinot Noir VQA Four Mile Creek was awarded Silver in the category of Red Wines & 2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore won a Bronze medal.

Where to find Stanners wines?

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, Stanners wines are not on the LCBO shelves. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Stanners 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…
Stanners Vineyard

Presented by Sommelier Éva Nagy

 

Colin and his wife, Mary, moved to California in the 1990’s.  Armed with an UC Davis introductory course in general wines of the world & winemaking basics, Colin visited wineries at harvest time to bring home grapes to his basement mini-winery.  He learned by making wine & making mistakes.  He experimented with full cluster fermentation with stems, even ripe stems, resulting in very astringent tannins (think of a mouth-drying sensation like over-steeped black tea).

Stanners Vineyard vinesMeanwhile, Colin’s father Cliff discovered the Hillier area in Prince Edward County (PEC) on a cycling trip.  Cliff & Colin visited and looked at properties & wineries in this area near Trenton.  After lots of research – they are scientists afterall – they chose a property that borders on an environmentally-protected bird area with lots of wildlife.

Their extensive research continued as they tasted wines from neighbouring wineries – By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery, Grange of Prince Edward, Rosehall Run, and Norman Hardie – to learn more about the distinct County minerality.  The father & son team sought advice from Mike Peddlesden, a key figure in PEC wine industry, and Dan Taylor for economic development. Through this research process they recognized the incredible potential of The County & they were excited to become part of it.

So it begins …

In 2003, they purchased the 25 acre property that would become Stanners artisanal, family-owned & operated vineyard & winery.  In the fall of 2004, all hands were on deck to grab a hoe or shovel to help prepare the land for planting in the spring of 2005.  Pinot Noir vines were growing by 2007 but the grapes were not ready to sell until the harvest of 2009.  Then the grand opening of the winery happened at the end of 2010. Ever since their opening we have been contacting them inquiring if they were ‘ready’ to be featured in Savvy Selections.  All of us in the Savvy Team are delighted to introduce you to their wines this month.

Colin Stanner in his vineyardCliff & Colin (pictured on right) sought advice of many people before building their winery.  Their Barrel & Tasting Room are constructed of straw bale which is highly insulated & keeps a constant temperature in a very eco way.  Digging a cave was not an option due to the great amount fractured limestone.  You can actually see this in different parts in the vineyard: the high spots are full of rock, the low spots have less.  This very limestone is perfect for Pinot Noir & Chardonnay.  Their roots have to dip deep through the fractured rock to produce concentrated wines.

Of the 25 acre property, 18,000 vines are intentionally planted densely into 7 to 8-1/2 acres … the number of vines would fit closer to others’ 18 acres.  The first acre was planted 4-1/2 feet between the rows and 3 feet between the plants (not unlike Burgundy France).  They really have to hedge down & keep on top of the canopy.  Now the Stanners plant 6 feet between the rows.  This helps greatly with airflow and the reduction of disease.  As you can imagine, these scientists have good reasoning for this approach.

Colin hopes to make Pinot Noir from parcels of land.  IN his lab, he will make the wines separately then compare results.  Depending on his findings, he may blend them or he may not.  All along, his focus is to really show the characteristics of the grapes & vineyard, to make every sip rewarding & different from the last.  He says, “It’s a matter of not trying to influence it too strongly.  Not hitting it over the head with oak.”

The difference between California grapes and those grown in PEC is the Brix level (winespeak: the natural sugar content of the grape).  In California, grapes had to be so ripe (at 24-25 Brix) to get flavour.  In The County, it takes comparatively only 20 brix to develop phenolic (physiological) ripeness at a much earlier rate.  For now, Stanners produce 1000 cases per year.  The goal is 1500 cases as they grow bigger. This is considered very small by Ontario wine industry standards.

The little things that get done …

”The magic lies in how the grapes are handled from vine to bottle,” explains Colin.  “The grapes are hand-picked into small flat picking bins.  Next the whole berries go into the de-stemmer.  No crushing throughout the winemaking process”.  Pinot Noir & Cabernet Franc go directly into the fermentation bin where whole berries sit longer & at lower temperature than usual.  The must is punched-down by hand then goes into a gentle bladder press.

Stanners Vineyard bottlesAt this time of the year, you will find Colin in the vineyard & working on Pinot Gris in the winery.  There will be only 85-90 cases of this popular, pinkish-salmon coloured beauty.  They will be grabbed up quickly so get it while you can by calling the Savvy Team to arrange a delivery.

“It is somewhat of a quiet time in the vineyard right now.” states Colin.  “Measurements are done, leaf-pulling is all done, the weeds have stopped.  It is the calm before the storm where we have a week or so to relax before we hit the ground running with harvest.”

At the end of August, picking parties will begin.  Although a date is not set, they plan a barrel-racing event with hobby horses.  You will definitely see me at Stanners harvest party/parties most likely the 1st & 2nd weeks of October (a little later than usual).  I am so excited at the thought of picking followed by lunch & wine.  Hope to see you there!

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, $25.00

The grapes are sourced from a single vineyard in the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation in the Niagara Peninsula.  When you have a look at the label, it may surprise you that this Chardonnay is 15% abv (alcohol by volume). So perfectly balanced between caramel & flinty smoky minerality that you won’t notice the high alcohol.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Buttery & concentrated caramel/butterscotch, ripe green apple & pear,  toasted coconut & wildflower honey.  But wait! … There’s that medium+ acidity & flinty minerality cutting through that full-bodied, buttery character.  As it warms up, white pepper, smoke & vanilla make their appearance.  The finish goes on and on and on….

Suggested Food Pairing: Stanners creamy-textured Chardonnay absolutely beckons Gravlax (recipe follows) or bagel & cream cheese with smoked salmon or trout (like they have at Supply and Demand restaurant in Ottawa), pan-seared scallops, classic French onion tart. The slight smokiness will lend itself to barbeque or roasted poultry as well.

 

2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario,$30.00

This is a blend of grapes from Prince Edward County (60%) and Lincoln Lakeshore (40%), hence the VQA Ontario on the label.  Bright, elegant & delicate with a Gamay-esque quality.  Our Savvy Sommeliers recommend to chill ever so slightly as you would a French Beaujolais.  Chilling for 10-15 minutes in the fridge will release the delicate & elegant aromas & flavours.  This is a very Burgundian-style Pinot with that distinctive County minerality we have been talking about since page 1!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Decant or let age for a year or so & you will be greatly rewarded for your patience.  It’s coming up roses … the colour, the aroma & flavour.  Roses waft through ripe strawberries & pomegranate.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chill slightly like a French Beaujolais and serve with: duck confit grilled cheese served with cherry shiraz jelly & Bleu Elizabeth artisan cheese, decadent bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese,  prosciutto-wrapped figs stuffed with blue cheese; rustic paté, artisanal charcuterie, roast turkey or chicken. This Pinot Noir is very versatile.

 

2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County,$25.00

Ready for a completely different red wine? This one blew all of our Savvy Selections tasting panel away.  And at our recent All Canadian Wine Taste & Buy, some of our ‘loyal & regular’ Savvy Event attendees were tipping Debbie off about this wine.  “Try it & you’ll be amazed!” they promised.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:And no doubt, they were right…now we’re talking! Aromas & flavours of rip juicy fruit abound.  Chock-full of ripe black fruit, plum, cranberry, floral (think red roses), baking spices (think cinnamon or allspice) and good black liquorice. The acidity & tannins are well-balanced for drinking now or this wine will definitely age for a few years in your cellar.

Suggested Food Pairing:Spans the range of pairings from pulled pork & burgers to duck, cured meats and Creole-blackened fish.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With 2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore …

Easy Salmon Gravadlax (Gravlax)

From Jamie Oliver
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 heaped tablespoon dark soft brown sugar
25 mL vodka
sea salt
½ an orange zest from 2 lemons
a bunch of fresh dill
2 x 150 g salmon fillets, pinboned, skin on
4 tablespoons soured cream
1½ teaspoons jarred grated horseradish
extra virgin olive oil
1 x 250 g vacuum pack of beetroots
balsamic vinegar

Serve with 1 punnet of cress & a loaf of rye bread

Method

Place the sugar, vodka, 3 heaped tablespoons of salt, the orange zest and the zest from 1 lemon into a bowl. Pick the dill leaves and reserve in a bowl of cold water in the fridge, then finely chop the stalks and stir into the mixture so well combined. Pop the salmon fillets into the bowl, turning them over in the marinade until well coated, then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 5 hours.

Meanwhile, make the horseradish sauce. Add the soured cream, grated horseradish and the juice from ½ a lemon to a small bowl. Mix well, season with a pinch of salt and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, then place in the fridge until needed.

Add the beetroot (including the juices) to a bowl with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season well with salt, then mash with a fork to a rough paste. Have a taste and add a splash more vinegar if you think it needs it, then set aside until needed.

After around 5 hours, remove the salmon from the bowl, then wipe off and discard any excess salt. Drain and finely chop the reserved dill leaves and rub all over the salmon. If you’re not serving straight away, sandwich the salmon together, with the skin-side outside and wrap in cling film, then return to the fridge, until needed.

To serve, remove the cling film and peel away the salmon skin, then transfer to a board and finely slice. Snip over the cress, then serve alongside the horseradish sauce, balsamic beets, rye bread and lemon wedges for squeezing over. I sometimes like to serve it with a shot of vodka on the side too. Enjoy!

Serve with horseradish sauce & beautiful beets.

 

With 2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario …

Duck Confit Grilled Cheese

From the Coffee Window

Ingredients

Duck Confit (recipe below)
whole grain bread
mildly nutty cheese like Emmenthal or Fontina

Method

You can use any basic recipe for duck confit (see below), and then, instead of preserving it, shred the meat, including the crisp skin. (If you are using duck confit made earlier or one that you buy, warm the meat up a bit in a sauté pan.)

Layer the duck onto a slice of nice sandwich bread; seven grain or whole wheat is a good choice.

Top with a few thin slices of a mildly nutty tasting cheese that melts well, like Emmenthaler or Fontina.

Top with the second slice of bread, and press down lightly.

Film a skillet with olive oil (butter burns too quickly), and get it hot (but not smoking) over medium heat.

Brown the sandwich on both sides, and lower the heat under the pan, letting the sandwich steam long enough to melt the cheese and get it all oozy.

Cut on the diagonal, and let ‘er rip.

 

Duck Confit

From Epicurious

Ingredients

3 tablespoons salt
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
6 sprigs thyme
Coarsely ground black pepper
4 duck legs with thighs
4 duck wings, trimmed
About 4cups duck fat

Method

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer.

Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container.

Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. You can cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Preheat the oven to 225°F.

Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan & brush the salt and seasonings off the duck.

Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven.

Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours.

Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

Note: The duck fat can be strained, cooled and reused.

 

With 2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County …

Oven Braised Pork Shoulder with Apple Juice

About.com Southern Food
Serves 6 to 8 with leftovers

Ingredients

1 bone-in pork shoulder roast, about 6 pounds
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced or coarsely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons of a seasoning blend for pork or chicken or salt and pepper
1 cup apple juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

Method

Lightly grease a large covered Dutch oven or casserole.

Heat oven to 300°.

Put onions in the casserole.

Rub the pork with the seasoning blend or sprinkle generously with salt and pepper then place the roast on the onions and add apple juice.

Cover and bake for 5 hours, basting occasionally.

Remove the roast to a large platter and shred or chop the meat. Discard bones and fat. Strain the juices and put the solids back into the casserole or Dutch oven.

Discard the liquids and add the shredded or chopped pork.  Then add barbecue sauce and stir to blend ingredients. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

This is delicious served with macaroni and cheese or scalloped potatoes, or serve it in buns with pickles, slaw, and baked beans.

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Clink & Drink Pink! The Rosé Report

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
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“It’s summertime and the living is easy”. Our team of Savvy Sommeliers sampled countless bottles of rosé wines made in Ontario to compile The Rosé Report.

One Dozen Roses - Savvy CompanyThis will take the guess work out of what taste awaits in many bottles of rosés.  Here are just a few of the rosés to get you started. Watch this space for the full report – and it is ongoing throughout the summer – right here at www.savvycompany.ca/rosereport.  Each week we will highlight a couple of must try Ontario Rosés.  Bring on summer!

It is not all rosy when it comes to rosé wines, as many people are stuck on the idea that rosés are sweet.  Truth be told, they are anything but sweet.  Similar to white wines, rosés are also dry with a refreshing zing to quench your thirst. Many are low in alcohol (9% to 13%) and can range from any shade of pink from pale salmon to candy floss to even light red.

“Rosé wines unleash the creativity in a winemaker. They can be made from any combination of grape variety resulting in dramatically different styles,” says Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm. “There are so many exceptional rosé wines made right here in Ontario but not all are available at the LCBO. We’ve launched this One Dozen Rosés and The Rosé Report to help you experience those hidden gems.”

 ~ The Rosé Report ~

Rosehall Run Pixie Sparkling Rosé 2012

Rosehall Run PixiePrince Edward County, $17.95
Where to buy? From the winery directly or order our special One Dozen Rosés

A glass of this bubbly will make anyone happy. A new creation by Dan Sullivan, the owner and winemaker at Rosehall Run Vineyards in ‘The County’, this is a one-of-a-kind mouth watering sparkling wine is made with a unique blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and Zwiegelt grapes.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Aromas and tastes of ripe wild strawberries and juicy watermelon with zesty hints of lime and dried cranberries. The nice clean finish is dry with a crispness that lingers until the next sip…and the next…and the next…

Pop open when friends come over un-expectantly, or those nights when you call out for sushi or chill one for your next picnic. Try your hand at the Watermelon and Feta Salad recipe below – it is a hit with this wine.

 

Rosehall Run Just One Rosé VQA 2013

Rosehall Run 2013_Just_One_Rose_v2 (2)Prince Edward County, $17.95
Where to buy? From the winery directly or order our special One Dozen Rosés

An understated wine that transforms in your glass with each sip.  An interesting blend of Gamay Noir & Pinot Noir grapes from Prince Edward County, Rosehall’s winemaker Dan Sullivan again shows off his talent for making fine wines in ‘The County’.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A gorgeous salmon colour in the glass makes way for delicate yet zippy aromas & tastes of rhubarb, cranberry, sour cherry, floral & citrus (think pink grapefruit).

Suggested Food Pairing:  This light bodied & delicate wine can easily be overpowered with food, so chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge then uncork this bottle to sip on its own, enjoy with smoked salmon, chilled shrimp or a spinach salad.

 

Pondview Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2013

Pondview 2013 Cab Franc Rose-smNiagara-on-the-Lake, $15.00
Where to buy? LCBO, from the winery directly or order our special One Dozen Rosés

When he was only 19, Lou Puglisi saved enough money to buy a Camaro sports car…then his father talked him into buying farm land instead.  Taking the wise advice, Lou began as a grape grower, then 3 years ago, he opened his doors as Pondview Estates Winery…and he never did buy a sports car!

This rosé wine is made with 100% Cabernet Franc grapes.  This grape is often used for blending, but now it is growing so well at numerous wineries throughout Ontario, winemakers are crafting wines without blending it with any other grapes.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  “Summer time in a glass” said Savvy Sommelier Shawn McCormick after one sip.  A stunning sunset colour, this wine is loaded with aromas and tastes of fresh picked strawberries, peaches & nectarines.  Slightly off-dry, this medium bodied wine has good acidity that makes it a refreshing for summer sipping. “A glass or two of this wine with a lawn chair and a good book would be a perfect pairing”, smiles Savvy Sommelier Eva Nagy.

Rosé wines delivered to your home, office…even cottage!

Introducing the brand new One Dozen Rosés . Each month throughout the summer – July, August & September – Savvy Sommeliers will offer 12 bottles of different rosé wines from across Ontario.  Next to the taste, the best part of this new way to buy hard-to-find rosé wines is free shipping. You don’t even have to get up off your lawn chair to order. www.savvycompany.ca/rose

 

~ Recipes to Enjoy with your Rosé wines ~

Watermelon Black Olive Salad Watermelon salad

Ingredients
4 cups seedless watermelon cut in ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup chopped black olives
1/3 cup chopped green onions
Place in a large salad bowl & set aside

For Vinaigrette
1 Tablespoon garam marsala*
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ cup olive oil

Method
Mix together all ingredients for vinaigrette.  Gently mix in vinaigrette to cover watermelon.  Chill until ready to serve.  This can be enjoyed as a side salad or thread watermelon cubes on a skewer with black olives and pour vinaigrette over top and serve as a kebab.  Refreshing with a crunch and a zing!

*Garam Marsala is an East Indian spice mixture that generally includes coriander seed, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, tumeric, nutmeg, cloves & cinnamon.  Purchase a package of this spice mixture at an Indian grocery or health food store.

 

Enjoy…and remember to Clink & Drink Pink!

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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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