Posts Tagged ‘tasting Ontario wines’

Order County wines, craft beers & ciders

Posted by Amanda

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
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Ready. Steady. Go!  Are you ready for County in the Capital? It’s back in town for the 4th annual Taste & Buy event featuring Prince Edward County’s finest wines, ciders & craft beers – you won’t find any of these at the LCBO.

savvy-eventAt this sold out event, you have the unique opportunity to meet the cool people from The County & order any combination of their favorites from The County to be delivered by courier to your  home or office. And there’s free shipping by courier on orders of 12 bottles or more.

Can’t make it? Don’t have a ticket? No worries! You can order your favorites from The County in one click with our online order form.

Get your shopping list ready!

With over 100 wines, craft beers & ciders discoveries that await…Here’s what will be available to sample so you can plan ahead & make your ‘I gotta try’ list.

Craft Beer

BARLEY DAYS BREWERY

Sugar Shack Ale (660 mL) $8.50

Mix n’ Match to make your 6-pack

County IPA $13.25

Harvest Gold Pale Ale $13.25

Loyalist Lager $13.25

Royal George Brown Ale $13.25

Wind & Sail Dark Ale $13.25

Yuletide Cherry Porter $15.95

Hard Cider

COUNTY CIDER COMPANY

A Tortured Path Cider $7.95

County Pear Cider $7.95

PEC Ice Cider (375 mL) $30.00

BERGERON ESTATE WINERY & CIDER CO.

Cole Point Cider 6-pack $17.40

 

Wine Prince Edward County Map

BERGERON ESTATE WINERY & CIDER CO.

2011 Riesling (Reg $16.95) $15.50

2011 Rosé (Reg $17.95) $16.50

2011 Gamay Noir (Reg $20) $18.50

2010 Pinot Noir (Reg $28.95) $26.95

CASA-DEA ESTATES WINERY

2012 Pinot Gris $18.95

2010 Chardonnay Reserve $24.95

2013 Gamay $15.95

2011 Pinot Noir $19.95

DEL-GATTO ESTATES WINERY

2013 Dragonfly White $20.00

2012 Pinot Noir $29.00

La Porta dessert wine (500 mL) $29.00

DEVILS WISHBONE

2013 Wicked White $18.00

2013 Pinot Gris $22.00

2013 Pinot Gris Rosé $23.00

2013 Incarnate Red $18.00

2012 Pinot Noir $29.00

2012 Cabernet Franc $29.00

 

HALF MOON BAY WINERY

2013 Pinot Gris $15.00

2013 Chardonnay $18.00

2012 Merlot $22.00

2012 Pinot Noir $25.00

HARWOOD ESTATES WINERY

2013 Windward White $18.00

2013 Pinot Gris $18.00

2013 Friends Rosé $18.00

2011 Merlot $25.00

2011 Pinot Noir $29.00

HILLIER CREEK ESTATES

2011 Riesling $18.00

2012 Chardonnay $18.00

2008 Colonel’s Cuvée $14.95

2012 Gamay Noir $18.95

2009 Pinot Noir $20.00

HUFF ESTATES

2012 Riesling $18.00

2013 Rosé $19.00

2012 Pinot Gris $20.00

2013 Pinot Noir $30.00

KEINT-HE WINERY

2013 Voyageur Chardonnay $17.00

2012 Fox Croft Chardonnay $25.00

2013 Voyageur Pinot Noir $19.00

2011 Portage Pinot Noir $20.00

2013 Voyageur Gamay Noir $25.00

2012 Queenston Pinot Noir $30.00

LACEY ESTATES WINERY

2011 Gewürztraminer $19.95

2012 Chardonnay $20.00

2014 Riesling $25.00

Dorland Red $13.95

2011 Baco Noir $20.00

2011 Pinot Noir $22.00

LIGHTHALL VINEYARDS

2013 Progression Sparkling $20.00

2014 The Fence Rosé Sparkling $25.00

2011 Chardonnay $25.00

2013 Gewürztraminer $25.00

2013 Pinot Noir $30.00

LONG DOG WINERY

Bella Reserve Chardonnay

2010 (Reg $25) $22.00

2011 (Reg $25) $22.00

2012 (Reg $28) $24.00

2009 Otto Reserve Pinot Noir (Reg $24) $22.00

Top Dog Pinot Noir

2009 (Reg $30) $27.00

2010 (Reg $30) $27.00

ROSEHALL RUN VINEYARDS

Pixie Sparkling Rosé $17.95

2014 Hungry Point Chardonnay $19.95

2014 Righteous Dude Riesling $19.95

2013 Hungry Point Pinot Noir $24.95

SANDBANKS ESTATE WINERY

2013 Summer $14.95

2013 Sauvignon Blanc $15.95

2014 Rosé $12.95

2013 Baco Noir $14.95

2013 Mouton Noir $19.95

STANNERS VINEYARD

2012 Riesling $23.00

2012 Cabernet Franc $25.00

2012 Estate Pinot Noir $30.00

2011 Pinot Noir Four Mile Creek $30.00

THE GRANGE OF PRINCE EDWARD

2010 Lot 2 Brut $30.00

2010 Victoria Block Chardonnay $25.00

2010 Diana Block Pinot Noir $35.00

THIRTY THREE VINES

2013 Frontenac Blanc (Reg $17) $15.00

2011 Chardonnay (Reg $17) $15.00

2013 Vintage Riesling (Reg $17) $15.00

2013 Red Caboose Rosé (Reg $17) $15.00

2013 Vintage Baco Noir (Reg $17) $15.00

2010 Pinot Noir (Reg $17) $15.00

 

THREE DOG WINERY

2013 Dog House White $12.95

2013 Pinot Grigio $19.95

2013 Dog House Red $14.95

2013 Double Barrel Baco $24.95

2013 Sweet Sister (375 mL) $17.95

 

TRAIL ESTATE WINERY

2013 White Blend $21.95

2013 Reserve Gewürztraminer $28.00

2013 Rosé $21.95

2013 Pinot Noir $25.95

 

TRAYNOR FAMILY VINEYARD

2013 Pinot Gris $24.95

2013 Chardonnay Gris $24.95

2013 Sauvignon Blanc Gris $24.95

2013 Alta Red $19.95

 

pec map

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An enthusiast discovering wineries in Prince Edward County

Posted by Amanda

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
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If you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend away to try great wines, look no further than Prince Edward County…just 2.5 hrs drive from Ottawa. I’m always up for an outing and Easter Weekend saw me winery-hopping – and I even saw the Easter Bunny!

Take the scenic route – car, ferry & even a boat (or pedalo)

Bergeron grape picking 3Driving from Ottawa, you can take the pictoresque Glenora ferry and make your first winery stop at Devils Wishbone, just past the really cool Lake on the Mountain – where you see a pretty lake right outside your car window (you can even get out & admire it) and then hundreds of feet down a cliff is the Bay of Quinte!

First Ferry, then Lake…now Winery. Devils Wishbone was the name the earliest settlers used for this location due to poor soil conditions for farming, which can be great soil for growing grapes! You will be warmly welcomed by winery owner Paul Gallagher and his friendly staff and you can enjoy their wines either inside the old barn or sitting out on his new deck; you can taste all of his carefully crafted local wines and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Wine & cheese – a match made in heaven

Cap_CressyBe sure to stop in at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company located at 4309 County Road 8. You can poke around, taste some cheese, visit their chees-making facility, which by the way is completely GREEN; that is they are leaders in Advanced Sustainable Design.

A couple of suggestions – to sample & to buy, are: Plain Jane, County Maple, Lavender, Dill Weed and Lemon, Lemon Thyme and Cracked Black Pepper, Garlic and Chive, Cape Vessey, both Lacey Grey and Nude hand rolled chevre logs, Lost Lake… to name but a few of their great artisan cheeses (ok…that list is long, yet there is so much at their cheese store!). So for great cheese – and sustainability – buy from Fifth Town. Store hours Sat & Sun 11am-4pm.

Is it lunch-time yet?

County Cider lunch

For those of you who have worked up an appetite, it’s only a short drive to a delectable outdoor treat (see pergola terrace in photo at right), where I savoured their thin-crust pizza from the wood burning pizza oven &  fantastic salad at The County Cider Company, located at 657 Bongards Crossing just near the Junction of County Road 8. Not only is the food great, you also get to enjoy the dramatic view from the outdoor patio perched high above Lake Ontario.  My recommendation for that neck of the woods, but do check ahead for hours open.

Last stop today…but I’m back on the trail tomorrow!

IMG_2301I stopped to see Glenn Symons, winemaker of Lighthall Vineyards, because I knew which wine I wanted to go with my succulent BBQ Salmon that I had planned for dinner – his 2011 Chardonnay of course because it bursts with flavors of Asian pear and orchard fruit.

He had some great vineyard stories – don’t forget to ask about the Luna Moth – and insisted I sample his latest releases; then at the end of his busy Saturday full of tourists, media & chefs he invited me to sit outside & sip his latest spectacular Chardonnay on the patio. Cheers amigo!

Be careful when you get behind the wheel

I guess this is a good time to mention that you really ought to have a designated driver for his kind of outing.  Sure it’s true winery hopping is not meant for drinking all you can but for sampling small sips of many different wines. It’s about discovering quality, not quantity. There’s an art to tasting wines and for those of you less familiar with oenology, I’ve shared a few tips below (at end of blog) on what I’ve learned over the past few years in this wonderful world of wine.

So I’ve covered the tiniest part of The County wineries (Marysburgh, North & South), some artisan cheese and a quick spot of lunch, but there is still much to see and do, so if you can – plan to spend the weekend.

Wine Samples…Day Two

I put my jalopy into high gear, heading straight through Picton and on through Bloomfield, Wellington into region of Hillier. For sure there many small quaint towns to see all over Ontario, but this is one spot where wine is really happenin’ so I wanted to make the most of the ‘terroir’ (wine lingo for the earth in the ground that grows the grapes that makes the wine).

Take the scenic route

Be calmed by the waves of Lake Ontario splashing against the shoreline on your left as you head into a different wine area – new soil, new ground, new wines.

karlo barnFirst stop Karlo Estates (classic barn in photo at left), located at 561 Danforth Road, where you will hear the happy laughter of Richard Karlo before you see the winemaker himself. Karlo is run by Richard & his Partner Sherry Martin (also an artist in her own right), out of a beautiful old red barn converted into a tasting bar with oodles of ambience.

They boast an extensive wine list of about 12 wines covering the full range from light to full bodied and are the only winery in the county to produce a white port, alongside it’s sister red port. The barn itself is worth the detour and be sure to wander through the field to take a closer look at their medieval-looking bridge, the largest mortarless structure in North America. A tasting experience people travel far & wide for.

Hubbs Creek Vineyard

Un vero italiano

Hubb’s Creek (see photo at right) right across the street is the home of The County’s true Italian, Battista Calvieri, a wine grower who has been cultivating grapes for over 10 years with his first release in 2012. Worth waiting for to be sure, try his Pinot Gris, the Rosé being bottled soon and for me the Pinot Noir is his signature wine. More wines will be added to the list soon. Open weekends only & full time in Summer.  A presto!

In fact for those of you on the road of wine discovery like myself, you should know that Pinot noir is one of the county’s top grape varieties. It all comes down to the soil and it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that that PEC is laden with the best soil for Pinot noir Grapes. Yabadaadoo, my favourite wine.

Every winery has a name & every name has a story

After munchies in Wellington (I popped into the Tall Poppy Café), then headed for an afternoon saunter through some vines at Keint-He Winery, named very aptly after what is now becoming Ontario’s fastest-growing wine region.

Keint-He canoes on labelKeint-He Winery & Vineyards honours the native word Keint-He which is the name of one of the four Seneca villages in this part of Eastern Ontario; they were one of the five tribes of the Iroquois. The word Keint-He was later francocized into “Quinte” and used in English names such as the Bay of Quinte.

The painting used on their labels (Canoes in a Fog, Lake Superior in photo on left) was originally done by Canadian artist Frances Anne Hopkins.

As the afternoon progressed I had to start thinking of the dreary drive home, but not before a highly reccommended stop at By Chadsey’s Cairns – a long-winded name for a winery if ever there was one.

By Chadsey's Cairns tasting bar exterior

A warm welcome everywhere you go

Despite interrupting his lunch (with a glass of Chardonnay), winery owner Richard Johnston welcomed me with a history lesson, a tour & some great wines.  All this only made me want to learn more about the origin of his grapes and as I tasted my way through his excellent repertoire of white, off white, red & dessert wines, I was left wanting more. This isn’t just another tick in the box – it’s a place to return to.

He is well served by his partner in wine, Vida Zalnieriunas, who is  – as she would say “the winemaker”!  Richard &  Vida have an ongoing (curious) debate at the winery – is the winemaker the person who gives instructions or the one following the instructions, meaning the person doing all the slogging?

There is – again – a story behind the name of this winery – and it’s a good one if you have the time to listen and take it all in as the cairns (hand-built stone structures) are still there to this day and when you stand in the beautifully restored brick tasting room, you can almost see “Old Ira Chadsey”  in 1870 walking the vineyards.

I think this bit of local folklore is worth sharing – so here you have it as told by Richard:

cairns for Chadsey's Cairns“The story has it that Ira is alleged to have declared that he would return after his death reincarnated as a white horse, and he was building the stone markers so he could find his way home.  Then, seven years after his wife’s death, at the age of 77, Ira built a large bonfire in his maple syrup shack, located down the laneway by the cairns, and shot himself so that his body would be flung into the flames.  The fire is said to have been so intense that nothing was found but the metal barrel of his gun.”

Richard claims that it would be hard to leave Ira on that note.  “When it came time to name our vineyards, we decided Ira’s colourful and poignant tale deserved a firmer hold in time”

My day was full of rewards and I do believe that there is a Wine God.

My winery hopping tips…

Try not to cram too many winery visits into one day, amble leisurely & enjoy the atmosphere & countryside, talk to the people who pour for you & learn as you go.

Bryan at Keing-HeAsk lots of questions and try as many or as few wines as you like (check tasting pricing before you start).  Start with the whites, they whet your appetite (even if it’s just your appetite for more wine); then move to light weight reds, ending off with heavier reds and lastly sweet and/or dessert wine. See how friendly they all are – really ALL the winemakers, winery owners & staff in Prince Edward County are THIS friendly, take it from Bryan Rogers of Keint-He Winery (in photo at right).

Feel free to spit, even the experts do it; this way you are coating your palate with the exotic flavours of each wine that you try but not consuming 4 bottles of wine of an afternoon. (If you don’t see a spittoon handy, just ask).

Pick a theme for the day – taste a particular grape variety everywhere you go; or maybe you might want to do the A-Z of The County’s Chardonnay, so it’s whites from sun up to sundown; there are so many ways to taste wines, so don’t wait – get on to The County!

Final tip – Enjoy yourself, it’s a time of discovery.

What about the Easter Bunny?

Elycia at Harwood in bunny earsIn case you’re wondering about the Easter Bunny I mentioned at the top…here’s how I ‘found’ it:

My last stop (or you could say hop) in the afternoon before heading back to Ottawa was at Harwood Estates, where Elycia showed off her prowess in the wine domaine by explaining each & every one of Harwoods great wines. There was a nice cosy spot at the tasting bar to munch my sandwich (originally destined for a road-stop on the 401) while I learned about the little-known variety of St. Laurent from this very friendly bunny…oops I mean Elycia! My discovery of the day was Admiral’s Blend,  a blend of estate Pinot Noir & St. Laurent which is medium-bodied with aromas of cherry, coffee and cardamom. A complex palate of Asian spice, cherry and chocolate

Can you imagine my surprise when I came away from a winery visit with a chocolate bunny! Another great day in Prince Edward County & thank you Harwood Estates.

Enjoy your travels & call on me as well as the others in the Savvy Team anytime on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca  for suggestions of wineries to visit all across Ontario.

A presto!

-Amanda

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