Posts Tagged ‘wines from Lake Erie North Shore’

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery celebrates 10 years

Posted by Melanie

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month club

Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Colchester Ridge Estates Winery
–  March 2016 –

Have you had wines from Lake Erie North Shore?  Find out what you could be missing. In Ontario, most of us know that the largest wine growing region in the province is the Niagara Peninsula. And many of us are quite familiar with Prince Edward County wines, but did you know that there is actually a third viticultural area in the province?

Well there is, and if you head just about as south as you can in Ontario you’ll hit it! Not far from Windsor lies the Lake Erie North Shore appellation. It’s an area surrounded by three bodies of water – Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Lake Erie. It boasts the longest growing season in the province with the summer heat and the moderating effect brought on by the surrounding waters.

CREW frontWe are excited to feature Colchester Ridge Estate Winery (CREW), a 12 acre estate owned by Nancy and Bernard Gorski (aka Bernie). It is the first winery from Lake Erie North Shore that we have featured – ever! The winery is located in the town of Harrow, just a 30 minute drive from Windsor. The estate grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer grapes. They also produce and bottle other wines (such as Riesling and Cabernet Franc), sourcing grapes from the Lake ErieNorthShore area as much as possible.

The little wine region that can…

CREW bottlesCREW produces 3,500 cases of wine annually, making it a small facility in the industry. But they are big in other ways – they have a bottling line, they barrel age all red wines using a blend of 85% French and 15% American oak. To top it all off, they are making interesting wines with the help of a consulting winemaker hailing from New Zealand.Their white wines are crisp and clean, very typical of Ontario white wines, yet by playing with various styles of winemaking, they are diversifying their offerings in effort to help them stand out.

Our Savvy Sommeliers enjoyed discovering CREW and chose these wines for you:

2013 POSH Cuvée – A fragrant &food friendlywhite wine blend, easy drinking, complex, delightful.

2014 Riesling–Medium body with great minerality, fruit and spice.

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – Smoky and meaty on the nose, with tart red berries and black olive on the palate.

Most not at the LCBO

Your Savvy Selections, along with many other gems from CREW, are not stocked at the LCBO. If you would like to order additional bottles or other Ontario wines, call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or drop me a line at We’ll be happy to arrange a special delivery for you!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery

Presented by Sommelier Melanie Allen


My husband and I stopped into CREW while visiting family in Windsor, Ontario over Christmas. It was Boxing Day and Michelle Turnbull, CREW’s Sales and Event Manager, very graciously gave up precious holiday family time to meet with us and share the CREW story and its wines. Although I have visited some of the wineries in the area before, this was our first time visiting CREW and sampling their wines.

Michelle was extremely welcoming and started by giving us a tour of the facility while she provided background information. Vines were first planted in 2001, the first harvest was in 2004 and the winery officially opened in July 2006. Michelle joined CREW in 2014 and is notably passionate about wine. She enjoys working in this industry and the challenges that come with her job and thinking of creative was to market the winery (more on that later!).

Bernard - CREWFamily ties…

Owner Bernard Gorski (in photo at right) hails from Harrow and was raised on the family farming business. While attending university, Bernard started making wine using grapes grown by his family; in part as a hobby, but also because his pals would drink all his beer! Upon completing university, he worked for his father (the family also owns a trucking company), hauling grapes from California to Ontario. Through this, he got his first exposure to the wine business, and began gathering knowledge.

It was during this time that Bernard truly got the wine bug and started developing his winemaking technique and style. The estate remains a small, family-owned and run business, and both of Bernard and Nancy’s sons have had a hand in working the vines, and at the winery.

Sailing…takes me away…

When I asked Michelle about the rebranding that is currently underway for the winery (leaving “Colchester Ridge Estate Winery”, to the more nautical “CREW”) she explained that it was almost fated to happen: “Bernie was an avid sailor before he married Nancy…sadly Nancy gets sea-sick. The running joke in the family is that if he ever buys a boat again, he will have to name it “Miss Nancy” because he will indeed miss Nancy! Aside from this great anecdote, the ridge of Lake Erie is nearby which adds to the water theme. When someone noted the acronym of the winery “CREW”. All this came together as a great time to rebrand.

CREW logo

You will notice on the bottles you are receiving that the new wine labels feature a sail, and many of the wines are named with sailing in mind – POSH (nautical acronym for Port Out Starboard Home), Flagship Chardonnay and Red Sky At Night Rosé. You get the idea!

CREW is turning 10!

barrel roomCREW’s 10th anniversary is this July and Michelle and the winery team is busy planning many events to celebrate. Looking for a reason to getaway ‘down south’? Explore Lake Erie North Shore wine region and be sure visit CREW.

The winery is a multipurpose and functional space that is transformed for many events – wine & cheese nights, Christmas crafting and of course sampling wines.

Another reason to visit CREW this summer – SUP & Sip.One of the popular events last summer that will definitely be held throughout this summer is an afternoon of stand up paddle boarding, followed by wine and cheese. Definitely in that order!

star gazingAnd you don’t have to wait until summer to visit! Next month, CREW is hosting a Wine and Paint afternoon, as well as an afternoon of Art, Wine & Cheese . And coming in May, I’m told that a very exciting event including stargazing and wine may be in the works! Please check CREW’s Facebook page for details on all upcoming events. They call friends and fans CREW Mates….and with a glass of their wines, you can easily say that you now join the long list of CREW Mates.

Michelle does not stop! Not only does she organize events for CREW, she also partners with local wineries who are members of EPIC Wineries to draw visitors to the area wineries. Even more reasons to hop in your car or take a Porter flight to discover this neat wine region.

We’ll drink to that…Cheers!




CREW Posh Cuvée VQA 2013 $14

posh whiteIn keeping with the sailing theme, this blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, Vidal and Gewürztraminer was named POSH for good reason. “In sailing terms, POSH stands for – Port Out Starboard Home”, explained Michelle. “On the journey from the UK to Indian, a Posh cabin was considered the most luxurious, as it provided the most sunshine and least wind.”

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Fun in a glass! Medium yellow color, with aromas of green apple, citrus fruit, fresh-cut grass. On the palate, the Granny Apple shines through, as does lemon rind, ginger and lime. Medium + acidity, and medium body with a nice long finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Sushi comes to mind immediately. Melanie turned to Michael Barlozzari, chef and owner of KOMA Restaurant in South Windsor for the recipe of Tuna Sashimi and Cucumber Slawon the following pages. Also, “Moules et Frites” would be delicious, however food is not mandatory while sipping this delicious white blend. Just chill & sip away….

Cellaring: Ready to enjoy right now!


CREW Riesling VQA 2014, $15

This wine exhibits pure and transparent yellow diamond hues with honey and peach on the nose. Its composition opens with the luminous freshness of melon and a hint of lime with a delicate mineral finish.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pale yellow color with medium acidity, typical of an Ontario Riesling. On the nose, lovely minerality as well as peaches, baking spice (think nutmeg) and wet stone. The slightest hint of petrol comes out on the palate, as does a juicy ripe pear and the nutmeg. Medium body with a lovely fruity finish.

Suggested Food Pairing:Baked ham, sautéed scallops or the yummy Pork Chop recipe Melanie shares below. These tastes will play nicely with the fruit and acidity found in this Riesling. I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this alongside a dessert of fruit salad with Angel Food cake.

Cellaring:Ready to drink, but has the acidity required for keeping it aside for another 1-2 years.


CREW Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2011 $22

This wine is making me awesomeA dark garnet wine that delivers black fruit flavours with licorice and spice. Big, soft and round with silky tannins. Long finish with complex characteristics. A big, round wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Medium ruby red color with acidity and tannins hitting medium levels as well. On the nose, a meaty, slightly smoky aroma, as well as cherry, red fruit. The palate is complex and very interesting with flavors of cola, cherry, red beets, cranberry, pomegranate and black olives.

Suggested Food Pairing: This Cabernet Sauvignon would do well with a variety of fall and winter dishes. Traditional Tourtière, Braised Ox Tail (see recipe below), Chicken Stew with tomatoes and olives or Tagliatella served with Puttenesca sauce would all pair very well with this full-body red. Very versatile and food-friendly.

Cellaring:Can be opened now, but could also age for another year in the cellar.




With CREW Posh Cuvée …

Sardella-marinated Tuna Sashimi with Cucumber Slaw

Recipe by Michael Barlozzari, chef and owner of KOMA Restaurant in South Windsor.


Sardella-marinated tuna sashimiSardella-marinated tuna sashimi
2 oz sushi grade tuna
1/4 tsp lemon oil
1/2 tsp sardella (salted fish sauce)
1/4tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small pinch smoked sea salt

Cucumber Slaw

1 cucumber
1/4 tsp diced chives
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch tientsin powder (Asian chili powder)
1 pinch smoked sea salt


For the cucumber slaw, wash the cucumbers and use a mandolin to slice it thinly. Mix all the slaw ingredients together in a bowl and marinate the cucumber for a couple minutes.

For the tuna, slice the tuna very thin and marinate it in the ingredients for about 2 minutes.

Plate the tuna and place the cucumber slaw over top to serve and enjoy with a glass of Posh Cuvée.

With CREW Riesling…

Pork Chops with Apples & Riesling Cream Sauce

From the kitchen of Michelle Turnbull at CREW
Photo credit: Melanie Allen

CREW Vineyards in DecemberIngredients

4 meaty pork chops
1 sliced onion
2 peeled and sliced Granny Smith apple
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¾ cup off CREW Riesling + a splash for deglazing
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper


Sprinkle pork chops with salt & pepper. Heat up the olive oil in a pan on medium heat and brown the pork chops for a few minutes on each side. Remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with a splash of Riesling. Toss in the sliced onions and sauté until translucent. Add in the apples and keep sautéing until apples soften. Add the Riesling and bring pan to a boil. Simmer until sauce is reduced slightly, and then stir in the cream and mustard. Bring to a simmer, add the chops until cooked through and sauce is thickened.

To add a healthy and easy side, when chops are almost finished thrown in a giant handful of spinach leaves (more than you would expect – it shrinks!). It will wilt and pair beautifully with the sauce and chops.

Serve with Israeli couscous and of course, CREW Riesling


With CREW Cabernet Sauvignon …

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs (or Ox Tail)

From the kitchen of Michelle Turnbull – CREW
Photo credit: Melanie Allen


CREW Vineyards in December1.5 litres of your favourite dry red wine
5-6 lbs English Cut Short Ribs or Ox Tail
Flour for dusting
Salt and pepper
Unsalted Butter1 medium onion, chopped
4 – 5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups of chopped root veggies (carrots and parsnip recommended)
Fresh thyme sprigs
Up to 4 cups beef broth


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a sauce pan, bring red wine to a simmer over medium heat and reduce to half while prepping meat.

To prep the meat, pat it dry. Mix the flour, salt and pepper together and then dust the meat.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat,add the butter and brown the meat on all sides. Once browned, transfer the meat into a bowl, and deglaze the Dutch over with a splash of red wine. Add more butter to the pan and sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add the root vegetables and sauté until softened.

Arrange meat pieces over the root vegetables and add the thyme spring and the reduced red wine. Add enough beef broth to cover contents of the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and then roast in oven for 3 to 3.5 hours.

When done, transfer the meat and solid veggies onto a plate. Pour liquid through a sieve and discard any unwanted solids. Place liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil until sauce is thickened. Whisk in a tablespoon of butter

Serve with mashed potato and CREW Cabernet Sauvignon.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day & enjoy your Savvy Selections!