A visit to The Grange of Prince Edward County Winery is not only an opportunity to taste the wines, explore the vineyards and marvel at the historic restored buildings on site; a visit provides a Canadian history lesson too.
The County is one of the areas settled by United Empire Loyalists after the American Revolution. In 1972, Robert Granger purchased the 150-acre home farm on the original Trumpour family patent, including the mill which produced most of the lumber used in the historic barn (built in 1826) which houses The Grange tasting room and barrel cellar. The Trumpour family arrived in Canada after the Revolution, driven from the Thirteen Colonies by their allegiance to the British Crown. Roughly 50,000 Loyalists emigrated, many from disbanded Loyalist regiments, and settled in the upper St. Lawrence valley. They brought with them their customs, British Law and land tenure, and representative government. After lobbying by the Loyalists, the British Parliament passed the Canada Act in 1791, effectively dividing Québec into Upper (Ontario) and Lower (Québec) Canada. Building on the deep history of this property and region, Robert and his daughter Caroline Granger partnered in 2002 to establish one of the first wineries in the newly developing wine appellation of Prince Edward County (PEC).
Robert’s daughter Caroline is at the helm of the family winery & exudes energy and enthusiasm as she guides you around the property and through the wine cellar and winemaking facilities. Although her father’s career was focused in Toronto, he purchased the property with the intention of giving his children the experience of growing up on a farm. Caroline spent her youth there, leaving at the age of 16 when she was whisked away to Paris and a modeling career that kept her in Europe for 10 years. This career eventually took her to the United States, where she married and began to raise her family. In 1997, she moved back to the farm, looking for a career that would allow her to spend more time with her three children.
Caroline recalls that one wet spring day, she helping plant grape vines at a nearby vineyard. This prompted her to suggest to her father that they plant 10 acres to vines. “This place has always been a working farm. I saw the vineyard as a way to re-establish a viable, sustainable role for the property.” As part of a college course she was taking at the time, Caroline developed a business proposal to discuss with her father. With his agreement and support, she took the wine technician program at Loyalist College and, in 2001 the first vines were planted.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Grange of Prince Edward Northfield Cabernet Franc VQA 2007
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Cabernet Franc is often used in red wine blends (one of the varietals in a Bordeaux blend) yet in Ontario, this grape grows so well that winemakers are now keeping it aside to craft outstanding Cabernet Franc wines. From the highly acclaimed 2007 vintage – the growing & harvest conditions were outstanding – this elegant & impressive wine has aromas of ripe red & black fruit, leather & cigar box (can you find these in your glass?). Concentrated flavours of cherry, raspberry, red roses & typical County limestone. There’s a punch of dark chocolate that lingers with the soft tannins.
Cellaring: Delicious now, this wine will cellar a further 3-4 years.
Grange of Prince Edward has been a feature winery in our Savvy Selections wine of the month club. Few of their wines are available at the LCBO, while their premium wines are not. To order, call the Savvy Team to arrange a shipment of this wine or an assortment of wines from The Grange. Or another idea is to subscribe to our Savvy Selections wine club & outstanding Ontario wines like this one will be delivered to your home or office!