Last year, I reached a goal of visiting and tasting all of the twenty six wineries in Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association, which has been a sort of 2 1/2 year pilgramage.
Writing an article for County and Quinte Living magazine on Saving the Old Barns of the County one winery at a time, gave me a terrific excuse to visit and interview the owners of Long Dog Winery, The Old Third, and The Devils' Wishbone all new wineries for me, and revisit Karlo Estates By Chadsey's Cairns , Hillier Creek, the Grange of Prince Edward , Closson Chase, and Half Moon Bay.
The pride and dedication these winery owners had for not just the wines but keeping a link with their predecessors on the land was inspiring.
I had winery tours with Paul Batillana at Casa Dea and Glenn Symons at Lighthall Vineyards , and met the new wine maker, Ben Serpa at Harwood Estates at the same time learning about the tradition of Passing the Wine Thief, which he had received from the previous wine maker Lauren Horloch.
Closson Chase welcomed me into their customer appreciation event for Veraison and Verjus in late August and my bottle of Verjus was hand delivered early this year.
I spent a lot of the year, seeking out Prince Edward County wines that had been aged in Canadian oak barrels made by Pete Bradford and Marla Cameron of Carriage House Cooperage and attended their opening in their new location next to 66 Gilead Craft Distillery. Almost every winery had tried them, some like The Devil's Wishbone had only left their Chardonnay in Canadian Oak for five days to just tone up the flavours, while Bllack Prince Winery had aged their 2010 Terroir Chardonnay for over a year in the barrels and Karlo Estates and County Cider had been even more experimental with Carriage House's CHOA barrels made of cherry, hickory, oak and ash.
In the peak of the summer, I attended Rosehall Theatre, to see a production by the Festival Players, a great play, a lovely setting, and being able to sip a glass of Rosehall Run County Cuvée Chardonnay at intermission made it the perfect evening.
Wow what a year! What amazes me is how few people living within a fifty mile radius of Prince Edward County have visited more than one winery.
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