Thursday, August 9, 2012

Prince Edward County

A small Island ( 1,048.3 km² (404.8 sq miles) sitting in the north east corner of Lake Ontario. Prince Edward County is a mecca for artists, nature lovers and anyone looking for a getaway … for a weekend break or for life. Renowned for its sailing, fishing and giant sand dunes, The County also offers live theatre, artists studios and galleries, unique regional cuisine and a flourishing wine region

Like the Niagara region they are both on Lake Ontario. The Niagara region is in the south west cornor. PEC is the north east side. Close to Kingston Ontario

Here we find one of Canada's hottest wine regions. One that just a few short years ago was unknown. Prince Edward County was designated as the fourth and newest Designated Viticultural Area (DVA) in Ontario in 2007.

The first wine grapes were planted in the mid-nineteenth century and achieved some notoriety when Dorland Nixon was awarded a gold medal for his wine at the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition. The modern era began when Phil Matheson planted an experimental vineyard with vinifera grapes in the 1980s while Ed Neuser and Rita Kaimins established the first commercial vinifera vineyard for their Waupoos Estates Winery in 1993 . They were granted the second winery licence in the County (after Grant Howes and the County Cider Company in 1996 and opened their winery in 2001. During the first decade of the twenty-first century, new wineries have emerged at a furious pace, with approximately 30 in operation in 2010. Even more important the wines are achieving world class.

Waupoos Estate Winery is perhaps the best known winery and most awarded. It was named after the local village was the first grape winery to open in the region in 2001 by Ed Neuser and Rita Kaimins. The winery sits majestically perched on a gently sloping hillside overlooking Lake Ontario in beautiful Prince Edward County. Surrounded by orchards and perfectly manicured vineyards, the Winery offers an array of wines at the Tasting room, shopping in the Boutique and Dining in the full service Gazebo Restaurant.

The Black Prince Winery was conceived by John Sambrook (General Manager of the Opimian Society) in 2000, who wanted to establish a winery in this lovely, picturesque area of Prince Edward County. This region has the viticultural landscape to produce first-rate wines with the vineyards located on a fertile, sandy loam ridge The Black Prince was an Edward (Edward County), eldest son of Edward III. Terence van Rooyen is their wine consultant winning numerous awards including Chardonnay du Monde for their '08 Chardonnay Terroir Elite VQA

Closson Chase is a quality-driven producer that has helped spearhead the birth of the Prince Edward County wine industry. Since 1999, it has been committed to creating distinctive wines that rival the world’s finest. Set in Hillier, Ontario, the estate is over 30 acres of south facing, limestone-rich soil under vine; planted high density to the classic Burgundian-varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with small yields, French-inspired vinification and careful barreling in 100% French oak. Geoff Heinrick and Deborah Paskus studied the soil of Prince Edward County determining that outstanding Burgundian could do well. After producing successful wines Seaton Mclean and his wife Sonja Smits who had purchase a country home in the area offered to back Deborah leading to the open of Closson Chase in 2004.Deborah Paskus has been called by some the Master of Chardonnay.

The Grange of Prince Edward Estate Winery is a family run business established in 2002 by Robert Granger and his daughter Caroline. The building that houses the winery is actually a barn that was built in 1826. Caroline Granger President & CEO has set a high standard for viticulture and wine production. Her passion to produce authentic, handcrafted wines using traditional vinification methods, modern processing facilities and 60 acres of thriving vineyards have resulted in the award-winning wines of Trumpour's Mill and Grange of Prince Edward single vineyard wines.

These are just afew of the wineries placing PEC on the world wine map. Please read our feature on Rosehall Run

and see the complete list here