A day in the county…what to say? YES. YES. I would do this one hundred times over all year round if I could.
Being my friend’s birthday, of course we were up for a few more drinks than the typical day in the county- but we did really enjoy the variety of wine tastings and pairings at each winery. How to get around during all these tastings? PEC Wine tours of course! For 6 of us, it was $90.00 a person, which included mostly all tastings and being driven around in a Limo all day with an experience, knowledgable and FUN drive. Our driver Gilles was exceptional. He knew everything about the land, Terroir and history of the vineyards. Having an interest and hopeful future in the field, I could’ve talked ‘shop’ all day with Gilles and the sommelier at each winery. I enjoyed the time at each winery and was extremely impressed at how Gilles could handle a group of 20-something drunk ladies with ease & laughter.
First Stop: Huff Estates. What a beautiful winery and some truly fun, knowledgable people. I have to throw a little shout-out to our cellar guide and tasting expert, Brian. He gave us some interesting information about the terroir of PEC and shared his passion in the wine world with us. Huff’s off-dry riesling is always a classic and an all-time favourite for me, but this time I wanted to buy something different. The highlight here was the sparkling rosé. I bought a bottle of this and my boyfriend and I opened this as a celebration of our new apartment! Check out what they have to offer: https://huffestates.com/
Second Stop: Sugarbush. This was a very small, sole-run business. The lady that worked there was wonderful! She also showcased local artists (including our driver Gilles’ beautiful work) on her winery walls. You can tell she puts a lot of passion and love into Sugarbush. I really enjoyed the Gewürztraminer. It had some nice lychee and spice on the nose and palate and would be absolutely perfect for the fall. I think I know which wine I’ll bring to Thanksgiving dinner! Check out their story, business motto and other wines: http://www.sugarbushvineyards.ca/
Third Stop: Casa-Dea. I’ve always been a huge fan of Casa Dea. What a beautiful winery! Not only do they offer some fantastic wines, but they also offer some elegant cuisine. At this point, we were ready for our lunch break and didn’t know we’d be so lucky to enjoy the dishes we did. They paired the Cab Franc rosé with a fresh summer goat cheese and beet salad and the Melon de Bourgogne with the shrimp and scallop risotto, which added a nice acidity to the buttery main. The Pinot Gris and Pinot Gris Reserve were fantastic, but I ended up buying the ‘Oriana’ ice wine, as I found that to be particularly nice. An ice wine that is aged in oak and offers richness and sweetness is an A+ in my books. Have a peek: http://www.casadeaestates.com/index.cfm
Fourth Stop: Rosehall Run. I have to say that this place is without a doubt my favourite winery in PEC. OMG. Their wines are so complex and interesting year-to-year. My favourite white is always a buttery Chardonnay and here at Rosehall, they have an oaked Chardonnay that literally tastes like popcorn! I’ve had this wine before and bought a bottle, but this time I bought two. You can pair it with several things, but the suggestion (which I love) is to pair it with a big, buttery bowl of popcorn. Trevor, the sommelier that was working, was so wonderful and answered not only questions about all the wines, but my personal questions about becoming a sommelier. I also bought the Cabernet Franc, which is definitely a grape I’m not used to drinking on the regular. It has medium-high acidity and should definitely be paired with the right dish. But, when it is paired correctly, it is very smooth. The ‘Certain Ratio Meritage’ was a very good, complex wine. It is a blend (Cab Sav, Merlot, and Cab Franc) and according to Trevor, perfect for a Netflix marathon containing only wine! This guy knows my style. See the wines and the great people at: http://rosehallrun.com/
Fifth and Final Stop: Hinterland. Well this place is just magical! I love sparkling wine and this place focuses solely on that. The owners are a couple with two young children that help out with the chicken coop and work around the vineyard, with their parents. The family feel makes appreciating this vineyard so much easier. I’ve tried Hinterland’s ‘Borealis’ before and loved it, but they had some different options this time. I bought a very nice, sweet bottle of Whitecap. I saved this one for a special occasion and found it to be refreshing in the summer heat. But, at the same time, all sparkling white wines are perfect for any winter cozy-up. They also boast a ‘Blanc de Blancs’ sparkler that I cannot wait to try. Since we were there at the very end of the day (they actually kept the place open for us!), we got to explore the vineyard and chicken coop a little bit. The boys were showing us how to feed them and take care of them, ‘like brothers do’. This charming place is the perfect place to host a party, or buy all of your sparkling wine for the party from. They will soon be introducing a line of cider to the Hinterland name. Check them out: http://www.hinterlandwine.com/