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Terroir - PECounty Spring Wine Festival [Events]
2009 Jun 3
"Terroir" is Prince Edward County's Spring Wine Festival held annually at the Crystal Palace at the Picton Fairgrounds.
“Terroir” is a celebration of the new releases, while “Taste!” is the annual PECounty Fall Harvest Event. This was our first visit to “Terroir”. First off it wasn’t nearly as crowded as September’s “Taste!” (cottage folks not all back in The County?). Entry was $ 25 at the door ($ 20 in advance) which included a complimentary tasting glass and 4 tickets, additional tickets were $ 1 each.
The room had the representation of many of the PECounty wineries, as well as some local Restaurants and two Culinary / Wine Colleges (
St. Lawrence College
), and a few Businesses. The Restaurants represented local ventures as well as several from the many Inns to be found on the peninsula. And the Businesses were more than generous in their donations of food-items (Cheese from the
Dairy Farmers of Canada
and Bread from a local Bakery... sorry don't recall which one).
Compared to the Fall Wine Festival, this one was far more reasonably priced. For one thing there were a lot of “FREEbies”… including unlimited Bread and Cheese. The Breads were a great assorted mix, and the cheeses featured (3 at a time) included such yummy offerings as from Quebec - an Oka with Mushroom, Le P’tit St-Damase, along with a Maple Cheddar from
Black River Cheese
As well both the Colleges were handing out FREE eats… Niagara College had a Strudel filled with Cheese & Asparagus (unfortunately, I didn’t get any of that… it was flying off the table!). They also served a Crustini with Pesto and Smoked Trout (that I did have and it was amazing!). Meanwhile St Lawrence College was attracting a lot of attention with their Duck Confit Poutine and Mediterranean Lamb Sliders (absolutely delish!).
Other eats on offer cost 1 Ticket and included offerings from
The Waring House Inn, Claramount Inn & Spa, Merrill Inn
. I spent my tickets wisely, and enjoyed a Small Pancake with Mushroom Caviar and a Local Fiddlehead with a dab of sauce (might have been Bernaise), also had a Philo Pocket stuffed with Local Asparagus and cheese.
“The Man” grazed his way around the site enjoying both the variety of breads and cheeses as well as a Prosciutto made with Emu, a Charcuterie offering as well as the Mediterranean Lamb Slider and the Smoked Trout (at least twice, LOL).
We participated in one of the many Educational Sessions (Wine & Cheese). Each participant received 5 wine pours (an Unoaked Chardonnay, a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, a Cabernet Franc and an Ice Wine). The food matches came compliments of the Dairy Farmers of Canada and included – Plain Jane a Chevre, and Isabella a Goats Cheese both from
Fifth Town Artisan Cheese
in PEC; the Le P’tit St-Damase, and an Oka Classique both from Quebec; followed by a 6-Year Old Cheddar from Black River Cheese in PEC; and lastly a Bleu Benedictin also from Quebec.
In addition to the cheeses, we were also given some bread sticks (to cleanse our palates) and two meats both all-natural and nitrate free, sea-salt cured and air-dried – a Prosciutto and a Salami, both from
Niagara Food Specialties
(by far the best Prosciutto either of us have ever tasted).
Additionally we were given a slice of lemon… and the tasting took us step-by-step thru the process of tasting the various items with the various wines… it was surprising to discover how things differed and more so how the interaction of lemon made an otherwise unremarkable Chardonnay sing.
Wines generally cost 1 or 2 Tickets for a 2 ounce pour (good deal). Most of the county’s bigger wineries were present including:
Black Prince, Closson Chase, Huff Estates, Sandbanks, Sugarbush
I was particularly pleased with
Huff Estates Pinot Gris
(went marvellous with the Smoked Trout) and
Waupoos Winery’s Pearl Noir
(a great match for the Mediterranean Lamb Slider). Also pleased this year with a new discovery –
Sugarbush Vineyards Almost Red
… a nice refreshing light mix of Red & White Wine (it sounds weird… you’d have to taste it, it did make for a nice summer sipping wine). And
(a late harvest wine) which was my last sip of the day.
Overall this year I’d have to say that the quality of the wine in the region is yet but again improving. There were fewer wines that were so young they were unpleasant (mind you I was primarily focused on wines I knew had little chance of disappointing). Surprises came about at the Wine & Cheese session and included…
Sugarbush Vineyards Chardonnay, Norman Hardie’s County Pinot Noir
Waupoos Cabernet Franc
… all quite pleasant. No surprise however that
Waupoos Iced Maple
was chosen to be the featured Ice Wine… this is by far the best Ice Wine in the region, made with Geisenheim grapes and it’s unique addition of maple syrup can in many instances surpass the sometimes cloying flavours of so much Vidal ice wine coming out of Niagara.
“The Man” and I both enjoyed the Festival and the opportunity to talk to so many great people at the various booths… “The Man” was especially taken with the chance sighting of Canadian Actress Sonja Smits who is a partial owner in Clossen Chase. ;-)
Overall we had a great day, and thought Terroir to be better value than Taste! – the Fall Food & Wine Event… it was less crowded, which in turn meant more time for grazing, mingling and attending the wine sessions. Believe we will add Terroir to our annual list of wine events… we are looking forward to a more leisurely paced visit to The County later this Summer, as well as Taste in September.
2009 Jun 3
2009 Jun 3
yeah, thanks -- sounds like something to keep on the radar for next year. Cheers.