Remember I finished off last weeks blog telling you I was heading to the Niagara region for some wine tasting. Well it would appear my friend Judy is not very good at geography LOL We actually spent the weekend in Prince Edward County and I had the pleasure of meeting new friends and visiting a few spectacular vineyards. I was going to talk about all of them in one blog but I honestly felt that wouldn’t do either winery justice. So I am going to pick my favorite 3 and feature them over the next 3 weeks. In this, the first week, we will start with the first winery we visited, Norman Hardie.
I had been looking forward to meeting this man since he won one of the categories of the Great Canadian Wine Challenge a couple of years back. And he was absolutely wonderful. He took the time for lots of pictures with our group and it was an absolute thrill to meet him and to sample not only the wine but fantastic food as well. Probably some of the best pizza I have ever tried. It gets cooked in a wood-fired oven, and we got to try several different kinds; as well as salad and wine. Best lunch ever!
I bought two bottles to take home from this vineyard and one of them was the 2015 Riesling. The fruit comes from both the Niagara region and the Prince Edward County, and it was done so well. I absolutely love Riesling with spicy food, Thai and Indian cuisine and I’m saving my bottle for a special meal. The fruit was lovely and it has an alcohol level of 9.8% so it’s great to pair food with, but also to enjoy all by itself. The acidity was perfect and the citrus flavours made for a very well-rounded wine.
The second wine we tried was the lovely 2014 Chardonnay, and it was done in Burgundy style. I absolutely loved loved loved this wine! Did I mention how much I loved this wine. Aged in French oak, 30% of the barrels were new and 70% previously used. What this accomplished was a very subtle smoothness in the wine. This is my favorite way to enjoy Chardonnay. The wine, like the Pinot Noir, is unfiltered, and I loved how our wine tasting expert from Norman Hardie referred to the wine as being ‘alive’.
I also tried the Cabernet Franc, and it too is unfiltered. Many people have mentioned to me they have never tried Cab Franc on its own, just in a blend. For example, the Bordeaux region of France, especially the Left Bank, uses Cabernet Franc a lot as part of the blend with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. For those of you who have never tried Caberent Franc all by itself, this is a great place to start. The fruit was vibrant and the wine spent 10 months in French oak so it wasn’t all oaky. It was one of the best Cabernet Franc wines I have ever had.
The second bottle of wine I took home from this vineyard is a bottle of Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is also done in a Burgundian style, which is my favorite way. Limestone soil, very similar in terroir to the Burgundy region of France, makes for a spectacular Pinot. 100% of the grapes used in this wine comes from the Prince Edward County, and this wine spent up to 25 days on the skins with 2 punch downs per day. What does that mean? It means this is no wimpy Pinot Noir. I was actually there as part of a group doing a Bachelorette party, and the bride to be wasn’t a fan of Pinot Noir before this trip. This spectacular wine changed her mind on Pinot. It is that good. The fruit is beautifully rI have, lots of flavour on the pallet and a nice lingering finish.
Spectacular people, great wine and delicious food. It doesn’t get any better than that. We had a wonderful man by the name of Dave driving us around in a beautiful stretch limousine . And I will share more of the adventure next week !
Till then, Cheers