2015 was a year of discovery while wine touring in Prince Edward County and beyond.
I emerged from winter cold storage in May for Terroir in the County and my blog 42 Splashes of Wine outlined the joys and dangers of being a wine blogger and elicited some much needed advice from other wine bloggers afterwards on the protocols of spitting. I’m looking forward to next year’s Terroir when hopefully I will be able to walk a straight line on my way back to the car, which is never driven by me.
Terroir set the tone and provided the leads for some of the most fun writing assignments I had this year.
The Bay of Quinte Tourism commissioned a blog on Quest for Canadian Oak. a recommended wine tour of the county to wineries that had experimented with the Canadian Oak and CHOA barrels made by Pete and Marla Bradford. The story gave me a chance to stop in at Black Prince Winery and visit with Pete Bradford, who is now focusing on retoasting vintage barrels and developing incredibly delicious brands of oaked vinegars for his new company Canadian Vinegar Celllars while he trains two young men who have since bought out the actual cooperage business.
Pete Bradford’s whole backstory since the time I first interviewed him in 2010 to 2015 is in my blog Roll out the Barrel on this site.
Bay of Quinte Tourism, also commissioned a blog called Cider, the Summer Sipper in the Great Waterway which was the best excuse we could find to go for lunch at County Cider and enjoy the food, the view, specialty cider and finally meet Grant Howes the owner. On the same day, we visited Clafeld Fruit Winery and Market and a took a side trip to The Old Third for their TM Cider.
My story entitled Women of the Grape for the Fall 2015 issue of County & Quinte Living gave me a chance to delve into the history of the incredible impact of Prince Edward County’s women winemakers since the start of this wine region and meeting both the pioneers and the new generation. I was able to catch up with Caroline Granger, at the Grange of Prince Edward, visit with Vida Zalnieriunas at By Chadsey’s Cairns, Have a long phone call with Jenifer Dean at County Cider who abandoned wine making to concentrate on cider making. I caught up with Amy Mumby formerly of Waupoos Winery and Lauren Horlock Zimmerman formerly of Hillier Creek and Harwood Estates. Sadly, I couldn’t reach Debra Paskus formerly of Closson Chase but there were plenty of her fans happy to talk about her impact on County wines.
Part of the research for this article involved a long interview with Catherine Langlois of Sandbanks Estate Winery. A shrewd business woman and highly successful winemaker who has recently hired Jacklyn Boyd as assistant winemaker. The Sandbanks visit was so much fun it got its own separate blog Sandbanks Winery – Catching the Wave
The story also let me meet the next generation of women winemakers in the County, MacKenzie Brisbois at Trail Winery, Amy Baldwin at Waupoos Winery and Kerri Crawford the assistant winemaker at Rosehall Run. Although the story was over 1500 words for County and Quinte Living, there was still left over snippets to share in my blog Tasteful Women of the County
As many of the wineries I visited for these stories were close to others I thoroughly enjoy, I managed to visit but not write about Del Gatto Estates, The Devil’s Wishbone, Long Dog Winery and Lighthall Vineyards. All wineries I thoroughly recommend. Lighthall has added a side business making Lighthall Cheese.
The newly launched Wine Tourist magazine out of the US, gave me a chance to revisit my old friends at least by phone in Nova Scotia’s wine industry and write a wine touring guide of Nova Scotia Colors to Fall for: Nova Scotia’s Fall Wine Festival The story included a link to Taste of Nova Scotia’s video of wine touring on The Magic Winery Bus. The video is a delightful look at four wineries around Wolfville. For a quick winter escape to the heart of Nova Scotia’s wine country click here
Let’s raise a glass to the great wine adventures of 2015 and the ones to come in 2016. Cheers everyone!