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WSET Wine Touring in PEC

What’s WSET you ask?

WSET the  Wine and Spirits Education Trust  offers educational programs for people in the wine and spirits business.  My cousin Paul has  a WSET Diploma Level 4 which provides specialist-level knowledge in wine and spirits, for both the trade professional and serious  wine enthusiast.

Paul is an architect in the UK but his company supports life long learning, so when asked what he’d like to take courses in, he chose WSET.  Although it has nothing to do with his work, it gives focus to a lot of his travel choices.

He took classes once a week for two years. The course involved  written papers on wine regions,  styles, viticulture, vinification and marketing as well as blind tastings similar to  those  on WineAlign‘s annual  So You Think You Know Wine Challenge videos requiring  experts to identify the grape variety, region, quality and age of a selection of anonymous wines.

When  Paul visited us in Ontario, he wanted a wine tour in Prince Edward County which included a  visit to Norman Hardie’s Winery. The Wine Society of UK of which he is a member imports cases of Norm’s unfiltered County Pinot Noir  and Norm’s Niagara Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Continue reading

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Autumn Getaway with wine!

Life happens.

This blog has been silent for several months as we dealt with my convalescence from knee surgery coupled with the loss of two elderly much loved parents. Earlier this week, as I hobbled around with a cane and Colin grappled with the after affects of pneumonia, we decided we had to get away for a few days to start healing.

We wanted somewhere not too far away, on water, quiet and comfortable with food and housekeeping included.  I’d heard about Elmhirst Resort in Keene, Peterborough County Ontario and checked out their website. Thirty-two housekeeping cabins, each with  fireplaces, king size beds, double Jacuzzi, WiFi, a deck with barbecue, lawn furniture and its own private dock  It has free access to canoes, kayaks, bicycles, miles of trails, indoor and outdoor pools, sauna and fitness centre. Also available – at a cost – float plane aerial tours of Rice Lake,  power boat rental, horse back riding, spa treatments and guided wine tasting. Continue reading

Canadian Cellars  at Black Prince Winery

2015 Wine Touring Highlights

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. Continue reading

MacKenzie Brisbois, winemaker and viticulturalist at Trail Estate

Tasteful Women of the County

It’s a scientific fact that women have more taste buds than men. In fact 35% of women qualify as ‘super tasters’ and only 15% of men but most of us know good when we taste it. Winemakers are super tasters, or they wouldn’t be in business long. Another interesting fact: the majority of LCBO wine purchasers are women age 40 and older, Which might add to the success factor of women winemakers.

While researching a recent article for County and Quinte Living Women of the Grape I had the privilege of meeting fourteen of those Super Women Tasters  who work in winemaking in Prince Edward County. Not only do they make great wine but they have added significantly to the development of the County as a respected wine region.  The first five are part owners of the wineries as well as winemakers. Continue reading

New spring releases being poured at tasting rooms like this at the Grange Winery across Prince Edward County

Spring Wines / Bay of Quinte Tourism Site

Please visit my blog Spring Offerings at Prince Edward County Wineries at the Bay of Quinte Tourism website

Dan Tweyman winemaker at Trail Winery

42 splashes of wine – Terroir 2015

42 splashes of wine in the glass
42 splashes of wine
Another splash and I’ll fall on my …

“You don’t spit?”  Dan asked incredulously.

Dan Tweyman is the nearly new winemaker at Trail Winery. I met him Saturday at Terroir  2015 in Picton. Prince Edward County. He is one of four new winemakers that I met at Terroir.

It was a marvelous day: 21 wineries, 35 other vendors with foods, pickles, preserves, cheeses and chocolate. The sun was shining, it was over 30 ºC and packed with people happily buying wine and goodies. Terroir is the start of wine seasons. Continue reading

Canadian Oak Elite Barrels by Carriage House Cooperage

Roll Out the Barrel

Canadian Oak and other wine barrels have been rolling across Prince Edward County, Ontario, this past year as Pete Bradford moved from his previous location next to  66 Gilead Distillery near Bloomfield to Black Prince Winery  in Picton. I first met Pete at Taste the County in 2010 when he was giving demonstrations on barrel making. At the time, he was still going through his apprenticeship with a well known Missouri barrel maker, Dale Kirby. I interviewed him and his partner Marla at his incredibly cold Carriage House Cooperage workshop in Wellington in December for a story for HornTrip magazine. It was so cold my digital recorder lost the entire interview (or maybe my hands were shaking so much that I pressed the wrong buttons.) Continue reading

5 Top Reasons to take a Wine Tour

On the road with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours

On the road with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours

Treat yourself to a real wine tour in 2015 – the kind with a bus, a guide and an itinerary. It’s worth the cost in terms of information, safety and pure enjoyment. Here are my top five reasons why to pay for the experience, at least for the first visit to a wine region.

1 No Designated Drivers

It’s hard not to swallow when you are tasting wines even if you are just taking a little sip, they add up. Designated drivers often succumb to the “just a taste” offers of their friends. The cost of an official wine tour is a fraction of the cost of a DUI charge and the consequences of losing your licence. Pay for the tour, and you will all have fun, learn a lot and come home with a Continue reading

Sherry Martin and Richard Karlo  in the winter tasting bar in 2011

The Joys and Heartbreak of 2014 Wassail

Friendship more than wine brought me out to Prince Edward County this Wassail. The news of Richard Karlo’s death last week on November 26 had stunned me and I needed to be with other people who were also saddened by his passing. Saturday was  a raw cold day like the one in 2010 for my first Wassail. That year I’d come as a stranger, this year I came as a friend. Continue reading