Signal Brewing Co. Open at Last!

Richard Courneyea  has been a prominent Belleville, Ontario business man for years. It used to be a treat to stop in his Richard Davis men’s wear store on Front Street  just to see him dressed as if he’d walked out of GQ magazine.  But for the last few years he has been dreaming about getting out of the clothing business and reopening the old Corbyville Distillery site.  The long term goal was a craft distillery but he would start with a craft brewery.

Richard Courneyea

Delighted owner Richard Courneyea

Two years of road construction on Front Street in downtown Belleville was the incentive he needed to shift gears and follow his dream. Today, I saw Belleville’s formerly best dressed man in cargo shorts, a beer shirt and far more gray hairs than when I saw him last, but he was glowing with happiness. His craft brewery opened July 23 and a week later his patio has been full of customers drinking in the beer, the ambiance and the view with equal relish. Continue reading

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Stanners and Waupoos win Double Gold #ACWC

winery-July10

Stanners Vineyard

The first time I visited Stanners Vineyard in 2012, I was told they specialized in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Almost every Prince Edward County winery I visited that year were doing the same two wines. How do you compete I wondered, when all 30 of the other wineries in the region were featuring the same two wines.

Father and son team, Cliff and Colin Stanners have diversified a little  over the years with one of the best County Pinot Gris which is only made in small batches, a Riesling and a Cabernet Franc, but the focus and the love has been on the Pinot Noir and this year they are getting national and international recognition for that dedication.

Continue reading

Winetouring by Westerdam

 

I discovered this winter, that wines get seasick.

We had booked on a 19 day cruise through the Panama Canal on Holland America’s Westerdam  and I was almost as excited about exploring the international wine menu as our many ports of call.

My voyage of discovery started ashore in San Diego,  with  San Pasqual Summer Vine rosé made from passion fruit with a touch of habanero.  (Everything  in San Diego had a touch of habanero). You will never read a wine review about this wine but for rosé lovers it’s a “must try.”

The Westerdam’s wine list was an exciting assortment of wines from South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand the States and even Mission Hill Merlot from Canada.

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Wine tasting with winelovers from Victoria BC.

Surprisingly I couldn’t find a white wine that I liked.
I even went to a special wine tasting event and  a group of us savoured  five whites from a number of countries and none of us could actually identify a single flavour.  The reds were better especially the oaked and appasimento wines but the whites just didn’t cut it. Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

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