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

Sandbanks Winery – Catching the Wave

Back in 2004, I visited the newly opened Sandbanks Estate Winery in Wellington, Prince Edward County.. It was a hot summer day and so instead of using the small tasting room in the house, there was an outside pavilion with a wine bar and happy young servers splashing out glasses of wines with names like Waves and Dunes. There was already a crowd of customers, mostly cottagers and tourists. The wines were light and summery, easy to enjoy and very affordable. My first impression was “the surfer winery!” Continue reading

Marquesa Port & Dark Chocolate Week #7

Valentine’s Day is past and I have a plethora of dark chocolate to take me through the cold nights of February,  perfect for pairing with red port. For several years, Karlo Estates‘ Van Alstine red was the signature Prince Edward County port-style wine  but,  these days, there is serious competition.



The Wine:  Harwood Marquesa 2011 $29
This is a port style wine made from a blend of Marquette and Cabernet Franc grapes, aged for 12 months in old  American and French oak barrels. 18% alc.

The WineryHarwood Estates
Opened in 2009 near Hillier, Harwood is a family business run by Don and Judy Harwood, John Rode and Kerry Wicks. The winery is off grid with solar, wood and propane providing their energy sources. Something that proved really beneficial with the power outages this winter. Continue reading

Where do you brew your wine?

I was having lunch with Paul Marconi, General Manager and part owner of Casa Dea Estate Winery, when an elderly lady and her daughter approached him.

“Where do you brew the wine?” she asked enthusiastically .

Her daughter looked appalled.

Paul didn’t even flinch and replied warmly, “We brew it at the back of the winery dear. Go in and have a look and meet our winemaker.”

I’m a wine tourist. I write from the point of view of people  like that lady who enjoy the wine, the outing and really don’t know diddly squat about wines  except that they like what was in their glass.

I wonder how many times I have asked equally gauche questions and people have kindly kept their laughter until long after I’ve left. Continue reading