Did you know that there are more wineries per area in Prince Edward County than in Niagara? No? And did you know that Prince Edward County is closer to Ottawa than Niagara? No? Well, there are and it is.
This year’s IndulgePEC saw the usual suspects troop through PEC again, enjoying what this area has to offer. While I’ll be writing more, I wanted to take the time to tell you about PEC’s oldest winery.
Waupoos, an Ojibway word for rabbit, was created by Ed Neuser and Riata Kaimins in 1983 when they bought an old apple orchard and planted grapes instead. They produced their first vintage in 2001. A family affair from the start, the winery recently changed hands and has added maple syrup and Donini chocolate to its on-site sales. In addition, it has a seasonal restaurant with one of the nicest views in the area over the vineyards to Lake Ontario.
Today, Waupoos and its 24 year old winemaker, Amy Dickinson, grow 17 differnet varieties and use almost exclusiverly Prince Edward Country grown grapes (opinions differ within the County about whether one ought or ought not to bring in grapes from Niagara) ranging from the White Rabbit (a blend of whites) to the Baco Reserve 2011 (100% Baco). The winery will soon be making seasonal fruit wines: blueberry baco and cranberry vidal. You order any of their 21 wines from the winery and three of their most popular wines from the LCBO.
(Side note: 24 year old winemaker? Amy is just one of the many twenty-somethings transforming the County. More on that in another post).
The highlight of their wines is, for me, their Maple Ice. Available at the winery and on-line for $49.95 (375mL), it is sweet as expected but with some acidity, making it less sweet than a shot of syrup (not that I would know anything about that….I mean, who drinks maple syrup from a shot glass?). It is a sweet wine in the truest meaning of sweet but there is a hint of green apple tartness that makes it palatable. In fact, I would pour it over vanilla frozen yogurt or use it instead of treacle over a steamed pudding. If you drink it, serve it with a little seared foie gras with a teeny salt flake.
What can be more Canadian than maple ice wine? It is tree sap boiled down to its sweetest concentration, mixed with grapes pressed at their most concentrated. It’s a Canadian sugar high! Forget hockey and Tim Hortons, ignore Parliament Hill and poutine, push aside universal health care and good manners, this is what it means to be Canadian!
As you know, we here at foodiePrints have a soft spot for PEC, with its food, drink, scenery, art and cute inns. Who wouldn’t? But it’s April, kids are still in school, March Break is over and summer holidays have not yet begun. It may not be the ideal time for a get-away. Fear not, dear readers, Savvy Company has a solution to your unfufilled Prince Edward County cravings: County in the City.
On April 18th, Savvy will be hosting a number of Prince Edward County’s finest wineries at the National Arts Centre. As with last year’s event, you will be able to sample wines and also place orders for the ones you like. Fair warning, last year The Beau and I came away with a case of bubbly as well as 6 bottles of Pinot Noir on order.
Savvy Company has generously donated a pair of tickets to this event. Leave us a comment telling us about your favourite Ontario wine, and maybe with a food pairing suggestion, and we will randomly pick a winner on Tuesday, April 16th.
Update: Thank you to everyone who left comments below telling us about your favourite Ontario wine and food pairing. The contest is now closed. In total we received 12 entries.
Megan; Leanne Crowe; Kirsten Duke; Gavin; Tierra G; Kasey; HollyStar; Joy; Andrea; Ted Roseman; Sue Roseman; Danny Starr
Here is the number random.org chose:
Congratulations to Kirsten Duke, entry #3! Your tickets will be waiting for you at the door. A confirmation will be sent later today.