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Prince Edward County Wine Tour

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Jun 8th, 2009, 09:10 PM
  #1
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Prince Edward County Wine Tour

First weekend in June we headed off to Prince Edward County to have an inclusive look at wineries. Tour included two red wine fans, SP and AM, two oaked Chardonnay fans, AM and RP and one serious white drinker RP....oh yes and my husband KR, our driver a farmer by profession and total abstainer. I will make this a short version of trip and if anyone wants details let me know. I know that when I went looking for info last stuff on PE County was 6 years out of date. If you are just interested in wine two days is lots of time but there is lots of other stuff to do there we did not do. From east to west we took in the majority of established wineries altho there are new ones coming on every day.
County Cider Company - amazing location, lovely lunch room looking over the lake from elevated position. Food looked excellent and people were enjoying it. Wine is less than average and cider was just average. Bought the apple icewine - plan to use it for cooking some fancy pork meal.
Waupoos - original winery in PE county, still experimenting with grape varieties. Definitely known for their Baco but I bought the St Laurent which was new to me. We had lunch in the beautiful gazebo by the lake. Everyone enjoyed their meal and we all ate and had a glass of wine for $80.
Long Dog Winery - all wines named after the families Dachshunds. One of two top wineries in the county in my humble opinion. Bought both the 2007 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which will be cellared for 5 years. Amazing stuff in an intimate setting.
Black Prince - building silly from the outside but inside well laid out with nice tasting bar. As Billy Munelly says " probably the only winery located across the street from Canadian Tire". Very friendly staff and a large variety of wines as this is actually a co-operative. Moderately priced wines and we all found something we liked. I bought several of their 2007 reserve Chardonnay available from LCBO.
Huff Estate - new ultra modern winery building and Inn. Not my style but I know others who would love it. Have previously purchased 2005 Cab Sauv from here and it is still the only wine I would buy there. Better reds than whites but nothing blew my socks off. Still using a lot of Niagara grapes.
Dinner Sat pm was in Bloomfield at the Carriage House. Menu full of interesting and inventive food in what I would call a French style. We all enjoyed our meal very much. Wine list features lots of local wines which we drank by the glass so we could all have something different. Meat and vegies both perfectly cooked and desserts to die for. Lavender chocolate mousse still makes my mouth water. Wait staff friendly helpful and professional without being ostentatious. $240 for four.
We stayed at a B and B in Cosecon called Henderson House. Beds comfortable, interesting decor, breakfast was great. The town has nothing to recommend it but I would stay here again for the hospitality. Owners familiar with local wines.
Sugarbush Vy - new winery in the back of a residential home. Very friendly and approachable. Totally informal setting with local artwork for sale as well as wine. Wine was small selection but above average in quality.
Closson Chase - along with Long Dog one of top two vineyards for quality. Expensive to taste but as there was three of us to share the tasting worth the investment and we now have some very special bottles for future. Very unique setting in their purple themed barn. Took lots of photos.
The Grange - this is a winery trying for all the pretension of Napa Valley. Very fancy barn renovation into to tasting room. KR, the farmer non drinker, rates this second favourite as a place to visit and not drink wine. Very professional staff used to moving thru lots of people and you get the feeling they don't really love wine just memorized the schpiel. This is a McWinery in my opinion.
By Chadsey's Cairns - had a large variety of very good quality wines for such a small winery. Lovely location with buildings only changed enough to make them suitable so lots of very natural ambiance plus who doesn't like a walk through an old grave yard. If you go here don't miss the oaked Gamay!! This was KRs fav as a place to "walk about" plus we again had view of the lake.
Sandbanks is again along the clean modern lines with a large variety of wines. Foch available which I like and can be hard to find. Also have a first frost vidal with lots of taste but not the sweetness of an icewine. They gave us an excellent recommendation for lunch
Lunch at Sandbanks bar and grill. $80 again for four. Average food, burgers, fries philly sandwich etc. Great location. lovely view of the lake. This was in Wellington. This seems to be a great little town where we shopped for chocolate - excellent and pottery, - beautiful. When I go back this the town I would choose to stay in. Lots of B and Bs.
Norman Hardie - If you can find it worth the stop. I have been to this winery three times since it's inception three years ago and they still look like a construction site. If you battle your way in you will find the wines worth the trip. They often have several wines available but the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is what you come here for. I would rate this as the third place Vy for quality.
Rosehall Run - This winery is family run, clean, well organized. Lots of average wines but they have had several huge hits recently. Worth trying a few, there is a huge selection and if you are willing to spend some money some are excellent.
Headed home with four full cases and a lot of very happy memories.
This is a point form trip report, please excuse my English.
Mactimes3 is offline  
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Jun 14th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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I notice that you compare a number of wines against some undefined average (County cider, wine is less than average, Rosehall Run, average wines, etc.).

Could you tell us what this average is that you are comparing these wines to?
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Jul 5th, 2009, 07:00 PM
  #3
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I don't know if you are still out there but by an average wine I would suggest yellow tail, inniskillin varieties in the $12 range. Wine that is fine but not subtle or interesting. For instance right this minute I am drinking the 2007 Triangle Vineyard small lot Riesling from Thirty Bench. It is fresh but subtle peach overtones...better than average!!
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Jul 15th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Hi Mactimes3,

I'm planning about 3 days in PEI and I just read your report about the wineries. I didn't even know there were wineries there. My husband and I are big wine people (both red) and would love some more info. We were planning on doing just the East Coast and PEI National Park for hiking and the sand dunes but if there are any nice wineries (with good views, surroundings, etc) we would definitely fit that in. We're coming from the Nova Scotia ferry, which is why we were going to stay around the East side but I'm not familiar with PEI at all, maybe the distances are not that great??

Thanks so much!
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Jul 16th, 2009, 06:09 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Never mind. I didn't realize that there was a Prince Edward County AND a Prince Edward Island.
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