While the fall season is my favourite, I’m not giving up on summer just yet! I think that summer 2021 deserves one last celebration. And there is no better way to celebrate than with a bottle of pink bubbly! I tried the Konzelmann Sparkling Rosé last month and it is the perfect wine to cheers farewell to summer. It’s bursting with big bubbles filled with juicy flavours of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. This wine is made using the charmed method from 100% VQA Ontario grapes from the beautiful lakefront Konzelmann vineyards. The Konzelmann Sparkling Rosé is the prettiest pink salmon colour and, trust me, is super easy drinking! Enjoy outside in the sun with friends alongside your favourite summer appetizers. You can find the Konzelmann Sparkling Rosé through the Konzelmann online store on sale right now for only $17.95. If you happen to order a few bottles, this wine can also be enjoyed well into autumn. But for now, lets pop a bottle of the Konzelmann Sparkling Rosé and toast to the summer season!
The Foreign Affair Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2020 is the perfect summer food wine. It pairs so well with a wide variety of foods from your lighter summer fare to your big barbeque dinners. Forget red wine with your steak this summer, it’s all about the big bold Rosé! The Foreign Affair Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé is a full-bodied dry wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with a small amount (12%) of Appassimento Sauvignon Blanc grapes blended in. The result is a big juicy Rosé with bright flavours of strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and cherries. Enjoy the Foreign Affair Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé with your favourite barbequed meats like steak, brisket and burgers. It will also pair well with lighter foods like seafood, salads and cheese and charcuterie. The Foreign Affair Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé is exclusively available online through the winery for $21.95. If you’re interested in this delicious Rosé make sure to purchase your bottles now, because there are only 154 cases available of this small lot wine!
I have another delicious low-alcohol wine for you! The 2020 Traynor Ophelia Piquette is only 7.2% alcohol, but packed with juicy flavour. Piquette is a low-alcohol wine made from grape pomace (left over grape skins, seeds and stems) and usually has a touch a fizz. It was traditionally enjoyed by French farmhands and vineyard workers, but has had quite the resurgence in popularity over the past few years! 2020 was the second year that Traynor Vineyard, in Prince Edward County, produced their Ophelia Piquette. This time around they added local apple cider, instead of water, and reduced the amount of sugar/acid added so that the wine is more concentrated. Traynor also used more red wine grapes, which gives the 2020 Ophelia Piquette it’s vibrant deep pink colour. Upon first sip of the Ophelia Piquette I knew it was going to become part of my regular wine rotation! This easy-drinking wine has bright flavours of raspberry, grapefruit and watermelon with a touch of funky earthiness. Order the Ophelia Piquette ’20 for $20.00 through the Traynor online wine shop.
Over the past month, the Cave Spring Rosé has quickly found it’s way into my weekly wine rotation! It checks on my wine boxes – local, tasty, budget-friendly and pairs well with seasonal foods. Cave Spring Vineyard is a local Ontario winery located in the Beamsville Bench, Niagara. They have a reputation for crafting elegant wines and their Rosé is no exception! The Cave Spring Rosé is a medium-bodied dry wine bursting with red berry flavours. And can we talk about the beautiful deep pink colour?! So gorgeous for fall. The Cave Spring Rosé has a lively acidity that allows it to pair well with a variety of foods. I think it pairs particularly well with fall fare like stuffed acorn squash, bacon wrapped pork and fall charcuterie boards. And best part? This wine is great value and budget friendly at only $13.95 a bottle. You can purchase the Cave Spring Rosé at the LCBO or through the winery’s online shop.
This rabbit is anything but timid and quiet! The Waupoos Estates Winery Red Rabbit is a bold full-bodied Ontario red wine. It’s made from a delicious grape combo of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Aged in oak, the Red Rabbit offers lots of rich and complex flavours. You’ll taste cherry, cassis and plum with hints of vanilla, caramel and violet. The integrated tannins really balance out the wine nicely. If you like a big bold red wine, than you’re going to love the Waupoos Estates Winery Red Rabbit! I enjoyed the Red Rabbit last weekend with butternut squash ravioli, but it would also be great with red meats, mushrooms or strong cheeses. Hop on over to the winery’s online shop, or the winery, to purchase the Red Rabbit for $17.95.
Last weekend, we were at our Prince Edward County house getting a lot of work done. But I made some time to visit one winery and chose Rosehall Run Vineyards. Rosehall Run is one of the oldest wineries in PEC, having been established in 2001. They are known for their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines . Their wine awards list is extensive, and after tasting a few I can see why! Located in the Hillier area of PEC, Rosehall Run Vineyard boasts a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, beautiful tasting room with rooftop deck and lots of outdoor seating overlooking the vineyard.
We started our visit at Rosehall Run Vineyards with a warm welcome, and even warmer welcome for Cosette (my French bulldog). Rosehall Run is definitely dog friendly! We were led through an informative tasting of four wines, starting with the Indigo Sparkling White. This bubbly is made in the Charmat method, like Prosecco, and has big refreshing bubbles bursting with citrus fruit flavours. Perfect as a summer aperitif or accompaniment to dinner. We then moved onto the 2016 Chardonnay. This is an oaked Chardonnay, but don’t think heavy buttery California Chardonnay. This is a great example of cool-climate PEC Chardonnay – a dry white with rich flavours of apple and peach that finish with a refreshing lemon acidity and minerality. The 2017 JCR Pinot Noir was next. I loved this Pinot Noir so much, a bottle may have went home with me! A medium-bodied red with elegant flavours of cherry and smooth finish. Perfect for barbeques this summer. We finished our tasting with The Certain Ratio which is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. There are some Niagara grapes in this blend which come through in the juicy dark berry flavours, but you can also taste the lean earthy county grapes. As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed the Rosehall Run wines!
After our tasting, we took a glass of wine and foodie box up to the second floor patio. The foodie box is new at Rosehall Run this year and is SO GOOD! It’s a snack box for two that contains locally sourced cheese, charcuterie and accompaniments from PEC producers. It can be purchased for $19.95 and enjoyed on the winery grounds or as a take-away. I enjoyed the foodie box with a glass of the Pixie Sparkling Rosé – a pretty pink bubbly with creamy fruit flavours and citrusy acidity. A glass of bubbly and foodie box was the perfect way to end our visit at Rosehall Run Vineyards. We actually loved the foodie box so much that, that I’m not kidding, we purchased almost all of the items in it! The winery houses the Greer Street Grocer where you can purchase local PEC products, including everything in the foodie box.
It’s probably obvious by now, but I really enjoyed my visit to Rosehall Run Vineyards! Great wine, delicious food and beautiful views….what more can you ask for?! When visiting PEC, Rosehall Run Vineyards is definitely a must-see winery. You can visit daily from May to October between 10am and 6pm. See you soon, Rosehall Run!
I recently visited Huff Estates Winery in Prince Edward County and I can’t believe I had never been before! It was seriously one of the best winery visits I’ve ever had. Huff Estates Winery has a beautiful tasting room with informative staff; a delicious restaurant with a patio overlooking the vineyards; and a well curated art gallery and sculpture garden. You can truly spend the most enjoyable day at Huff Estates…and that’s exactly what my mom and I did a couple weeks ago!
My mom and I started our day at Huff Estates Winery with a glass of pink bubbly – the best way to start any winery visit! We received an informative tour of the barrel room and production facilities, and learned a lot about the winery that I didn’t know. Having opened in 2004 and being one of the oldest and biggest wineries in Prince Edward County, I had always just assumed that it was corporately owned. I was way off! Huff Estates Winery was started, and still owned, by Lanny and Catharine Huff who were born and raised in the Prince Edward County. They are frequent visitors at the winery – we actually saw them enjoying lunch during our visit. I love how in Prince Edward County you often see the winery owners, and Huff Estates Winery was no exception!
After our tour of the winery, my mom and I enjoyed the most delicious tasting and lunch on the beautiful patio overlooking the vineyards. We easily spent 2.5 hours here enjoying our wine and food! I tasted the Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – all so good. And then my mom and I split a bottle of the newly released 2018 Rosé with our lunch. It was the perfect patio sipper! We started off our lunch with a charcuterie board and pretzel that came with a wine dipping sauce. I was impressed already! For our mains, my mom had a mushroom soup with salad and I had the winemakers pizza. All the food is made with local ingredients and was SO GOOD! I seriously cannot wait to go back to the Huff Estates restaurant.
We ended our day at Huff Estates Winery with a visit to the Oeno gallery and sculpture garden. The gallery opened in 2004 and features internationally recognized Canadian artists. The staff were so friendly and pointed us to a very interesting jewelry exhibit they were featuring. The 4 acre sculpture garden is located behind the gallery and is a MUST SEE! It was so much fun to walk along the paths through the garden to view the impressive installations. The Oeno gallery and sculpture garden was the perfect way to end our visit at Huff Estates.
As you can probably tell, a visit to the Huff Estates Winery is definitely more of an experience! It’s a unique destination in Prince Edward County that goes beyond the exceptional wines. I cannot recommend visiting Huff Estates Winery enough! The winery is open daily from 10am to 6pm. You can get information about the restaurant and special events here. Tours and tastings are offered daily, with group and private experiences available. For an enhanced tasting, you can use code COURTNEY50 to get 50% off. There is lots to taste and do at Huff Estates Winery so make sure to plan a few hours to enjoy your experience!
Sponsored by Huff Estates. All opinions stated are my own.
The Grange of Prince Edward is one of my favourite wineries in Prince Edward County, Ontario. As you turn off the road and drive (or preferably bike) up the long driveway, you are met with the most picturesque country scene. Tall mature trees open up to a little pond sitting in front of a beautifully restored barn, all surrounded by rolling rows of vines.
Behind the Grange of Prince Edward Winery is the mother-daughter winemaking duo of Caroline and Maggie Granger. Back in 1974 Caroline’s parents bought a small farm in Prince Edward County. Years later, Caroline Granger moved back to her family’s farm, transformed it into a vineyard and opened her winery in 2004. In 2010, Caroline’s daughter, Maggie, also found herself moving back to the family farm and joining the winery. Caroline and Maggie now together create beautiful wines that are an expression of their piece of Prince Edward County.
I recently had the opportunity to do a tasting with Maggie and try a lineup of wonderful Grange wines. The lineup included their new cider, 2016 Victoria Block Chardonnay, Pet Nat Sparkling Chardonnay, 2016 Pinot Noir and 2016 Cabernet Franc. All were so good! And can we talk about the beautiful labels?! I especially loved the Cabernet Franc, which you can read about here. The Grange wines see little intervention, as Caroline and Maggie like the county land to be expressed naturally through each bottle.
When in the county, the Grange of Prince Edward Winery is a must! I’ve now visited in the winter and summer and both experiences were great. In the winter, the tasting room in the wood paneled barn with large stone fireplace creates the coziest atmosphere to sit and wine taste. In the summer, your wine tasting can be taken outside to the lovely picnic tables set up in the vineyard and enjoy delicious picnic lunch packed in a cute wicker basket.
From winter fireplace sips to picnic wine lunches in the vineyard, the Grange of Prince Edward Winery provides a memorable experience in the county. And then, of course, the wine! Beautifully expressing the county land, each wine is an unique example of the varietal. Caroline and Maggie Granger bring Prince Edward County to life in each glass that you’ll taste at this amazing Ontario winery.
I’ve been to Prince Edward County (PEC) several times, but I had never visited Black Prince Winery until my last trip this past July. I don’t know how I hadn’t visited before! Black Prince is one of the oldest wineries in PEC and produces award winning wines. On the Black Prince property is the Tasting House, a make-your-own-wine facility, the Canadian Vinegar Cellars, the Barrel House and a wood fired oven serving pizza on the weekends. The property also features a restored century barn that can be used for events. A visit to the Black Prince Winery is quite the experience!
Black Prince Winery has been producing PEC wines for 15 years. They were the first to use local county oak barrels and the only winery in the county producing apera (fortified wine) in Sherry casks over 100 years old. The Black Prince tasting room offers a wide selection of wines including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and blends. They even offer some hemp wines! I did a tasting of their red wines and loved the Baco Noir.
While the wines at Black Prince are delicious, my favourite part about the winery is the Barrel House out the back. The Barrel House is home to the Canadian Vinegar Cellars who use Black Prince grapes to produce different types of vinegars. There are daily tastings offered on the main floor of the Barrel House, but the best part is one level up. The second floor of the Barrel House is one spooky scene! An eerie atmosphere looms under the antique chandelier, around the old large table set up with empty wine glasses and in the corner nooks. And there is real mystery up there…
The real mystery in the Barrel House lies with the large antique chandelier hanging in the window. Years ago, the owner of Black Prince Winery bought it for $15 at an auction in PEC. No one wanted it and the seller was happy to take the only offer. When the owner of Black Prince brought it back to the winery, he noticed a bunch of insignias on the chandelier. He did a little research and found out that there seemed to be a connection to Napoleon Bonaparte. A couple years ago, a professor from UBC visited the winery and was intrigued by the chandelier. The professor asked if he could do some further research and discovered that the chandelier is worth over $300,000 and dates back to 1678. How did a 17th century chandelier end up in PEC? Why did nobody want it? Could it be the cause of the eerie Barrel House presence?
You will have to see for yourself! Next time you’re in PEC take visit to Black Prince Winery to enjoy their great wines and vinegars, but do not miss out on the second floor of the Barrel House. I hear that you can now enjoy the wood fired pizza up there. I’m sure it’s extra spooky this time of year! Don’t miss out on the unique experience, and the mystery, that Black Prince Winery offers.
Angel’s Gate Winery in Beamsville, Niagara is one of my favourite wineries to visit in the fall. The property is beautiful, especially as the leaves start to change – the front overlooks Lake Ontario and the back is set against the Niagara Escarpment. Also, the winery building was designed in “mission” style because the Congregation of Christian Sisters once owned the property…kinda spooky, right?
The Angel’s Gate Winery opened in 2002 and has been producing award winning VQA wine since. The winemaker, Philip Dowell, strives to create terroir driven wine with elegance. One wine tasting at Angel’s Gate and you will understand how well their wine exudes this elegant style. From Riesling to Pinot Noir to Shiraz, the Angel’s Gate wines all posses a distinctive “pretty” character. And I love it!
While the wines alone are reason enough to visit the Angel’s Gate Winery, the property and building itself are beautiful and make for the most enjoyable visit. Tastings are offered daily in the pretty light filled tasting room – 3 wines (1 oz pours) for $5.00. If you visit now while the weather is nice, the front terrace is open and serves pizza from 11am-4pm. The pizza is delicious and you can order wine by the glass, plus it’s the most gorgeous view of vineland overlooking Lake Ontario.
Any time of year, but especially in the fall, Angel’s Gate is a wonderful winery to visit in the Niagara region. Open daily, I definitely recommend making the visit! And if you do make the drive, there are several other amazing wineries located within 5 minutes or less drive.