A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend from university days invited me to visit her for the weekend in Prince Edward County. She had moved there from Montreal 9 years ago and had repeatedly asked me to visit her and her husband. Well I finally went and much to my delight discovered a glistening jewel in the crown of our latest wine region here in Ontario.
Prince Edward County is conveniently located with just a short 2 hour drive east of Toronto and west of Ottawa or 3 hours west of Montreal.
In 2000 there was only one winery, Waupoos Estates Winery www.waupooswinery.com but today the wine region has close to a dozen including Huff Estates www.huffestates.com , Black Prince Winery www.blackprincewinery.com, Closson Chase www.clossonchase.com and The Grange of Prince Edward County www.grangeofprinceedward.com. Prince Edward County is Canada’s fastest growing wine region and while back in 2000 had only 20 acres of high quality European vines, now it has over 600 acres making Prince Edward County the 2nd largest viticultural area in Ontario.
Prince Edward County’s growing season is as long as the Niagara Region, but the winters are colder. Vineyards are next to Lake Ontario, which has a moderating effect on the air temperatures. The soils have been described as being uncannily similar to Burgundy’s Cote D’Or and have made the region very favorable to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. One of the greatest challenges is in the middle of the winter with the very cold temperatures is to protect the vines from freezing, so they are buried and are uncovered in the spring.
We were delighted to be joined on Saturday August 30th, 2008 on The Wine Ladies radio show with Frederic Picard the wine maker from Huff Estates Winery. Frederic left Burgundy, France and has been a wine maker in Australia, California Niagara and finally now in beautiful Prince Edward County.
The Huff family has been in Prince Edward County for 10 generations and has built a modern winery incorporating natural element such as stone, wood and water. The winery has a 20 guest room facility and is in the process of also building an art gallery on site as well.
With state of the art production facilities including a gravity-fed barrel cellar tasting room and retail store, Huff Estates Winery has produced award winning wines.
Frederic’s wine making style has been described as definitely having a French influence using French oak barrels making classic Chardonnay and dry Roses. Join “Club Huff” and enjoy two bottles shipped four times a year directly to your doorstep or office. For more information visit www.huffestates.com
VQA 2006 South Bay Chardonnay
Sultry and wanton. The spotlight is on this all-Prince Edward County Huff Estates performer from our South Bay vineyard. It delivers a creamy, concentrated richness displaying aromas of exotic spice, vanilla and pineapple tart. Full-bodied in style, our ’06 chardonnay reveals layers of ripe fig, apricot, toasted hazelnut and smokey oak that fan out and caress the palate leading to a long haunting finish.
VQA rose 2007
Fun and fruity. A lovely salmon colour, this dry wine has a nose that packs a pleasant punch full of pink grapefruit. The taste of wild strawberries carries though to the mouth. Fresh, with a well-balanced mouth-feel, this is a perfect summer sipper!
Gold medal winner at The 2006 Art Vino Awards