April is officially BC wine month, celebrating all wineries across the breathtakingly beautiful British Columbia in southwest Canada. Which brings back many beautiful memories of past visits to the Canadian wine country in general, exploring the stunning small boutique wineries, sipping fantastic wines, and enjoying local food.
It would have been appropriate for the occasion to open a bottle of BC wine, off course. The thing with Canadian wines is, it is almost impossible to buy them outside of Canada. Thus, I decided to tweak the event to include all Canadian wine regions. Which gave me the excuse (not that I would have needed one) to open the last bottle of sparkling wine from Prince Edward County which I had brought back from my latest visit two years ago.
Background: Prince Edward County wine region
By now it’s an open secret that Canada is producing some really excellent wines across the country’s various wine regions. In fact, there are now eight official wine regions, in places you might not have imagined, including Nova Scotia, Lake Erie, Quebec, Niagara Peninsular, Thomson Okanagan, Similkameen, Vancouver Island and Prince Edward County.
I’m not sure whether the internationally best-known Canadian wine region is the Okanagan Valley or perhaps Niagara, which off course is world-famous for the stunning Niagara Falls. In any case, the remaining areas are certainly not widely recognized.
Prince Edward County located round about two and a half hours from Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario internationally certainly remains an under-the-radar location both for wine travel and attracting international travellers. Even though this is changing, and with good reason.
This breathtakingly picturesque small peninsular is home to a handful of tiny, cosy towns, beautiful beaches, friendly people, and an excitingly growing choice of accommodation.
Read all about Prince Edward County in my post Why I have fallen in love with Prince Edward County.
The area is also one of Canada’s emerging wine regions with around 40 wineries; typically small and family-owned.
Prince Edward County is a cool-climate wine-growing region with characteristics similar to world renowned wine regions like Burgundy in France and Germany. As a result, wines produced in Prince Edward County are typically fresh and balanced with higher acidity and less alcohol.
The area is particularly known to produce Icewine but is increasingly recognized for excellent Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.
Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery
Grange of Prince Edward Winery is located on Closson Road, where a large number of Prince Edward County wineries are located. The winery was born in 2004 on the grounds of a more than 200 years old working farm. Testimony to this is the lovely old barn, which today is the winery’s tasting room and shop.
The winery offers a large range of varietals which are grown bio-dynamically including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and a range of excellent sparkling wine. In addition, they also produce a nice farmhouse cider.
Grange of Prince Edward County Crémant is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and like all wines of the winery is 100% estate-grown and made by hand.
In the glass, it’s a deep gold colour with a fine and voluminous mousse.
On the nose, aromas of apple and pear with hints of apricot, tangerine, and brioche.
On the palate, dry, medium plus acidity and a medium to full body, with notes of white grapefruit, honey and a modest stone minerality.
This easy-to-drink Crémant pairs to a large range of food but since I wanted it to be the star of the tasting, and partly I was in the mood for it, I choose to pair it with a delicious coconut crème caramel.
Have you been to Prince Edward County and its beautiful wineries? Let me know about your experience.