On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Report from - Outer Limits of Ontario Wine Tasting - July 23, 2007

29 Jul 2007
They came from far and wide (all over Ontario anyway) bringing with them the odd, the unique, the strange and the unforgettable … and that was just the staff.  What I’m really talking about here are the “Outer Limits” wines that came from places like Ottawa, Warkworth, Woodstock, Prescott, St. Thomas, Port Perry, Cedar Springs and countless other places you never expected wine to come from.  They are the forgotten wineries, the ones you’ve never heard of, the ones opening on the frontiers and the fringes in places you’ve seen on a map or drove through on your way to somewhere else, but never stopped in.  Sure there are some you recognize like Southbrook, Stoney Ridge, Lakeview, Peninsula Ridge and Black Prince; but for every one you know there are four more you don’t:  Ocala, Scotch Block, Green Gables, Rush Creek and Birtch Farms.  They are the wineries the VQA forgot; they make wines from fruits that aren’t grapes and grapes that aren’t vinifera or are located in a non-DVA (Designated Viticultural Area).  Wines with names like Cherries n’ Chocolate, Tufford Fine Port, Crimson Cranberry, TGI Frontenac, Back From the Dead Red and Cabaret Franc.  At this, the first, and hopefully annual, Ontario Wine Society hosted event – and spearheaded by Larry “little fat wino” Patterson – over 40 wineries brought more than 212 wines to sip and sample so we could see what’s going on in The Outer Limits of Ontario’s winemaking community. 

Now there is no way to taste this many wines in an afternoon and still walk away upright – so I foregoed the Southbrooks and Sunnybrooks of the tasting and concentrated more on those lesser known wineries and those off the beaten track.  Even with that as a goal in mind I plowed through quite a few wines.  And so without further ado I bring you my Outer Limits Awards for 2007: ... (Read more)

Links you might be interested in checking out after reading this article:

Oak Heights Estate Winery
Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery
Countryman's Estate Winery
Crown Bench Estates Winery
Moon Shadows Estate Winery - Strawberry Shortcake review
Muskoka Lakes Winery - Rep Maple Dessert Wine review
Georgian Hills Vineyards
The County Cider Company
Villa Nova Estate Winery
Viewpointe Estates Winery
Downey's Estate Winery
Organizers - Larry "Little Fat Wino" Patterson - Ontario Wine Society

To check out the On the Road With the Grape Guy blog and all the other feature articles click here.

Report from - Finger Lakes Winery Tour - July 20-22, 2007

29 Jul 2007

This summer I decided to re-visit the Finger Lakes region of New York – I had done it a few times before, most recently 3 years ago, but this time I was coming at it from a different vantage point:  that of a writer.  I was prepared to leave my prejudice (New York wineries serve only sweet wines and because of Americans love for sticky wines -as I had found my last few times thru) behind; and instead embrace the wine industry and base my finding on service, knowledge and of course, the wines served to me.  I packed up the car – loaded a few bottles of my Ontario favourites for nighttime sipping (just in case) and off I went.  I had two set stops on my agenda the New York Wine and Culinary Center on Canandaigua Lake (see Newsletter 63 – August 16, 2007) and the Fingers Lakes Wine Festival in Watkins Glen (separate On the Road article); other than that I was going to let the wind and recommendations of others take me where they wished ... (Read more)

Links you may be interested in after reading this article:

Lamoreaux Landing
Shalestone Vineyards
Lakewood Vineyard
Keuka Overlook
Ravines Wine Cellars

To check out the On the Road With the Grape Guy blog and all the other feature articles click here.

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