On our journey to Toronto, we stopped in a place called Picton to visit with dear friends of ours. They'd just had a baby girl, who was simply adorable, overflowing with all that drooly, gurgling, smiling baby goodness. We munched on lunch out on their deck; the Doodle described the different animals she was going to see at the zoo; we laughed and reminisced. It's a great place to stop for a rest during that lengthy trek up to see Grammy.
Picton's also a great place for wine. When hubby and I got married, these dear friends of mine introduced us to a bottle from this unheard-of place called Carmela Estates. I had just started learning about wine and thought Niagara was the centre of the universe in terms of Canadian products, but we still gave it a go and were impressed.
That's almost five years ago. Some time later, we did a tour of the Prince Edward County Taste Trail, a route that meanders along the Bay of Quinte and overlooks Lake Ontario, with fields of vineyards in between. Like Niagara, PEC evolved because of some gutsy moves by crazy investors who turned a deaf ear to naysayers. 'It's too cold here to grow vinifera grapes,' they said. The crazy investors proved them wrong, and after a few notable vintages, PEC has started to make a name for itself.
We did Carmela (lunch there was fantastic), By Chadsey's Cairns (an odd juxtaposition of winery amid tombstones, with an equally fascinating history to go with it), and this fantastic little place off the map called Long Dog Winery. The laid-back owners, James and Stephen, welcomed us into the cool shade of their converted barn, chatting us up about their 100-per-cent, estate-grown wines. Their reds, particularly the pinot noirs, were exquisite. Yes, I would like to go back there.
As it is, our vacation time this year is limited, so the County and all its delights will have to wait. But I'll be pining for its verdant surrounds and a chance to breathe in the warm summer smells of fertile earth and ripe fruit.
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