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18 Canada

Within the next ten years it is expected The County’s vineyards will be a $80+ million-a-year industry. This in turn will grow and support the thriving tourism industry already prevalent in the area. As the wineries expand and increase in numbers so will other businesses such as Bed & Breakfast establishments, shops and complimentary food trades.

For many years the area has received thousands of visitors from all over the world. They love to visit the beautiful beaches, such as the famous Sandbanks Provincial Park or take in the culture of the area including the huge artisan community. Prince Edward County has some beautiful scenery and fabulous views across Lake Ontario, so why not incorporate a visit to a local winery? Most of the local wineries offer tours and tasting opportunities throughout the summer months. There are also many winery tours available that incorporate a visit to several establishments, providing transportation for those who want to leave their vehicle at home and participate in the wine tasting and culinary delights on offer. Many of the local wineries are included on the

“Taste Trail.” This is a self-guided tour promoting the culinary delights of Prince Edward County. With over 31 locations on the Trail you can follow the signs and wander from place to place taking in the delights on offer at your own pace. The Taste trail includes restaurants, breweries, wineries, vineyards, hotels, cafe’s and spas, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Wines of The County

The type of wine produced obviously relies on the type of grape grown. Although there are over 800 different grapes, only around 20 are grown in any great numbers for wine production around the world. In Prince Edward County most of the varieties used are vinifera, although some hybrids are also grown. Pinot Noir: This wine is produced from the vinifera grape and is very sensitive to climate and soil conditions. This means that it can be very demanding to grow, needing special handling and care. The County does offer excellent growing conditions for this particular variety and so Pinot Noir is becoming one of the top wines associated with the region. Chardonnay: Even if you are not a wine drinker you will have heard of Chardonnay. It is probably one of the best known and easily recognizable wines in the world.

One wine expert, Jancis Robinson described

Chardonnay as the vanilla ice cream of wine varieties. Pinot Blanc: This variety of wine has been grown

here for several seasons. It is similar to Chardonnay with regard to its hardiness, but is more subdued in taste.

Pinot Gris: This wine is another alternative to

Chardonnay and can be a bronze or pink-hued wine. It is a full-bodied wine, but the grape is less winter hardy than Pinot Noir, making it harder to grow. Meunier: This is a still red wine, but can be used in sparkling wine. It is a good winter-hardy variety which suits The County’s growing conditions. This variety is very popular in the Champaign region of France and is the most grown variety there. St. Laurent: Wines of this variety have a silky

texture similar to Pinot Noir and is grown well in places like Austria and Slovakia. Although still relatively new to Prince Edward County, it’s potential in this area is very good. Icewine: Ontario has become the leading producer of Icewine in the world. It is thought that this type of wine was discovered by accident in Germany in the late 1700’s when the crop was frozen before it could be harvested. The winegrower decided to harvest none-the-less and produced a sweet tasting wine that became very popular as a dessert wine. As its name suggests Icewine is produced from grapes that have been left on the vine after the fall harvest. The frozen grapes are hand picked once

temperatures fall to -8℃ or below. They are pressed immediately to release a thick, rich, yellow-gold liquid, highly concentrated in natural sugars and acidity. The making of Icewine is very labour intensive and yields are small which make it an expensive wine option.

Icewine is particularly suited to Ontario as it

requires hot summers and cold, sharp winters. No other location, including Germany produces more Icewine on an annual basis than Ontario.

Useful Links

Wines of Ontario

The Ontario Wine Society

The Grange of Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County Tourism

Prince Edward County

The Taste Trail

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