Boxing day with wine from Canada: 2007 Marynissen Estates Syrah

December 28, 2012

Marynissen Syrah

2007 Marynissen Estates Syrah

We had Canadian friends over for boxing day lunch. They had come from Beijing (where they now live and work) and were on holidays in the kingdom. It was a wonderful opportunity for a reunion, and we made the most of it.

I had prepared various meets on my barbecue (on my Weber, also from Canada): large chunks of beef and pork skewers. It was easy to select the wine.

The bottle of ‘2007 Marynissen Estates Syrah’ from Marynissen Estates, Niagara-on-the-Lake, in Ontario was just the right stuff.

I had only this one bottle which was hand carried all the way from Ontario, then stored in my mothers house in Trier for a while, until I had space in my suitcase to carry it to Bangkok.

In short: this was a true rarity.

Marynissen Syrah 2

2007 Syrah by Marynissen Estates, Niagara-on-the-Lake

When we visited Canada two years ago, we had also visited some wineries in Prince Edward County as well as near the Niagara falls. Marynissen Estates was one of the latter.

You can look up my archives of the Man from Mosel River where you will find reviews of Del Gatto Estates Winery, Closson Chase Vineyards, Huff Estate and The Grange of Prince Edward County Estates. My glands go berserk when these names come over my tongue.

Marynissen Syrah 3

The back label

2007 was a ripper of a vintage in Ontario with little rain and many dry and sunny days.

I do not know if I could taste all what is written up here on the back label. The wine is definitely a Rhone style wine. The colour is a very dark and beautiful deep red.

It stinks when you catch the first whiff with your nose. Burned tire aromas come to mind. But when you got used to that, it is the most beautiful drop of red you can imagine. Smooth and full, intensive dark fruit. I wish more wines were made that way.

My experience is that you cannot get Canadian wines outside Canada. The only exception is ice wine which is offered in duty free shops in airports, mostly from Inniskillin Wines.

But if you happen to know where to get Canadian wines in Thailand, please let me know.

The wine regions of Canada are certainly worth a visit.

Address:
Marynissen Estates
1209 Concession 1
RR#6,
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Ontario, Canada L0S 1J0
Tel: +1-905-468-7270
Fax: +1-905-468-5784
info@marynissen.com
www.marynissen.com

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Winery review – Huff Estate, Prince Edward County, Ontario

September 21, 2011

Huff estate: wide roads leading to the Inn, the Gallery and the Winery

Huff Estate is one of the big ventures in the wine industry of Prince Edward County in Ontario. It not only produces wines but offers also a modern style country inn and an art gallery. Visitors just drive up and enter a spacious estate for the high end consumer of wine and culture.

Huff vineyards

We came only to buy a couple of bottles of the award winning Chardonnay wines Huff Estate has produced in recent years. I had tasted a glass of the Chardonnay while dining in Picton a day earlier and liked to drink some more of it. We did not linger around although the place was very inviting, I must say.

The cellar door

Lanny and Catharine Huff, both natives of Prince Edward County, started their vineyard in 2001 on a 150 acres lot. The winery followed in 2004. In 2006 the Inn was constructed and in 2009 the gallery was added to the estate.

The tasting room

Huff Estate has two main vineyards, the South bay vineyard and the 62 plus 1 vineyard (15 acres). The grape varieties grown include Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Frontenac and Vidal.

Frédéric Picard, who originates from Burgundy, France is the winemaker. Doug Gyde and Alex Hunter are the vineyard managers.

Huff Estate produces high quality wines which reflect the specific terroir and climate of Prince Edward County. I love their Chardonnay wines.

The two Chardonnay wines are still in Germany. I will bring them to Bangkok in a few days time and then will let you know what they taste like.

Address:
Huff Estate Winery
2274 County Rd.1 Bloomfield On
P.O. Box 300, K0K 1G0
Prince Edward County, Ontario

Open Daily 10am-6pm
Tel: +1-613-393-5802
Fax: +1-613-393-2428
E-mail: info@huffestates.com
http://huffestates.com


Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company, Prince Edward County, Ontario

August 20, 2011

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Factory

On our second day at Prince Edward County, Ontario we went to the east side of the island to explore the scenery and to visit a winery (Del Gatto Estates Winery) and the cheese factory of which we had heard so much of.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Factory cheeses have an extremely good reputation. The company produces cheeses made of goats, sheep and cows milk. Rumor has it that the company reached its five year target after the first year!

It was the second of August, the sky was blue and we were in euphoric holiday mode. The drive to this most eastern place on Prince Edward County through the lush country side was very pleasant.

A fancy assembly place

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Factory is a division of Cressy Gourmet Investments, which is an incorporated and privately owned environmentally and “socially responsible” enterprise. The company has won many environmental awards for energy efficiency but also for its cheeses.

A veggie garden in front of the factory

Boards explaining the energy efficiency

…and the building material used

Peeping into the factory where the cheeses are made

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company won 5 of 21 awards given to Ontario dairies at the recently held American Cheese Society 2011 Annual Cheese Competition held in Montréal. Winning cheeses were as follows:

“1. Fellowship – 2nd – International style, open sheep and mixed milk
2. 1yr old Premium Goat Cheddar – 2nd – aged cheddar between 12 & 24 months, all milks
3. Premium Goat Cheddar – 3rd – cheddar from goat milk, aged less than 12 months
4. Rose Haus – 3rd – washed rind open category made from cow milk
5. Cape Vessey – 3rd – washed rind open category made from goat milk”, says the FT website.

Cheese tasting

Our booty

We could not resist buying a few cheeses (for about 90 Canadian dollars), some of them we should enjoy with our hosts in Stratford, others we took back to Germany.

The factory is a good place to visit at the island. You should not miss it when visiting Prince Edward County in Ontario.

Address
Fifth Town Artisan Cheese
4309 County Road #8
Picton, Ontario, Canada K0K 2T0
Tel: +1-613-476-5755
Fax: +1-613-476-5855
email: ft_info@fifthtown.ca
www.fifthtown.ca

The map how to get there:

Source:http://www.fifthtown.ca/artisan_cheese/visit/directions_map/


Jewel of Ontario: Stratford, home of the Shakespeare Festival and Justin Bieber

August 13, 2011

Stratford, Ontario

We had the great pleasure to spend a couple of days in Stratford, Ontario. Apart from visiting our friends Dominik and Kymm, we also had the opportunity to explore this picturesque and very pleasant town.

Founded in 1832 at a railway junction, Stratford is a city of about 32.000 people at the Avon River in Perth County, about 2-3 hours West of Toronto. Many of its first settlers came from England so it is little wonder that it was named after Stratford-upon-Avon in England.

The town is famous for its Shakespeare Festival. The city has four theaters and from May to November the city is buzzing with tourist, theater aficionados, music lovers, festival goers, musicians, actors, singers, directors and all kind of “technical people” and support staff.

The Shakespeare festival 2011

Unfortunately, we could not manage to attend a performance. Instead we participated in an extremely interesting theater tour and were introduced to almost 60 years of festival history, the plays, the stage, and the facilities of the main house.

A landmark: the Perth County Courthouse in Stratford

But Stratford is also the place where Justin Bieber, the now famous young musician, was raised. One of the city’s ice cream parlors, named Scoopers, was one of his favourite places.

Needless to say that my two teenage daughters needed to check out this almost sacred space. Also the ice cream was very enjoyable. If you happen to visit Ontario, go and spend some time in Stratford. It is definitely worth it.

Scoopers ice cream parlor in Stratford

Enjoying ice cream in Justin Bieber’s home town

PS: Stratford has some very good eateries and restaurants where wines from Ontario are readily available. But more about the wines from Ontario at another time.


Home again celebration – 2008 Redmont, Markowitsch, Austria

August 12, 2011

Bangkok August 2011: rainy season but with splendid mornings

How nice to be back home again. This time “home” means our flat in Bangkok.

After about four weeks on the road which brought us, among others, to my home town Trier in Germany and Ontario in Canada, we are finally back in Thailand and our “normal life” can resume.

Needless to say, we had a great time. Not only visited we family and friends but we also had gone on often spontaneous short trips for instance to Metz the capital of Lorraine, France, and Echternach in Luxembourg where we explored local culture, food and wine (Auxerrois wines in Lorraine and Elbling in Luxembourg).

Our visit to Ontario, Canada was mainly aiming at seeing friends of old student times. Two of my best friends, Dominik Franken and Gerd Eilers, had migrated to Canada after they finished their masters degrees in agricultural economics. After more than 20 years, it was time to renew our friendship and catch up with each other. That’s what we did.

We also used the opportunity to learn more about the “wineland Canada” as well, especially two regions were in our focus: the Niagara Peninsula and Prince Edward County, a marvel of a new and coming, cool climate wine region just south of Kingston, Ontario.

I have collected many stories, pictures, tasting notes, leaflets and brochures of wineries and other places we visited which will keep me busy blogging.

This abundance of material will also nurture my curiosity to learn more about the wines we tasted and the wineries we visited and embark on more research.

Due to the erratic availability of internet connectivity I have neglected my blog. The good news is that the Man from Mosel River is back. Now I just need some free time and opportunity to bring my notes into shape and share with my esteemed readers our recent wine experience.

Postscript
Question: What did we do after we arrived after a 10 hours flight from Fankfurt?

Answer: Well, we had a pasta, “bucatini alla amatriciana”, and a wine from Carnuntum, Austria which I had picked up while in transit on Vienna Airport.

The ‘2008 Redmont’ by Markowitsch, a blend of Zweigelt (50%), Blaufraenkisch (15%), Cabernet (15%), Merlot (10%) and Syrah (10%), was an inexpensive wine which I had grabbed without much thought, turned out to have a mighty nose and great aromas, which caught me by surprise.

The wine is well balanced and full bodied. I really enjoyed it. The only thing I did not like was the slight bitter after-taste one could feel on the palate. But I plan to buy another one of Markowitsch’s wines when I am in Vienna next time.


Where men are men

July 30, 2011

We had breakfast at the Moose Cafe in Dwight, near the Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada. And what did we find on the table?

“Mansauce”, it was called, the “manliest condiment”. That’s quite a promise. Unfortunately, we are coming from Asia and used to hot stuff.

Sweet chili sauce comes to mind after I tasted the “manliest of the condiments”. Bring on the hot stuff Canada. But of cause we are having a great time up here in northern Ontario.


Cry from the wilderness – the wines of Canada

July 28, 2011

Bruce peninsula

This is just a teaser, a reminder that the Man from the Mosel River is still alive and kicking.

We are traveling through Canada. In fact we are visiting our friends Dominik and Kym Franken in Stratford on the Avon river in Perth County, Ontario. Stratford is the Shakespeare and music town of North America. It is most famous for its annual Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Dominik and I, we go back many years, in fact decades. We shared a flat during our university years in Bonn. He also loves wine and good food, a passion we share.

But before I can write something about Canadian wines, I will have to visit a Canadian winery, which has not happened yet because we are exploring some of Ontario’s nature and wildlife parks right now.

But, as always, there is light at the “wilderness tunnel”. In a couple of days from now, we will visit Prince Edward County, one of the three wine regions of Ontario. The other two are the Niagara Peninsula, Canada’s largest wine growing region and Pelee Island at Lake Erie, Canada;s most southerly wine region.

I will write more about Canada and its wines later. Stay tuned.