Prince Edward County vineyards have expanded in less than 20 years to more than 500 hectares, and continue to expand.
Now, less than 50 wineries have established themselves, and more are coming on stream every year.
Prince Edward County, on the north shore of Lake Ontario, is a cool climate grape growing region.
In successful vintages, wines are light to medium-weight, elegant and nuanced.
PEC limestone-dominated soils are particularly well suited for hardy grapes i.e chardonnay, riesling, and vidal and pinot noir, plus possibly gamay, but only if yields are kept low.
Some PEC wineries buy Niagara-grown grapes and either vinify them, or blend with “County” fruit.
When buying, ask about the origin of the fruit.
Niagara fruit wines are darker in colour, and more expressive of the variety.
Keep in mind that some of the PEC vineyards are young and will eventually yield more elegant wines in the future, providing the climate does not get colder.
Many grape farmers and wineries are attracted to PEC because of low land cost, but maintaining vines here costs more due to procedures necessary for winter protection.
Overall, PEC wines have come a long way. The more successful wines are white and most suitable for seafood.
The following wines in the Annual Tasting 2015 pleased my palate
Barrel fermented Chardonnay, 2012, Rosehall Run Winery
Melon the Bourgogne, 2014, Casa-Dea
Unoaked Chardonnay, 2013, Closson Chasse
The Brock Chardonnay, 2013, Closson Chasse (Niagara fruit)
Estate Chardonnay, 2013, Closson Chasse
Gewürztraminer, 2013, By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery and Vineyard
Chardonnay, 2013, Keint-He (Niagara fruit)
Chardonnay, 2012, Norman Hardie (Niagara fruit)
Chardonnay, 2013, Norman Hardie
Riesling 2012, Norman Hardie (Blend of Niagara and County fruit)
Sparkling red, By Chadsey’s Cairna Winery and Vineyards
Pinto Noir, 2012, Rosehall Run (Niagara fruit)
Diana Block Pinot Noir, 2010, Grange of Prince Edward County Estate Winery
County Pinto Noir, 2013, Norman Hardie
K.J Watson Pinot Noir, 2013, Closson Chasse (Niagara fruit)
PEC wineries ship in anywhere in Ontario and some provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador).