Prince Edward County is getting attention and wowing the press, and for good reason. The region is full of dynamic producers crafting wines with a standard that represents Canada well. Trail Estate Winery is among them.
A newcomer to the scene, the winery is already boosting an impressive line-up of small batch craft wines. The owners, Anton and Hildegard Sproll, bought the estate in 2011 after dedicating their life to their German bakery for 30 years. Hard work is certainly not foreign to them, so perhaps this is why they are achieving such success in a short amount time, as their first vintage was in 2013. Being well surrounded has also been key.
Mackenzie Brisbois, winemaker and vineyard manager, gained a lot of valuable experience before joining the team. In addition to working at the renowned Norman Hardie winery in Prince Edward County, she has worked in different corners of the world including South Africa, Central Otago and Victoria in British Columbia. Native to Prince Edward County, Mackenzie understands that the region’s terroir and the limestone in the area is definitely a strong asset.
I came across these wines a few years ago but my last encounter with them has left me particularly impressed. It is surprising the quality they have been able to achieve in just a few years. Solid wine. I can only imagine what they will become in a few years from now. Recently, I had the opportunity to try some of their wines that I would happily add to my cellar. This week Trail Estate is offering free shipping on any 6 or more bottles. Let's put together a Tasting Pack from their current offerings:
1. 2015 Trail Estate Wild Ferment Riesling, Lincoln Lakeshore VQA $28
Simple and easy to drink with notes of peach, apricot and white flowers. Just slightly off-dry on the palate. The perfect apéritif to welcome spring while you are waiting for summer to arrive.
2. 2015 Trail Estate Barrel Ferment Riesling, Twenty Mile Bench VQA $28
It took a minute, but I fell for it and in a big way. Aged in neutral oak for 10 months, the wine benefits from some layered complexity from the slight oxidation. Dry and structured with intriguing notes of red apples and orange peel. Pleasant almond and bitter notes on the finish. With so many food options, I would start with seared scallops and finish with cheese fondue.
3. 2015 Trail Estate Chardonnay Musqué, Twenty Mile Bench VQA $26
Chardonnay Musqué can sometimes be too aromatic for my personal taste. But this is not the case here. I like the restraint. Pretty nose with notes of pear, lemon skin, orange peel, white flowers and black truffles. Love the texture and density of this wine. Brilliant with veal served with apple and cream sauce. Tested and approved!
4. 2014 Trail Estate Barrel-Ferment Chardonnay, Lincoln Lakeshore VQA $32
Ripe nose with pronounced notes of butter, hazelnut, almond, baked apple, vanilla and apple skin. Rich and unctuous but balanced by good acidity. Pair with lobster and crab if you are feeling extravagant and with carbonara for weeknight meals.
5. 2013 Trail Estate Cabernet2 (Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon), Niagara Peninsula VQA $39
Bright juicy notes of red cherries, raspberries and plum with smoke and pencil shaving that adds complexity. Honest and well made. A good wine for a game lover, I see venison or bison in my near future.
6. 2014 Gamay Noir, Ontario VQA $26
As for the final wine, we suggest the 2014 Gamay Noir. Deeply coloured with juicy notes of cranberry, red licorice and white pepper on the nose leading to a fruit laden palate with medium tannins.
Get free shipping right now from Trail Estate Winery when you buy 6 or more bottles of their wine! Feel free to mix or buy the Tasting Pack! Free shipping will automatically be applied at checkout.
Michelle Bouffard is a wine and spirits educator and a writer who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard