A last minute over night trip to Prince Edward County recently and as usual it turns out a great experience.
We used Yahoo maps to locate Redtail Vineyards and it turned out that we got the milk run route. After going through the village of Consecon and then through several turns in country roads we find it. Later we find out that there is a direct turn off Highway 33 a little further south from where the map says to turn.
The winery is located on 11 acres. It is a narrow rectangular shape running north-northwest to south-southeast. the center is lower than both ends. On a gentle south facing slope the vines are planted in the northern half of the property.
A hedgerow of mature deciduous and fir trees on the northern edge wrap around the eastern side and protect the vineyard from harsh winds of winter.
Owners Pauline Joicey and Gilbert Provost have realized their dream of growing vines
in their own vineyard and are doing in an organic manner. The winery itself is solar powered and off the grid. Pauline was very open and friendly when we visited and Gilbert came up and introduced himself to me. They specialize in Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. We very much liked the samples tasted and this was reflected in our purchase of their product. Pauline mentioned that they were not a member of VQA because they were small but I replied that it wasn't mandatory to join if they make good wine. As far as I am concerned they are there now.
Redtail is one of the new "garagistes wineries" (small scale and hands on) that will be opening in 2009. You can see the video of this winery on the Wine Dining Vlog or Wine Dining Channel (just use one of the links on the side)
After our visit we had lunch in Wellington. Then we headed over to the Glenora Ferry and used it to get to Adolphus Reach. Crossing was fun and was very picturesque as we saw the treelined shores of both sides of Quinte Bay. It looked exactly like being in Muskoka (except for the eye sore gravel pit you could see down bay.)
A ten minute drive along Highway 33 and we were at Bergeron Estate Winery.
The winery is in a house that was originally rented out to tenants before it's current use. The owner Dave Bergeron was attending to some very friendly visitors from Quebec. I took a look around and saw the vineyards with several homes in the distance at the waterfront.
When the Quebec visitors left we were given the grand tour of the vineyards. Dave is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet and he gave us the lowdown on how he runs his winery. It is a part time thing for him, he commutes to Kingston for his full time job during the week and attends to the winery on the weekend. The winery will be his full time occupation when he retires. He showed us how he burys his vine to protect them from frost damage. There is a vacant five acre lot next door which he owns which will eventually be used to expand his vineyard to fifteen acres.
Dave came from a agricultural background and wanted to expose his children to the same lifestyle. He lives on the shoreline of the property where he has an extra cottage he rents out. He will only grow vitas vinifera varietals in the clay soil that has limestone three to four feet down.
At harvest time he markets an event where volunteers pick grapes and they get a chili dinner and some wine as compensation for their work. They make Chardonnay, Gamay, Pinot Noir and a Vidal/Riesling Blend.
We will come by there again sometime as well as to check out the winery up the road that is located in a railway car. It's another thing Dave mentioned.
You can see the video of this winery on the Wine Dining Vlog or Wine Dining Channel (just use one of the links on the side)