This summer I have been lucky enough to have travelled all over Southern Ontario. From Kingston to the Kawarthas, from Cobourg to an upcoming trip to Grand Bend, it’s been a local summer adventure. Speaking of local – did you know your local farmers market may be selling wine? That’s right. You can score a delicious bottle of vino along with some organic raspberries and fresh crusty bread. I happened to discover this when I visited the Sorauren Farmers’ Market near Roncesvalles Village a few weeks ago. On a deliciously hot summer day, my boyfriend and I sipped a few wines from a Prince-Edward-County-based winery called Stanners Vineyard.
For those of you who don’t know Prince Edward County, or “The County” as its fondly called, has a variety of excellent wineries in the area. It’s around three hours east of Toronto and features some of today’s best Ontario wineries. Stanners is one of them. Their Cabernet Franc VQA Vinemount Ridge packs a huge punch and though we were sipping this red on a hot summer day, it was delightfully refreshing.
The Wine: Stanners Vineyard Cabernet Franc VQA Vinemount Ridge
Grape Variety: Cabernet Franc
Location: Prince Edward County by way of Niagara
Cabernet Francs have never really been on my radar. Not that I didn’t like them, I just naturally gravitated towards a Shiraz (Syrah) or Malbec, and occasionally I’ll pick up a Cabernet Sauvignon. My boyfriend, however, loves Cabernet Franc; so over the last year I’ve been drinking it more and more, and I have to say, I’m sold. Cabernet Franc is lighter than it’s Cabernet Sauvignon sister, traditionally speaking, but that doesn’t mean it lacks flavour.
Stanners Cabernet Franc VQA Vinemount Ridge has peatiness to it upon first sniff. It’s herbal and it smells like earth. You can picture the richness of the soil as you swirl the wine around in the glass. As I take a sip, I notice hints of coffee and smokiness to the wine. The wine is very light in texture but has depth. Raspberry and blackberry notes hit as I take another sip. The grapes in this wine were actually grown “in a single vineyard in the Vineyard Ridge appellation of the Niagara Peninsula” according to the label on the bottle. This means we’re getting the best of both Ontario wine worlds: a Prince-Edward-County-based winery with a Niagara-grown grape.
So next time you’re craving some fresh produce and some delicious wine, be sure to check out your local market and who knows – maybe you’ll go home with a bottle or two or three or four.
The Final Wine Word: 3 ½ bottles out of 5