Gourmet Travel - Carmela Estates Winery - Prince Edward County Ontario Wine Tastings

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Prince Edward County Ontario Wineries in Canada - Southern Ontario Gourmet Travel
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Prince Edward County Ontario Wine Tour - Carmela Estates Winery

The County - Southern Ontario Wine and Food Culture Comes of Age

by Wade Rowland - Part 5

Carmela Estates Winery was pouring the first of its 2002 wines this year at its big, new facility in Prince Edward County, which has been designed from the ground up as a multi-purpose winery, with complete convention and banquet facilities. The main structure resembles a scaled-up Ontario bank barn and blends beautifully with its bucolic surroundings. The state-of-the art kitchen will be open for year-round dining sometime this (2004-5) winter.

Norm Hardie of Carmela Winery in Prince Edward County Ontario Canada
Norm Hardie of Carmela Winery
Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
Photo © Christine Collie
Carmela's wine-maker is Norman Hardie, a former sommelier at the Toronto Four Seasons' Truffles restaurant and he's had experience making cool-climate wines in South Africa, New Zealand, Oregon and Burgundy.

Wines here are all aged in French oak casks. Carmela's 2002 Pinot Gris and 2002 Riesling became the first wines to achieve VQA designation for wines totally grown, fermented and bottled in the County.

But like other Prince Edward County winery start-ups, the Carmela Estate Winery has had to import grapes from Niagara to supplement early crops. Nevertheless from our tastings we'd say the product is already showing a distinctive character, and certainly reflects Hardie's experience and commitment. And speaking of commitment, Hardie and his wife have a small winery of their own under development, just up the road on a few acres of well-drained, sloping, limestone-and-clay shelf. They're in it for the long haul.

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