PEC Terroir (#TerroirPEC) – Pre Event Tasting

Having jumped at the chance to attend another wine event (we bought tickets 11 & 12), I didn’t realize it would come so quickly on the heels of Tastecamp. Not that I wasn’t ready – I just hadn’t caught up on the rest of life and my Tastecamp blog posts were still waiting to be written. Yet we packed up the corkscrew and headed to Picton for another weekend of wine!

Bergeron Estate Winery
Arriving in the afternoon on Friday, we made a short stop at Bergeron Estate Winery and sampled the latest reds on offer. We had wanted to chat with David Bergeron but as he wasn’t around, we quickly sampled some of their ’07 Pinot Noir and decided it was worth picking up a couple of bottles. I’ve had some problems with their ’07 Vidal/Reisling Blend and even the bottle on sample seemed off, so we left it at that.

We continued on our way, taking the beautiful (free) Glenora Ferry. It really is the nicest route to PEC from points east. We did see this funny sign on the ferry which elicited some funny replies on twitter. The one I liked the most was “Alien Landing Spot” from @gadgetgirl

Alien Invasion?

Black Prince Winery
Next we booted through Picton and on to Black Prince Winery. We had bought some great Cab Franc from them last year but alas, that vintage was gone and the new one didn’t do it for me. I ended up trying many of the Pinots (they were/are the producer for several other wineries), and ended up selecting Hillier Pinot Noir 2004 – $15.75/bottle one of the oldest Pinot’s from the county (there’s probably a separate post alone on that wine), the ’09 Merlot & ’06 Chambourcin from Black Prince.

Lacey Estates
We had tweet-confirmed with Lacey Estates so we headed there next and had a great visit with Kimball & Liz. Kimball is the winemaker and vineyard manager at Lacey, but that;s his second job. He is also the assistant winemaker at Closson Chase Winery, so between the two he’s pretty busy. We talked at length about the VQA approval and the submissions and re-submissions they have had to do on their Baco Noir, which has been rejected 3 times and now goes to tribunal.

Here’s what we tasted:

Pinot Gris

2010 Pinot Gris: Fermented on skins for 24 hours, this $22 bottle has watermelon and light peach notes and a light acidic finish. A great summer sipper.


2010 Gewurztraminer: This one sat on skins for 24 hours also, and Kimball had a runaway ferment that he couldn’t get stopped, resulted in a dry Gewurzt. Nose of hineysuckle, lychee, and rosewater, this one promises a sweetness that just isn’t there with the dry finish. Would make an excellent food pairing wine.


2010 Riesling (VQA): Light citrus and almost a sweet apple nose on this one. Yet the mouth is more pear, and the finish all citrus and mineral. So crisp – like the finish of a tart apple right off the tree. Great county example. Only 60 cases and last I heard he was down to 10 cases left!

Baco Noir

2008 Baco Noir: This spent 18 months in oak, 50% used French barrels and 50% in used Hungarian barrels. It is a bit funky with the tobacco leaf and dark berry nose and loads of acidic fruit on the palate. There are some tannins lingering so I think this could hold for a few years and integrate more. We’ll see.

2009 Baco Noir: This one is much more woody than the 2008. It was cold-soaked for 4 days and then pressed, fermented in stainless steel. It has more wood in it, with 70% new Hungarian oak and 30% used French oak barrels. I found this one smoother than the 2008.

Being a small producer (1000-1500 cases a year), they still do much of the work by hand, including the bottling…and this is a family affair with the kids involved in the vineyard. The tasting room also showcases art (photography) from their daughter and beautiful quilts by Liz (careful – you could end up spending more on quilts than wine, although we resisted :-)).

Kimball Lacey

Wine storage

They’ve planted a few rows of Merlot more for personal use but who knows what might happen if they have some success with them…

The Old Third
Next we headed back to The Old Third. As I noted before, a discussion with Bruno was one of the inspirations for the Uncork Ontario app. As it happens, Bruno and Jens were both in the vastly expanded (and artistically decorated) tasting room.

Old Third Tasting Room

Old Third Tasting Room

Jens and Bruno

More of the Tasting Room

We had a nice visit and sampled both the 2009 Pinot Noir as well as their 2009 Pinot Noir – Pourriture Noble, a medium sweet (white) wine made with botrytis-affected fruit. Having recently (finally) opened a bottle of their delicious 2008 Pinot, I found the 2009 to be a little more lush with slightly more body and a longer finish. It was also definitely more spicy than the ’08, and the strength and finesse were in perfect balance- maintaining all of the elegance that makes their Pinot so intriguing. The Pourriture Noble was just as special with fantastic vanilla and floral notes, and is something to be saved for a special day.

Beautiful Displays

Beautiful Displays

We had a short walk in the vineyard with Bruno. I was taken by how much further along the vines were than those we saw in the bench not two weeks earlier. Kimball Lacey confirmed the same – I think PEC actually had more sun this spring than Niagara.

Pinot Vines at The Old Third

We then decided we should check in at our B&B, aptly named Bee & Bee!. We had taken this little place by chance, not really knowing anyone who had stayed there before but I read a few reviews and figured it would work well. Jane and Tony welcomed us into their home and we unpacked just in time to freshen up and head out to dinner.

We had made plans to connect with a fellow Ontario wine supporter from twitter – @Ontario_Wines, otherwise known as Rick Bates. We agreed to meet at Lake on the Mountain Inn, just outside of Picton. Rick and his wife were traveling to Terroir with another couple (fellow scuba enthusiasts), so we had a chance to meet many nice folks that evening. We had a great meal and enjoyed some fine country wines and local beer. Rick is so similar to his online persona with an almost aggressive support for the wines from his home province, and lots of opinions about the web sites wineries use to promote their wares. We thoroughly enjoyed their company and reinforces again the good things about social media and online friends you finally meet in person (or IRL – “in real life” as my daughter would say).

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