Trail Estate Winery 2014 Gamay Noir

I recently visited the Embrace Ontario event here in Ottawa. There were several Ontario wine producers there, most of them originating in PEC. One wine that stood out for me that night embraced both PEC and Niagara fruit. It was the 2014 Trail Estate Gamay Noir – it was so good we brought a couple of bottles home. Later I realized that Alex Sproul (from Trail) had sent me a bottle that was awaiting tasting, so it only made sense to let you in on this little gem.

2014 Trail Estate Winery Gamay Noir

2014 Trail Estate Winery Gamay Noir

The nose is smoky, peppery red fruit, embracing raspberry, cherry, and a hit of cranberry, with the slightest sweet spice notes in the background. The palate is juicy, with the right amount of tart and sweet red fruit playing a yin and yang on the tongue. The wine is both smooth and slightly astringent – playing tricks on the palate. Love the complexity. Tannins are present but in check, with a nice streak of acidity running through the mouth. 65% County fruit (from Hillier Creek) and 35% from the Bench (Steve Kocsis). They even drew off some juice to concentrate this beauty.

Lovely, food-friendly wine at $25.95 (and well worth it, IMHO).

Only 98 cases made, and available at the winery, or select events such as Embrace Ontario!

Trail Estate Winery
416 Benway Road, Hillier, ON
K0K 2J0

As noted, these wines were provided free of charge for review. You can see my sample policy here for more details.

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Embrace Ontario: March 10th in Ottawa

Embrace Ontario Logo

Embrace Ontario is a new kind of wine event in Ottawa. Organized by two Prince Edward County “legends” – Scott Vader (Vineland Estates Sales Rep for Eastern Ontario), and John Squires (Owner, Three Dog Winery), they wanted to bing a new type of event to Ottawa.

From the Vineland Estates website:
Embrace Ontario is an artisan market that showcases some of the best that Ontario farmers, producers and growers have to offer. It is free to for everyone to attend and stock up on what you need for your Easter Dinner. Embrace Ontario is an reminder of all the great things that this province produces all year. It features more than 20 farmers and 8 VQA wineries (which includes us!!)
So be sure to spread the word, tell 2 friends and bring 2 more with you. If you ate today, thank a farmer!

Recently, I had the chance to ask Scott a few questions about the motivation behind this event:

Shawn: So what exactly is Embrace Ontario?
Scott: Embrace Ontario’s focus is on the diverse food and beverage products produced locally in Ontario and Quebec, but not always readily available. It is about meeting the farmers and people who produce these world class products locally,sampling and above all purchasing.

Shawn: What drove the idea?
Scott: The idea grew out of the many events we have both done over the years that cost winery’s, vendors, and the public too much at the door. Now being able to sell VQA wines at farmers markets is a Gamechanger (pun intended ). The difference with this farm market however is that we have attempted to bring farmers and vendors to that would not normally attend a market and others who are unique in what they grow and produce, and of course Ontario VQA wines.

Shawn: Why did you choose Ottawa?
Scott: Ottawa was the first choice mainly because Prince Edward County is the closest DVA region just 3 hours away, and the majority of winery’s, farmers and vendors are coming from the county for this market.

Shawn: Why now?
Scott: With Easter around the corner, it is the perfect time to pick up some special wine and food in one convenient location.

Shawn: Who’s participating? Who will we see on Thursday?
Scott: There are still folks signing up, but as of today we have the following:


Pyramid Ferments
Against the Grain Farms
Gees Bees Honey Company
Nyman Farms
PEC Hot Sauce Co.
County Yum
HaanoverView Farms
TrueBee by Peachey Honey Farm
Four B Farms
King’s Creek Garlic Farms
Coronation Hall Cider Mill
Britannia Backyard Edibles
Upper Canada Creamery (Biomede Yogurt)

Other Vendors

Empire Cheese
Fromagerie Montabello
Meow That’s Hot
Unrefined Olive
Top Shelf Preserves
Cured Smokehouse
Seed to Sausage

Shawn: What should people attending expect to see?
Scott: There something for everyone attending, to sample and buy from heritage pork products to an amazing producer of ancient grains and of course wines from PEC and Niagara.

Shawn: What goals have you set for the event?
Scott: The only real goal for the event is for all the vendors to have a profitable day and raise the awareness of what buying locally contributes to the well being of our economy.

Shawn: Will you do it again?
Scott: It is not our aim to compete with the local markets. However if we can introduce farmers, vendors, and of course winery’s into markets they would not normally attend a few times a year, then yes, we will do it again.

Shawn: When & where is it?
Scott: Lansdowne Park (Horticulture Building), 1015 Bank Street. The time is this Thursday, March 10 from 4PM-8PM.

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