Prince Edward County's oldest winery - Waupoos Estate Winery is celebrating it's twenty first (1993) year open to the public for tastings. My old friend, and fellow German, Ed Neuser, and his wife Rita, started the winery. He was the pioner ! He purchased the apple orchard in Waupoos in 1983. Waupoos is a First Nations term that means "running rabbit".
Ed wanted to know if he could grow grapes here in The County so he had the soil tested and the results were: better soil than Burgundy but a terroir that is hundreds of million of years older. More importantly is the fractured limestone, upon which we grow grapes, that exists in The County.
So Ed ripped out an apple orchard and planted his french vines only to discover that after the first winter they were all killed by frost. We're a cold climate growing region. Ed replanted his vines and before the next winter set in he buried the vines with about 12-18 inches of soil. Much the same as what we do with roses. Burying French vinifera is unique to Prince Edward County. No other wine region in the world has to do that. This burying and unmounding each spring adds an extra 13 weeks of labour. As well we have shorter growing season than Niagara. But, we have better soil conditions than Niagara. It's the limestone rich mineral soil that produces such excellent wines.ng
Today we have over 40 wineries where you can taste outstanding chardonnay and pinot noirs, the two prominent wines from Burgundy, France. We also have some 40 vineyards now in The County.
The County has large wineries where you can taste within world class tasting rooms. Or you can taste in much smaller wineries right next to French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. No matter your choice you will find outstanding world class wines.
The proof.... that we have the best Ontario chards as judged 3 years ago by a panel of European wine critics who judged 16 Ontario chardonnays at Canada House in London, England. Of the 16 Ontario chards that were judged, the top ones came from The County.
Ask me who was number one. :-) Or ask me about which wineries are a must visit. Come check us out. Cheers