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Meet our Wineries: Trail Estate Winery

Trail_Estate_Small_Less4cmGuest blog by Hannah Stein

In 2011, Anton and Hildegard Sproll embarked on the journey of owning a vineyard, when they fell in love with the 14 acre property situated where Benway Road intersects the Millennium Trail in Prince Edward County. No strangers to hard work; they had just retired from running a successful bakery for 30 years. The family has all its bases covered to start up a business, with son and graphic designer, Alex Sproll and daughter and accountant, Sylvia Sproll. They enlisted the help of winemaker and grape grower, Mackenzie Brisbois to craft their wines. Trail Estate Winery is a passionate winery that strives to produces terroir-driven wines of exceptional quality.

We spoke to Alex Sproll about the highlights of his family’s own, Trail Estate Winery

What sets your winery apart from others?

I think that what sets us apart is our focus on great food-friendly wines, made in small batches. This allows for the making of wines without being excessively commercial. This year, for example, we made some skin contact whites in insanely small batches and they’re brilliant! It’s not to say we’ll always keep things that small, but we do have the flexibility for it. This allows the winemaker to consistently push the envelope and provide interesting tasting experiences for guests — and we’ve got no animals on our labels! We also want to get people to interact with the winemaker and learn more about viticulture and wine. This year, we’ll be having a set of winemaker-led tours and tastings every Friday and structured tastings every Saturday. They’ll last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour and are bound to be a great addition to the winery.

Which of your wines is your personal favourite and why?

I don’t have a favorite; I think one of the great things is to keep trying new things! If anything though, I do prefer wines with great floral and flinty aromatics — be it Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Sauv Blanc or Chardonnay — I just find them more lively and interesting. Wine should have life! I shy away the majority of Merlot, Cab Sauvs or anything else too sweet and cloying.

What should people most look forward to when visiting your winery during this year’s Terroir Run?

This year, watch your step! Since we’re in a bit of an expansion phase, the entrance is through the roll-up door at the back, therefore, we’ve shifted the tasting bar to be in the middle of the winery. It’s a bit make-shift but the tasting bar is now literally beside the barrels! It’s also all smooth gravel around our winery at the moment, so runners can enjoy our section of softer, pothole-free road!


Meet our Wineries: The Grange of Prince Edward

Maggie Belcastro & Andrew Mackenzie

Maggie Belcastro (Grange Winery) & Andrew Mackenzie

Guest blog by Hannah Stein

The Grange of Prince Edward is a family-run winery in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Now with the help of her daughter Maggie, Caroline Granger has spent the last 15 years discovering the great potential of this unique region. The Grange grows 6 varietals on a 60-acre vineyard; with chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling, gamay, pinot noir, and cabernet franc. The winery produces only 100% estate grown and made wines to reflect the region and its distinct style.

We spoke to Maggie Belcastro, winemaker & daughter of owner Caroline Granger, about what their winery, Grange of Prince Edward, has to offer…

What sets your winery apart from others?

The setting… The Grange winery is housed in a historical c.1826 barn on a beautiful estate. Our wines are also unique. Our production is 100% estate grown and made; there are no vineyards quite like ours and the wines we produce are unique because of this. We love ‘terroir’ at the Grange!

Which of your wines is your personal favourite and why?

Gamay is a favourite around here because it’s unique, versatile, food-friendly and all around a fun style of wine to drink. Sip it chilled in the summer and you are good to go.

What should people most look forward to when visiting your winery during this year’s Terroir Run?

Because we are a water-station, Terroir Run guests don’t get to see much of the winery as they run past so we wanted to offer guests a chance to stop by, explore the property and taste our wines. That’s why, on Friday May 27th at 4:00pm, we invite any and all Terroir Run participants who are already in the County to join us for a private tour and guided tasting. We will walk the vineyards, explore the winery and barrel cellar, and taste a few of our best estate grown and made wines.

A run to the wine-line?

Forget the finish line – our runners aim is the wine-line! While we may pass 9 County wineries along our 11km route we don’t drink their wares along the way, rather, we enjoy the fruits of their labour (and ours) at the final stop. Each participating winery has been asked to feature one of their wines. Continue Reading

What’s going on at the Grange…

Maggie Belcastro & Andrew Mackenzie

Last year our runners were graced with not only a water station at the end of The Grange’s winery driveway but with the beautiful smile of one of Ontario’s burgeoning sommelier’s; Maggie Belcastro.

We asked Maggie what the family run winery was up to in 2012:

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