Monday, February 8, 2010

Blomidon Estate Winery

As I said in yesterday's post, the next few days will feature the various stops on our day in the Annapolis Valley taking in events for the 2nd Annual Nova Scotian Icewine Festival.

Our first scheduled event was to stop in at Blomidon Estate Winery in Canning for the "Food of Love", taking place next wknd as well (Feb. 12-14) from 10am-5pm. This event paired Blomidon's fine wines with oysters from Eel Lake Oyster Farm. Wine maker Simon Rafuse and Nolan and Kim Dion from Eel Lake greeted visitors, providing them with wine tastings and wine and oyster pairing suggestions such as Blomidon's L'Acadie Blanc. Those with a love of the tasty mollusks were even treated to oyster shooters!

Nolan Dion illustrates the different sizes of oysters, gives a bit of background on the life of an oyster, and gives me a lesson on how an oyster makes a pearl :)

When I arrived at Blomidon, I knew already that I was a big fan of their Rose and Seyval Blanc. However, sampling the wines on-site, where the grapes are picked, fermented and bottled lends a bit of romanticism and character to 'new-to-me' wines.

We sampled the winery's 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay ($18.49), fermented in stainless steel tanks and made with 100% Nova Scotian Grapes; the L'Acadie Blanc ($14.99), whose 2008 vintage was medal a winner at the All Canadian Wine Championships; and the 2008 Estate Baco Noir ($16.29), a deep, dark wine with a hint of spice and a lot of mystery. The Baco was also a winner at the ACWC.

Of course, my curiosity was piqued when I spied their bottle of 2007 Reserve Marechal Foch ($22.95). Delightfully rich, this wine made my mouth water for a cheese plate. Only 60 cases of this wine was produced, so my advice is to snatch some up while you've got the chance!

Of course, it was an Icewine Festival event, so we couldn't possibly stop there. We were fortunate enough to sample both of the icewines now available in Blomidon's portfolio; the 2007 Vidal Icewine ($26.95), a Gold Award Winner at the Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards 2009, and the 2008 Ortega Icewine ($28.95).

The Vidal Icewine was Blomidon's first offering and is a light, sweet wine, while the Ortega was the opposite, a heavier wine with a touch of spice. The interesting thing about these wines, however is how they complement each other. Winemaker Simon Rafuse shared that one of his secrets here is to enhance his batch of Vidal by a touch of Ortega, and vise versa. With this method, Rafuse created two delightfully different wines are inextricably linked. Perhaps that's why I was unable to determine my favorite of the two, concluding simply that I love them both!

As we headed on our way to the next stop, the crisp air greeted us and a cracking outdoor wood stove bid us adieu. I couldn't help but feel excited, not only for the wineries that lay ahead, but for having finally made it out to Blomidon, to experience the wine on it's "home turf" and to meet the winemaker and staff behind such a fantastic product!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, where we sample a selection of wines from GaspereauVineyards, made a little sweeter with some chocolate!

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