By: Holly Bruns
Navan, Ontario is a small village in the Ottawa Valley. It’s an area of the world where the wind blows and temperatures drop to well below freezing in winter, but heat and humidity can bolster the thermometer to the mid-30s in summer. This is farming country and it’s an everyday agrarian landscape that greets the eye: rather flat with a few gently rolling hills, a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees, a patchwork of fields. But something is happening in those fields. It’s a slow event, and only discernible to those who are paying attention, but grapevines are going up. Stakes and vine wires are visible, here and there, if one cares to look.
The Oxford dictionary defines exotic as “of a uniquely new or experimental nature”. In the world of wine, it doesn’t get any more exotic than a bottle of fermented grape juice from Eastern Ontario. Working with cold-hardy hybrids, winemakers here are pushing the limits of what kinds of grapes are vinification-worthy; they are creating unique wines that will only get better as knowledge and experience grows.
Domaine Perrault is home to some of the first vines planted in this area. A dairy farm in essence, this small vineyard is the manifestation of a dream that Denis Perrault had while travelling the wine route in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Ten years ago he took a leap of faith and planted a few acres of Louise Swanson, St. Pepin and Sabrevois. He hired a winemaker, and started bottling wine. In the years that followed, more vines were planted, the winemaker changed, and eventually people started showing up to buy the wine.
From their latest vintage comes this lively bottle of rosè. Made with Frontenac and Frontenac Gris grapes, it’s fresh and crisp with a pale, salmon appearance. Reminiscent of a delicate Provençal-style wine, the slightly sweet nose of strawberry and minerals is greeted on the palate with a refreshing wash of citrus while the strawberries linger a little on the finish.
1000 Chemin Perrault
My love for wine grew out of my love for food, and when curiosity got the better of me, I enrolled in the sommelier program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Half way through the program I was definitely hooked. I graduated with the Sommelier Award of Excellence, at the top of my class, and felt bolstered to go on to study at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust where I’ve recently graduated from the Advanced program with distinction. I can now say I am an official wino. Writing a blog just felt like a natural extension of my desire to pursue all things vinous. I like to write, creatively, as a hobby and studied English Lit in university. Writing about wine seems about as much fun as a girl can have! It is now my goal in life to entice others to love and drink wine as much as I do.