The County Comes to the City

A Terrific Try before you Buy event returns to Toronto

David Lawrason

David Lawrason

The winemaking folk of Prince Edward County like it there – tucked far from the madding crowds on their “virtual island” offshore in Lake Ontario just west of Kingston. It’s a place that moves to its own rhythms. It is governed by the slow march of history, and the seasons, and how different one season is from the next. A few of the County folk have grown up there, but most have actually moved from the city (Toronto or Ottawa) and they are now even more fervent about the County than the locals.

So they must be feeling some anxiety in returning for the second annual “County in the City” tasting this Thursday at the Berkeley Church on Queen St east of Sherbourne St. The location may seem odd to city folks – an historic church remade into an event space. But the County folks will surely be more comfortable in this rustic setting, east of Yonge Street, and closer to home. Most will likely high tail it down the 401 in the darkness as soon as the event closes at 9 pm.

County in the City at Berkeley ChurchBut this event is a commercial necessity. For as attractive as the County has become to citified agri-tourists – with almost 40 wineries, its craft brewery (Barley Days) and new distillery (Gilead); its very fine restaurant scene; its myriad small inns and B&Bs; and its twice-yearly wine events in Picton’s “Crystal Palace” – it is still, after over ten years on the wine map, unknown to a large swath of urbanites.

And more importantly this year, the Berkeley Church event will allow guests to try the wines then place orders on the spot. No, you still can’t walk out with bottles under your arm, but the wineries will arrange free direct deliveries to your home and office. And most are wines you will never see at the LCBO.

At last count, 15 wineries were signed on to pour, and they represent an interesting cross-section of the larger, more well established wineries like Grange of Prince Edward, Huff Estates, Rosehall Run and Norman Hardie,  plus newer, tiny operations like Exultet, Stanners, Devils Wishbone, Lighthall and Half Moon Bay. But they all share the same  MO – incorrigible idealists who worked themselves to the bone to hew vineyards out of the tough, limestone gravel strewn soils, all in order to make tiny amounts of light bodied, fragrant and elegant pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris and perhaps sparkling wine from vines with impossibly low yields.

So if you have not experienced the County and its wines, and you find yourself with time on Thursday between 5pm and 9pm, click here for tickets. It is $39 all in – the cost of one fine bottle of County pinot – with an opportunity to try dozens of wines, have a bite to eat and enjoy some live music as well. And if you can’t make it Thursday, set aside the weekend of May 25 to visit the County itself for the annual Terroir event in Picton.


David Lawrason
VP of Wine

Try & Buy Great Prince Edward County Wines

Back for its second year, County in the City is a great “TRY and BUY” event. Many of these wines are not available in Toronto retail outlets. All wines purchased at this event will be delivered right to your door – with FREE shipping.

And it gets better – all wine samples are included in the ticket price!

County in the City

Here are the details you need to know:

Event Name: County in the City

Date: Thursday, April  25, 2013

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 pm

Venue: The Berkeley Church, 315 Queen Street East, Toronto

Tickets are available now: $39 in advance (online tickets sent as a PDF in a confirmation email), $50 at the door (subject to availability)

Order Tickets Now

Have a look at some of the amazing Prince Edward County wineries who will be pouring at the event:

By Chadsey’s Cairns
Casa Dea
Closson Chase
Devil’s Wishbone
Exultet Estates
Grange of Prince Edward County Vineyard and Estate Winery
Half Moon Bay Winery
Huff Estates Winery
Karlo Estates
Keint-He Winery and Vineyard
Lighthall Vineyard
Norman Hardie
Rosehall Run
Sandbanks Winery
Stanners Vineyard

Follow County in the City on Twitter @winefestival

County in the City - April 25