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A Glass with Catherine Langlois of Sandbanks Winery
Without Catherine Langlois, Prince Edward County might never have become the winemaking hot spot it is today — and home to 35 wineries. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think the county would grow to what it’s become,” she says.
The Wines: Fruity Award Winners
Now the fifth-largest VQA winemaker in Ontario, Sandbanks has earned a reputation for making fruit-forward wines, including these balanced blends. “Blending is my favourite part of winemaking, because it allows me to create something unique,” says Langlois, including the Bordeaux-style French Kiss and the three-grape Dunes Red blend. “We grow a lot of hybrids, which are especially drought-resistant and ripen very early, making them ideal for sustainable winemaking.”
I love Riesling for its freshness and minerality, which is all the better thanks to the county’s rich limestone soil. Blending it with Gewurztraminer adds a touch of tropical fruit. It’s divine.
The Winery: A County Trailblazer
When Langlois started Sandbanks 18 years ago, Prince Edward County wasn’t even a wine region. “There were maybe three wineries, and we made our wine in the basement,” she says. Today, the area boasts more than 35 wineries, including the 130-acre Sandbanks. But while Sandbanks and the county have grown, they still have a very laid-back, local vibe. “You’re never far from the water, which is great for grape growing. It almost feels like we’re living on an island, making wine for our neighbours.”
How to Enjoy
Try pairing the red blends with seasonal stews and braised meats. “The French Kiss is particularly tasty with tomato sauces,” says Langlois. She recommends serving the white wine with spicy fare or as a well-chilled aperitif.
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