Let the wining begin. Our first stop was down Lakeshore Rd at Summerhill Pyramid Wineries. The new age hippy owner (my own words) believes in the power of "sacred geometry" and has thus built a 8% replica of the largest Egyptian pyramid where he stores the bottles of wine (on your typical flat pallets, bottled and boxed in their cases) for a minimum of two months. Blind taste tests over pyramid aged versus warehouse aged wines "proved" that the pyramid aged wines were better. I'm still skeptical as none of the wines we tasted were particularly outstanding, especially for their price tags. However, the pyramid made for a great photograph back drop.
Kissed Gewürztraminer (1) - dry, but not much flavor. Apparently 1 USD from the sale of every bottle goes towards the World Peace Vision foundation continuing the work of Princess Diana.
Platinum Pinot Gris (0) - quite light.
Ehrenfelser (2) - perfect for a hot day, a bit sweet, nice light flavor.
Cipes Brut (0) - this is their flagship sparkling wine. One word - blech!
'02 Pinot Meunier - this is a red, that is usually used as a blend for making sparkling wines. This particular one is made from vines that had been growing since 1934. This had a distinct smokey flavor and is very light in body, similar to a pinot noir. Lacking complexity.
Just a bit further down Lakeshore Rd. is St. Hubertus Winery. I should have thought to ask about the name.
I really enjoyed their tasting room. Off white walls with a black ceiling and Ikea-esque spot lights. In the fires of 2003 they lost one of the winery buildings, a personal residents and quite a few of their grapes. They have pictures, post cards and t-shirts with an image of their winery's sign with the fires blazing in the background that read "And you think you're having a bad day?" Thankfully, their wines are survivors.
Chasselas - pair with a fruit and cheese plate in the summer or cheese fondue in the winter. Acid, lemon zest finish. Very light. Quite enjoyable for a white.
Gewürztraminer - (1) but sweeter than a 1 to me. Nice.
Pinot Meunier '03 - Vanilla nose. Quite light. Smokey finish. Duck, salmon, possibly lamb. I bought a bottle of this one.
Northern Summer '03 - mild, good house red. not much body.
Pinot Blanc Ice '02 - WOW. Honey nectar. Liquid gold. Why, oh, why didn't I buy a bottle of this?
This is a fancy schmany winery. Beautiful white stucco with dark wood. During the off season the tasting room closes at 5 and we arrived at 10 of, but the lovely woman behind the counter greeted us warmly telling us that it was never too late for wine. How true.
Chardonnay '02 - Not the worst. Not incredibly butter, good fruit.
Ehrenfelser '04 (1) - a bit sweet. Easy drinking for spicy food.
Platinum Pinot Noir '02 - dark cherry. just a bit tannic on the end.
Platinum Cabernet Sauvignon '02 - Cellar for a year. Light start, strong finish. Hard alcohol nose.
Platinum Merlot '02 - only a bit tannic. Not oaky. Quite mild, almost like a pinot.
Platinum Meritage '02 - wonderful, light.