EPIC Wineries presented March Mac’ness 2015 on Saturday March 7, featuring gourmet mac n cheese dishes paired with Essex County wines. Colio Estate Winery, Oxley Estate Winery, and North 42 Degrees Estate Winery took top honours as the People’s Choice Award Winners for best gourmet mac ‘n cheese dish.
Ticket holders experienced Essex County Wineries in a unique way with a self guided tour through our fabulous EPIC Wine Country. The wineries offered a unique mac ‘n cheese dish paired with a 2oz sample of their award winning wines. Those on the tour got to vote on their favourite Mac N Cheese creations.
At last year’s first annual March Mac’ness Colio Estate Winery, Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, and Cooper’s Hawk Vineyard took top honours.
This year Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island, who works closely with EPIC Wineries, collected all the votes and tabulated them.
The results showed that for the second year in a row Colio Estate Winery has won the award placing first in this year’s second annual event. Colio teamed up with Jack’s Gastropub from Kingsville who prepared the winning dish. Chef Shane Harrison served guests Jack’s Quattro Formagio Mac N Cheese, a four cheese blend of white cheddar, yellow cheddar, briere, and parmigiano, topped with a bacon onion jam, balsamic reduction, Frito chips and a yellow cheddar cracker medallion. The Quattro Formagio was paired with Colio 2013 Lake & River Chardonnay or 2013 Girls Night Out Cabernet / Shiraz.
North 42 Estate Winery serverd a spicy Mac N Cheese that included jalepinos paired with their flavourful Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.
All the wineries created amazingly tasty and rich creamy mac ‘n cheese dishes. We were impressed with how creative they were not only in taste but presentation. Two of the most nicely presented were Colio’s Quattro Formaggio and Cooper’s Hawk’s Devilish Pizza Mac. Chef Barb Dejonge’s dish was colourful and complete with cute little pepperoni.
Wineries that participated this year included Colchester Ridge Estate Winery (CREW), Colio Estate Winery, Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, Muscedere Vineyards, North 42 Degrees Estate Winery, Oxley Estate Winery, Pelee Island Winery, Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, and Viewpointe Estate Winery.
Epic Wineries reports this year’s event sold out in just under a week before the pairings began. EPIC Events Committee Chair, Maria Colini of Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards says, “it was a huge success this year selling 300 tickets in only our 2nd year before our radio advertising even began. We really owe it to all our loyal customers who come out to their favourite wineries. I feel they take advantage of being able to go to all 9 EPIC wineries with the March Mac’ness passport so they experience new ones they may not have tried yet along with the gourmet mac & cheese. The majority of these foodies hit 8 if not 9 wineries on this day, which is our goal, as is making them happy along the way.”
Mary Ann Perry, Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards Event Coordinator says, “March Mac’Ness was a great success, people are more than ready to get out of hibernation and mac and cheese with wine is a great motivator! We served over 300 people at Cooper’s Hawk. So proud to report that.”
EPIC Events Committee Chair, Maria Colini of Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, and her team have more fun ways to experience EPIC Wine Country planned with events such as EPIC Wine Country “Sip Into Summer” Weekend (May 23-24, 2014) and The 21st Annual EPIC Vintage Tasting (Aug. 9, 2015).
The EPIC Events Committee currently organizes 5 events annually. (EPIC Festival of Ice and EPIC Taste of The Season – Holiday Open House are the two others). In addition, each winery holds various events independently throughout the year.