Festival season continues in Windsor Essex and as September’s fun gets underway there is a unique connection between Labour Day Weekend’s Coastal Trails: Sails to See Festival and this weekend’s Shores of Erie Wine Festival.
The Tall Ships were docked at ports around Essex County in Windsor, Amherstburg, Kingsville, and Pelee Island. The public were able to board these majestic vessels that were part of the Pan Provincial TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour commemorating the Battle of Lake Erie. In addition, the Tall Ships Festival offered fun activities like War of 1812 interactive experiences, live music, and family shows. Amherstburg was one of the towns to host the Tall Ships on Labour Day Weekend.
Only one weekend later Amherstburg will host the Shores of Erie Wine Festival at Fort Malden, a National Historic Site of Canada, also historically significant during the War of 1812. In this ninth season the Shores of Erie Wine Festival features Lake Erie North Shore wineries and wine tastings, live entertainment, bicycling tours, and culinary delights (like the live cooking demo by Chef Wayne Girard of The Bob-Lo Island Beach House Restaurant). Interestingly, a connection between tall ships and this wine festival involves six Essex County wineries and a replica pirate ship named Liana’s Ransom which had its anchor dropped at Pelee Island for the Sails to See festivities.
On July 4th, 2013 Lake Erie North Shore wineries introduced a limited edition brand of wine called Stowaway 1812 to commemorate the Tall Ships Festival and War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations in the region. Six different tall ships are featured on the wine labels. The wines are produced by Colio Estate Wines, Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, Pelee Island Winery, Oxley Estate Winery, Smith and Wilson Estate Wines, and Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. This brand of wine is unique because it is the first time ever that these local wineries have collaborated to produce wine under one label. These special collector’s item wines have been sold throughout the summer at the producing wineries. The wines are as follows:
Sprucewood Shores Stowaway 1812 Deux Rouge 2011
Smith & Wilson Stowaway1812 Viognier 2010
Colio Estate Wines Stowaway 1812 Pinot Grigio 2012
Oxley Estate Winery Stowaway 1812 Cabernet Franc 2012
Pelee Island Winery Stowaway 1812 Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Cooper’s Hawk Cabernet Merlot 2008
While each winery produced a version of Stowaway 1812 wine they also blended the Cabernet Franc varietals from all six wineries into a barrel. The barrel of wine was then put aboard the Liana’s Ransom Tall Ship on July 19, 2013. As Liana’s Ransom sailed the Great Lakes it “stowed away” the barrel of wine in its hold as it aged. Then on September 1, 2013 while the tall ship was docked at Pelee Island for the Coastal Trails: Sails to See Festival, the barrel of wine was unloaded for bottling. This special barrel of wine is expected to yield 120 bottles of extremely rare, historically significant, and highly collectible Stowaway 1812 wine.
Here’s a video of the wine being boarded onto Liana’s Ransom put together by our friend Gary at Essex Wine Review
In fact, expert wine columnist Tony Aspler wrote about the Stowaway 1812 wine aboard Liana’s Ransom saying, “The Tall Ships’ majestic presence in our waters speak to an ancient tradition of ageing wines at sea. As early as the 16th century in Europe sailing ships transported wine from Madeira to India and China by way of the Cape of Good Hope. The hot temperatures as the ships crossed the equator and the incessant rolling action had a beneficial ageing effect on the wine. Like most advances in beverage alcohol technology the discovery of sea travel to improve the flavour of Madeira was accidental. But once discovered this technique of long sea voyages was used to speed up the maturing process of Madeira and port.”
In addition, the Shores of Erie Wine Festival official website says, “the truly remarkable collaboration amongst the six wineries is made even more special by the collaboration with Liana’s Ransom and the timing of the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie which commemorates its bicentennial on September 10, 2013. This timing and collective vision makes Stowaway 1812 one of the most significant wine collaborations in the world.”
The only place available to obtain one of the bottles of Stowaway Wine from aboard Liana’s Ransom will be at an auction to be held at the ninth annual Shores of Erie Wine Festival in Amherstburg. The bottles will be auctioned off on September 7 and Sunday, September 8, 2013.
Clearly, this brings the connection between the Coastal Trails: Sails to See Festival and Shores of Erie Wine Festival full circle. Windsor Essex County Wineries (Lake Erie North Shore Wineries) have definitely made the September part of festival season unique with this wonderful collaboration to create the Stowaway 1812 Wine brand.
For any questions about Stowaway 1812 please contact Kyra Knapp at [email protected]