Celebrating The 2011 Harvest

After a labour intense harvest of fourteen plus hour days, little sleep and physical fatigue the best way to celebrate is with a party!  Glenn Symons, the proprietor of Lighthall Vineyards in Prince Edward County, did just that this past weekend.  I was invinted to attend having helped out with the Pinot Noir and Vidal crush.  The pre party began in the late afternoon with a small gathering to enjoy an assortment of cheeses and home made chacuterie paired with two very special bottles of wine.  A one ton bin with the lid on was used as the communal table as we shared the terrine de canard, rillet of lapin and chicken liver pâté with truffle salt and a selection of Quebec and French cheeses.  The wines Glen shared were a 1999 Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or and a 1989 Château Guiraud.   The Vintage Champagne and Premier Cru Sauternes are certainly not everyday wines.  I was fortunate to participate in such a grand celebration.   Everyone indulging in the experience appreciated the unique experience.  Many sighs of enjoyment and comments or pairing suggestions could be heard as plates and bottles were passed around the table.  It couldn’t have been a more perfect moment of celebration in the warm November sun.

Chef Sebastian happily awaiting the grand wines to be opened.

Prince Edward County wild boar on a spit.

Once the first course was over the big celebration began.  More bottles were opened.  The giant spit bbq was fired up to warm up the 100lb wild boar that had been slaughtered at the farm the a couple days before and left to marinate in a stainless steel tank of pinot noir bouquet garni. Chef Sebastien served up cups of local organic squash soup.  As the sun went down and a chill set in the air, a giant bonfire pit of pruned canes was lit.  More guests arrived; families, friends, local grape growers, vineyard workers and vitners, all happy to share in the celebration with food, drink and plenty of 2011 harvest stories.  Eventually the boar was carved and everyone gathered around the stand up “harvest table”, multiple one ton bins lined up in a row.  Once everyone’s bellies were full, lots of drink was enjoyed around the fire to stay warm long into the night. What a party.

Enjoying a glass of wine in the vineyard at sunset.


About allisonvidug

Allison has been professionally passionate about wine and food for eight years. In that short time, Allison has traveled across Canada to work at some of the finest establishments focussed on premium wine, food and service. Her travels and education has allowed Allison the pleasure to live in some of Canada’s most beautiful locations such as the Okanagan Valley, Niagara Peninsula, the Southern Gulf Islands, Toronto, Lake Louise and Muskoka. Some of Allison's favourite things include; wine, gin, whisky, cheese, mushrooms, cooking, hosting, growing vegetables, cottaging and dogs. Allison has seriously invested in her education of food and drink. She is a graduate of the Food and Beverage Management Diploma Program at George Brown College. She also holds a Diploma in Viticulture and Winery Management from Niagara College. Allison has fine tuned her wine and spirit sensory skills by completing certificates with the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Allison is currently completing here WSET Diploma, one of the highest levels of wine education.
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