On April 1, 2005, there will be an extraordinary evening of fine art
and wine, titled ARTEVÏNO, at Maxwell College, 270 Front Street,
Belleville, Ontario, in support of the Quinte Arts Council (QAC).
The Quinte area has a rich cultural heritage and boasts a number of accomplished
artists and a plethora of studios. New to the area is the nascent wine
industry, with over 600 acres planted, over 80% of it fine European vinifera
varieties. ARTEVÏNO celebrates the confluence of these two traditions,
one new and one established. The artists and wineries will work in partnership
for the first time and present examples of their best in what is the first
art and wine auction in Eastern Ontario.
All of the wineries in the area are participating. Each is offering a
unique item for auction, typically large format (3- and 6-litre bottles)
with one-of-a-kind labeling and packaging designed and produced by the
artist of their choice. Many of these wines are from first or second crops.
All are unique and highly collectable as first editions from one of the
world's newest wine regions.
In addition, this event will feature the first-ever barrel of wine to
be auctioned in Canada. The barrel, approximately 25 cases, contains wine
made from 100% chardonnay grapes grown on the Waupoos Estate in Prince
Edward County. It has been donated by the Waupoos Estates Winery
the first commercial winery in Prince Edward County since prohibition.
A labour of love by Ed Neuser and Rita Kaimins, the Waupoos Estates Winery
began planting grapes in 1993 in what was originally an apple orchard.
"Everyone thought we were crazy," laughs Ed Neuser. A true pioneer
in the wine industry of Prince Edward County, he used a tractor with a
front end loader and jack hammer with compression in the back to break
through the solid limestone subsoil to plant his grapes.
The barrel of wine, one of the County's best Chardonnays, will be featured
at a live auction along with a number of original art pieces, the large
format bottles and a trip to the Burgundy to raise funds for QAC's year
round programming. Ed and Rita are particularly proud to be the first
contributors of this barrel to support a charitable organization, the
fact that it is made of 100% County grapes and also because the entire
operation at Waupoos Estates involves people from the County.
This includes winemaker Jason MacDonald and vineyard manager Kyle Baldwin,
who have been with Ed and Rita since they were teenagers, as well as all
of the staff at the winery, restaurant and gift shop, both seasonal and
Andrew Laliberte, sommelier and Co-Chair of the ARTEVÏNO event committee,
states, "Having tasted all of these wines, the 2004 vintage will
be the one that will help to define the reputation of Prince Edward County
as a serious, quality wine region. The 2004 Reserve Chardonnay donated
by Waupoos is deservedly the highlight of the evening. It has rich, complex
citrus notes, fine weight, subtle oak and a refreshing finish. The style
of wine compares well to a premier cru Chablis. All of the wines are representative
of their various terroirs. The reds, notably Long Dog's Pinot Noir and
Huff's South Bay red (Cabernet/Merlot blend) both from the 2003
vintage show the marked difference between Prince Edward County
and Niagara. These are definitely cool-climate reds with subtle flavors
and aromas which explore the high notes of the scale. For anyone that
has not comprehensively tasted PEC wines, this event offers unique showcase
to see what the fuss is all about."
The evening, which includes a pre-event media and VIP tasting at 6 pm,
will be open to the public at 7 pm and features wine poured from
the participating wineries and an amazing array of fabulous French cheeses
from Capers Brasserie.
The highlights of the evening are live, radio and silent auctions of
art as well as first edition special format bottles of wine with artist-designed
labels from Huff Estates, The Grange of Prince Edward Inc. Estate Winery,
Black Prince Winery, Long Dog Vineyards & Winery Inc. County Cider
Company, Carmela Estates Winery and By Chadsey's Cairns Winery and Vineyard.
One other item of interest is an original bottle of the first commercial
release of wine from the County a 1999 Vidal from Waupoos Estates,
signed by Ed in 2000. Less than one hundred cases were produced and there
may be only six or seven bottles in existence today none signed
from the time of release. This is a rare opportunity to purchase a true
first edition with provenance, of the first wine from a wine region.