Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wine and Wandering Ways

On Sunday I met with my friend Kelly to visit a winery in Markham that we'd not been to before. It was tucked away behind the railway line and had no signs directing it from the main road. I'd spotted it a few months ago when I came across the tiny village for the first time. We'd packed up cheeses, salami, crusty french bread, knives, plates and napkins and hoped they would let us have our picnic while drinking one of their bottles of fine wine. Wineries rules on this vary from place to place but since there are so many of them in the area our plan was to try this one first and if they didn't allow food to be brought  in, well, we'd simply move on until we found one that did. Luckily they had no issues with this and indeed we noticed quite a few other folks who'd brought their lunch with them. I spotted hummus, cream cheese, crackers, fruit and even a Subway sandwich on other tables.
We decided to try tasting all of their wines and by the end were feeling quite a buzz. Some of them were superb. I particularly liked their Pinot Grigio, a wonderful apple wine, superb for mulling or adding to apple pie, and their most expensive, the 2009 Limited Reserve Tannat, a smooth, velvety heavy red wine which had me licking my lips and wanting more, but at $79 a bottle it would remain a dream. We finally decided on their 2008 Buddy's Bistro Red, a lighter fruity red wine loaded with flavor. We picked an outdoor table and spent a lovely time eating, drinking and chatting while enjoying the views. Their website is here.
We later left feeling sated and happy and decided to check out another winery on the other side of Delaplane. Unfortunately it was closed but we were almost in Rectortown so made for that little place to walk our lunch off.
As we later drove back to Marshall we stopped at an old abandoned house which I pass going to and from work every day. Getting out of the car we walked up the hill to peer through windows and open doorways. A neighbor from across the road came over to chat. Ivas told us the house had been empty for about 15 years. he'd grown up watching the old place which had been built by hand, brick by brick, even mixing the mortar, by the family that had owned it.
 He told us a story of it once being the local party house and being prevented by his father from going over there, only to look out the window later and see Dad walk up the driveway with a sixpack in hand. It had quite a reputation back in the 70's and 80's but when the owners aged and finally passed away, the children argued over control. The poorer country kids wanted to patch it up and live there but the rich city kids wanted to sell it and didn't want them living there. A stalemate ensued and the place stood empty, slowly being taken over by the vines, creepers and local wild animals. Ivas has been watching it crumble and doubts that is really worth saving at this point. What a shame.

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