LongDog.ca

In 1997 our close friend Steven suggested we look into buying a country place together and having been to the County a couple of times suggested we look at an acquaintance’s property just outside of Milford. When we were offered the 300 acre farm with a charming 1840’s yellow house and several out buildings including a large barn we bought it on the spot. Intended only as a weekend getaway, within a year my husband James and I had moved our film editing business here and had very happily become country mice. James noticed a few small vineyards dotted about and being a wine lover began to investigate. Much research, soil sampling and many consultations later, it turned out that we had patches of land astonishingly similar to the “terroir” of Burgundy. In 1999, an enthusiastic James and a slightly skeptical Steven and I planted 1200 vines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As we watched them thrive in the hot dry summer weather and delicious limestone dirt, James decided to plant a further 3,700 vines in the spring of 2000. The farmer in James was fully exposed now, and in 2001 another 7000 were planted with the addition of some Pinot Gris.

In 2002 we had our first good sized crop of 3 and 4 year old vines, and we renovated the old pig barn into a small winery. That October we processed our first vintage with some hilarity, not quite knowing what we were doing or how all this strange new equipment worked. However it seems the wine really is “made” in the vineyard, the grapes produced proper French style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Realizing this was no longer a hobby but a viable business, the big barn was renovated and another 8000 vines were put in the ground. In May of 2004 we began selling the wine, and now with 10 vintages under our belt and maturing vines we are more than ever convinced that Prince Edward County is one of the best homes in the world for Pinot Noir and cool climate Chardonnay. It continues to be a challenging (and expensive!) business, but seeing the pleasure on customer’s faces when they taste the wine is worth it.

WHY “LONG DOG”?

I grew up with dachshunds. James gave me a wire-haired dachshund puppy for my 30th birthday and soon was devoted to the breed as well. Otto died suddenly of heart failure in 1998, we were devastated, and we buried his ashes under the first Pinot Noir vine planted in 1999. We’ve always had the dogs since then, the current dachshunds-in-residence being Bella and Flora. Naming the vineyard “Long Dog” made us smile.

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