Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Report from ... The Inaugural Grape King Breakfast - September 14, 2010

It's not often that I go to a breakfast "wine" event, even rarer still is a wine event with no wine, but this was the inaugural breakfast time (8:00 am) announcement of this year's Grape King - complete with breakfast.  Now I'm not sure how my colleague Dean Tudor would grade this event.  Dean grades the wines (there were none), the food (standard buffett breakfast fare) and the overall effectiveness of the event (the announcement was made and we have a new Grape King - that's quite effective) - but couldn't someone have popped a bottle of bubbly for the occasion?
The event kicked off with breakfast, then a brief few words from Rosemary Auld of RBC, who has been a supporter of the Grape King event since 1995.   Rosemary mentioned that the first Grape King was crowned in 1956, then she also let it slip that that was the year she was born - so she thought it a pretty good year all round.

Kimberly Hundertmark, the executive director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, also spoke a few words about the Festival and its tie-in with the Grape King.  It was a very revealing morning as Kimberly let it be known that she had once been entered in the Grape Princess competition of 1966 (she did not win and has been scarred ever since).

This year's Grape King is actually a Queen and a PHD at that, Dr. Debbie Inglis, of Niagara Vintage Harvesters.  Debbie, along with her husband Rob (who started out as a friend and rock picker in 1976) farm 20 acres of vineyard in Virgil (just outside Niagara-on-the-Lake).  Their vineyard is made up of Niagara staple grapes: Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Franc - and are used primarily in Inniskillin wines.  Debbie will be officially installed as the Grape `Queen` Wednesday September 15 at 3:00pm at her farm on Line 4.  In Debbie`s speach she recounted growing up amongst the grape vines and finished with "I am very proud to be a grape grower in Ontario."

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