This past weekend, I visited Prince Edward County for the very first time. It's just shy of 3 hours from Ottawa and is a very beautiful and unique county. The landscape actually reminded me of my home province, Prince Edward Island, minus the red sand!
Our first stop was Barley Day's Brewery. Our main reason for heading to the county was for a wine party, however we couldn't not stop for a sip of beer. At 11 a.m. sharp, when the doors opened we made an appearance, sampled some brews, checked out their brew set up and loaded the car with some beer purchases before heading to Three Dog Winery's Grand Opening party.
At the grand opening, we sampled some of their delicious wines and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Though the weather wasn't great - it was cold and drizzly - we enjoyed the lively music and atmosphere, and appreciated the passion that John and Sacha Squair put into accomplishing what they have in a short time. I'll have to return one Sunday for Sacha's yoga in the vineyard!!
From there we made a pitstop at Prince Edward County's distillery 66 Gilead where we sampled some hand-crafted spirits before heading out to check out the still in tact hops barn and sampled some amazing wine vinegar from the Carriage House Cooperage, in the building adjacent to the distillery.
We finished off our day with a trip to 2 popular vineyards - both Sandbanks and Hinterland were incredible, offering a large selection for sampling, which was free if you purchased wine. And how could you not with some of the amazing offerings that they have. Many of Sandbanks wine can be purchased via the LCBO but some are only available at the winery. I usually gravitate towards red wines but the Summer wine was delicious, not too dry with beautiful fruit flavours, with passion fruit at the forefront. It was perfect for my grilled salmon the following evening.
Hinterland offers a different experience, with some amazing sparkling wines. One that was suggested to age 20 years. I can't imagine waiting that long to dive into that yummy bottle again. I have enough trouble aging beer - the temptation is overwhelming knowing how great the product is.
This means I'll definitely have to make a return trip. No qualms here!!
More information on Prince Edward County: http://www.pecounty.on.ca/