Sunday, 27 May 2012

Livin' la vida local ... in Prince Edward County

What was originally intended to be a week long holiday back in New Orleans, got turned upside down when work demands proved unavoidable.  Ah the joys of being self-employed.  I can't complain too much though, as we were able to shuffle a few things around and take two days mid-week to dash off to Prince Edward County.  My hubby's old stomping grounds ... well, not exactly "stomping" as wine-country out that way is relatively new in comparison to say, Niagara on the Lake.  He was also less of a foodie-nerd back in his teenage days (he's come a long way baby!) and sent more time at the auto wreckers looking for spare parts for his cars.  I digress ...

We booked ourselves a room at Huff Estates Inn (near Bloomfield) and breathed a sigh of relief after FINALLY getting across Toronto (is the 401 ever NOT a total nightmare?).  If you're looking for a great home-base for touring "The County" - I would highly recommend Huff.  Beautiful setting, really helpful staff and even though you need a car to get around, you're minutes to great restaurants (Lake on the Mountain Inn & Restaurant), wineries galore and some of the most amazing scenery - the colour of the water  was often  'like Bermuda' and the calm glassy waters of the inland lakes rivalled 'cottage country'. 

What's nice about "The County" is that the terroir is so different from other places we've visited, that the wines have this wonderful mineral-ness (?!?!?!) ... minerality ... to them that we haven't found elsewhere.  We came home with a trunk full of whites from Huff Estates, few cheeky ros├ęs from Waupoos Winery, some easy-drinkin' ciders from The County Cider Company and unfortunately the beer we got from Barley Days Brewery didn't make it home ... 'cause we drank 'em all on our balcony at the Inn :)

Probably the biggest surprise was a relatively new distillery just North of Bloomfield.  66 Gilead Distillery has made me a vodka lover.  If you know me, I've never been one to LEAP on vodka - we're gin drinkers in this family ... until this fateful visit to 66 Gilead.  They are making a whole wheat vodka that is beyond words.  It tastes like fresh baked bread with a hint of vanilla and a whole lot of love.  How could they possibly top this?  Oh with their Canadian Rye Vodka that tastes of whiskey.  My heart felt full.  It raced.  A small tear formed in the corner of my eye ...  finally someone is making vodka for those of us not just looking for a fast way to get drunk (no, this is not for the 19 year old novice vodka and 7up or I dare say the vodka and "RB" drinkers - (gasp, the horror!) - NO - this is a vodka for ADULTS!!!!!!)  We ended the tasting with the Loyalist Gin.  Aside from the beautiful hand-painted bottle, we were overwhelmed with the homegrown juniper berries that filled our palates.  This is a gin for all occasions.  And with that, we picked all three bottles and cradled them in our arms 'til they reached the safety of our car. 

There is so much to see and do in this little slice of Ontario heaven - I can't believe it's practically on our doorstep ... if only that pesky 401 wasn't in the way ... makes me wonder if a little holiday home out there is in order ...

I will now while-away the next few hours looking at real-estate websites. 

Have yourself a wonderful cocktail hour on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon.  We're not sure where to start given the bounty of treats we brought back with us ... I'm sure we'll figure it out :) 

For a little 'glimpse' of our tour ... here's some happy-snaps we took. 


  1. Mr. Schmorge S. Borg28 May 2012 at 00:06

    Love your post title! Haha... I bet there's no cold play over in The County... queue the

    Seriously though, I did a course somewhere near Picton a few years ago and stay there for a week and OMG it IS a beautiful part of Ontario. Nearly everything is surrounding by water. It has cute shops, great restaurants, and wineries (as you discovered... though as a vodka drinker, I'm intrigues by your discovery!). Interestingly, there's a huge artsy community there which makes it interesting and the County boasts that its agriculturally self-sufficient meaning that all the yummy goods grown/produced on the land can feed the area with little outside export. Impressive. Nearly all the towns are quaint and charming. I remember thinking of combining my new discovery of the area with my real estate itche... but could never meld the two... Still... it's an area of the province that is calling me back. Need to plan a family trip or couple trip up there one of these days. Awesome region... :)

    1. It was near impossible choosing only a 'few' photos to post - every corner we turned I was like "STOP THE CAR OMG!" You summed it up perfectly - it really is far more self-sustaining ... especially since they now make their own vodka :) I'll save a sip (or two) for you ...

    2. OMG that sounds and looks like it was so wonderful and relaxing!! We will be inviting ourselves over soon to share the wine you brought home...and sample whatever delicious food you pair it up with :-)

    3. EXCELLENT plan! It's so inspiring out there ... I didn't know which way to turn - farmers market stalls to the right, wineries to the left, fresh cheeses .... the sparkling water all around ... *double sigh* Dinner soon for sure :) x