It was a beautiful fall day in early September when the Patio Girlz headed east to Prince Edward County. The County, as it is referred to, is a destination with lots to do and experience. Perhaps known best for its thriving wineries and tours, it offers other culinary delights such as cider tastings, butter tarts and great fish tacos to name a few.
Each September the Girlz have a cider tasting night at Patio, usually with five or six different types of ciders. The tasting notes of each cider are read and discussed: the type of apples, sugar content and the essence of the flavour. Even the colour and graphics on the beverage can or bottle can be enthusiastically discussed after we have sampled several ciders.
This year we made their way to one of the most scenic locations for a tasting in the County. The County Cider Company located in Waupoos, is perched on a hill overlooking Lake Ontario. The farm was colourfully decorated for fall with hay bales, pumpkins, baskets of apples and mums. Our tasting of their craft ciders included the very dry (A Tortured Past, the name says it all) to the very sweet (Blackberry Peach, my favourite).
Thanks to recommendations from our Tasting Host, we were off in search of a patio lunch at the Cressy Mustard Co. The locally handcrafted small batch Cressy Mustards come in some fun and interesting flavours including honey mustard (made with local honey), beer (also made with a local IPA) and Chardonnay mustard.
This recommended lunch spot did not disappoint. Between us we ordered Truffle fries, Pickerel tacos, and pickerel and chips. Simply delicious!
The County is home to many wineries thanks to the favourable growing conditions for grapes. Each winery has its own character and offerings and although we did not visit many this trip, we did manage to stop at two: Waupoos Estates and the Grange of Prince Edward, both offer beautiful locals, friendly staff and a fun experience.
After our lunch, we wandered over to the Waupoos Estates Winery to explore their beautiful grounds and Lakeside patio. Since we were pretty full from feasting on pickerel and fries, we decided not to do a wine tasting; I still bought a couple of bottles of their Cabernet Franc Reserve based on a previous sampling.
The Grange offered a more rustic feel and some very fine wines.
The Tastings Continue
Bloomsfield is a quaint little village with some great shops and ice cream! Slickers homemade ice cream comes in a range of creamy flavours. After careful deliberation, I decided on Peanut butter and honey, a vanilla ice cream with swirls of peanut butter and flavoured with local honey.
And Now for Something Different
Our trip to the County wasn’t just about the culinary delights it offers, The Girlz managed to browse some of the fine shops and visit Birdhouse City at the Macauley Mountain Conservation Area just outside of Picton. These whimsical hand-crafted birdhouse depict the a number of historical and cultural buildings. Recently it was the site of a challenge on the Amazing Race Canada whereby teams raced around the city and had to match the names with the correct bird house on a puzzle board.