I Left my Heart in the County

3 Aug

It’s an undiscovered gem just two hours east of Toronto. Prince Edward County, or “the County” as locals refer to it, is a playground for foodies and wine enthusiasts. The local food movement here is big, but not in a proclaim it loud and clear manner nor a “we do it because it’s what’s trendy” way. You get the feeling that the local food movement existed here before there was a Local Food Movement. This philosophy is backed here by the passion of the chefs, and menus of the area restaurants boast carefully crafted menus featuring fresh and locally sourced, hand-picked daily fresh ingredients, paired alongside selected wines of the region. It’s a phenomenal culture built up around the region’s culinary treats, celebrating whatever nature offers us that day and that season.

The County is also emerging as Canada’s newest wine region, and as well is renowned for its artisan cheesemakers, crafting cheeses with fresh, locally produced milk. One of our stops was at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., an artisanal goat and sheep cheese shop that is not only completely committed to local sources, but also dedicated to environmental sustainability in its operation. Many of the wineries are characterised by the charm that makes PEC so special, and remain small and intimate. By visiting some of the wineries for tastings, we were able to meet some of the winemakers and chat with them while they poured our tasting samples for us. Ask any one of them how they started their journey as a winemaker, and you can hear the passion for their craft and their wines as they begin to tell you their stories.

This weekend, we did a tiny little tour of the region, and managed to steal nibbles and taste much of what the region has to offer. From the wine, the cheese, the food – even the hot dogs – it was pure gastronomic joy. Add to that the fresh air, the miles and miles of farmland basking in perfect sunlight and the lake nearly always within reach. It was a gorgeous weekend.

I can’t wait to go back. The next time will involve a longer visit, which will allow us to linger and savor the region in the way that it deserves, rather than squeezing every little bit into our short little jaunt and whirlwind tour.

Here are some highlights in pictures:

Buddha Dog is an organic hot dog restaurant that features locally sourced meat for its weiners. It's the Slow Food Movement's answer to fast food. Each dog comes specially prepared with your choice of hand-crafted sauces made of local ingredients, and locally-sourced cheese.

Our whirlwind tour included the sights and flavours of such wineries as Waupoos Estates Winery and Sandbanks Estate Winery. We're noticing a growing trend among Ontario wine labels, which are gradually departing from the traditional to more modern and youthful designs.

We are still seeing the modern winemakers holding onto more traditional and beautiful structures such as these barns.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “I Left my Heart in the County”

  1. Steph S C-O August 4, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    Awesome pics! Thank you for posting to share your experience. I definitely will be visiting there one day…when I can enjoy the wine! 😉
    Those wiener dogs look delish!!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Going Back to the County « A Simple Kind of Life - April 12, 2011

    […] didn’t take us long to fall in love with Ontario’s Prince Edward County while on our first ever visit there last August. How could we not, with the insouciant way of life, their community of farmers, butchers, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: