The third, and final, day of our Prince Edward County weekend was all about taking risks. In the first few days, we made it to most of the places we had “on the list”. From there, it was all a bonus, so we went a little more off the beaten path to find gems.
Our first gem we sought out close to ‘home’. We hit Black Prince winery, which is right in Picton. I had to ask about the smell of the Cabernet Franc, which I had with dinner the night before. For some reason, I couldn’t stop smelling the wine as I was drinking it. I told J it smelled like a lavender crème brûlée, with a hit of chocolate. I think I would wear it as a perfume. (Hear that Vera Wang? Maybe call it Black Princess? Cabernet Princess?). When I mentioned this to the guy at the winery, he sort of just humoured me. He probably thought I was nuts – or one of those pretentious people that make up all of the things they smell and taste in wines.
There were wineries left in all directions. Just to give us somewhere to start, we decided to head out to Black River, in search of more cheese.
Black River cheese is ever-present in the county – we had it at every restaurant we went to, and it was being sampled at many of the wineries we went to. I wanted to pick up some old white chedder, and ended up with some pepper jack and cheese curds as well. I think that brought our cheese purchase count to around 8. Eep!
Here’s where the adventure part comes in… J had seen some wineries listed out towards Long Point, so we drove allllll the way out there, only to find out that the one winery wasn’t even open yet (but on the wineries map, tsk tsk!). We drove that far, so we decided to try to make it all the way to the end of the point… which I think we did.
While there wasn’t much to do out this way, it was a lovely drive. We enjoyed the quiet drive, and hopped out when we got near the end. From there, we went to Milford to visit a couple more wineries — just a recommendation, don’t try to pop in to these on the off-season. We’ll have to visit again in the summer, when they’re sure to be open.
We did manage to hit Barley Days brewery one last time… I had been dreaming of the Cherry Porter, and decided that if it was open when we drove by I would get some. And I did (and I’m drinking one right now as I type this… mmmm Black Forest Cake beer).
We had but two spots left in our box, and only a few left on the map that we hadn’t hit yet. I won’t lie – Karlo Estates was absolutely FREEZING!! Their tasting room is in a really large barn that is being converted into galleries, and is currently only being heated by some propane heaters (see pic above). We enjoyed a nip of cheese as we tried different wines, and finally settled on a Frontenac Gris Rosé. This is strange for me, because I generally do not like rosé wine, but I was curious to try wine made from a ‘grey’ grape. I was surprised that I liked it, and decided to get a bottle to give it a real chance (when we’re not freezing). This spot is going to be incredible in the summer, so it’s on our list of places to return to.
Time for lunch. East & Main Bistro was another name that came up in almost every article I read about PEC, so I thought we should hit it up before we left town.
We were happy to see a variety of comfort food on the menu. I got an incredibly rich macaroni and cheese, made with – you guessed it – Black River cheddar. J got an insane wellington mushroom poutine, with cheese curds, and rabbit confit. Both dishes were amazing, and just what we needed. Sadly, I didn’t have room for dessert.
Just one winery left to hit – By Chadsey’s Cairns. This was a really neat spot, with a pioneer cemetery and a whole collection of barns that looked like a little village. If you’re wondering what a ‘chadsey’s cairn’ is, you can read about it in the history section of the winery’s website. While you’re at it, take a look at the ‘wine politics‘ page – it offers a really interesting (and reasonable) viewpoint on grape growing, wine making, and more.
That’s about it for our weekend getaway. We finally made it up to the PEC, and it was everything we were looking for. The food and drink were great, the people were friendly, the accommodations were comfortable and I don’t think I heard a siren once!
I think we’ll be going back…