Fellow OVM Erin and I spent this past weekend in Toronto attending Blissdom Canada 2012 (unfortunately the other ladies weren’t able to join us….we missed you!!). We are both going to write more about the conference later this week, but I wanted to share with you what we did for our Sunday Excursion. We were all given choices of what we wanted to do, and once we saw the list it was a no-brainer……WINE COUNTRY!!! So after a very late night of dancing & karaoke at the Blissdom Costume party we boarded Bus #1 very early, coffee in hand and off we went to Wine Country with fellow bloggers.
Our first stop was Flat Rock Cellars. After taking in the scenery and snapping a few pictures we made our way into the ‘Cellar Door’ where we were greeted by Ed (the president of Flat Rock) and glasses of their sparkling wine…..I could already tell this was going to be a great morning – it wasn’t even 10am Ed began to share with us what the most important elements are when it comes to making wine; climate and soil. Right from the beginning it was obvious that this was more than a business to Ed…..it was his passion! Who knew that speaking about dirt could be so interesting, but it honestly was…..I’m not just saying that. He went on to say that what tastes good to one person may not be so good for someone else and it all has to do with our tastebuds, as like anything else that makes us individuals. New-ish to love of wine (I’ve only been drinking it for the past 5 years) was very refreshing to me as I always thought there was something wrong when I didn’t feel the same way about a wine that was ‘simply amazing’ and just couldn’t understand why I didn’t love it. After some picture taking we made our way outside where we got to try some more wine! This time it was a Reisling from the Nadja’s Vineyard section of the property and learned more about how they grow, harvest and ensure they get the best grapes they can get (everything is done by hand!) Oh, and of course this wine was good too. We then went to explore where they store the oak barrels and of course sample more wine; one was a Pinot Noir (and to be honest it would convince me to drink more red wine….I tend to gravitate to white) and the other one was from this year’s harvest, straight from the barrel which I thought was pretty cool. We made our way back to the gift shop where Ed invited us to try more wine (I did NOT pass this up!) and answered any questions we had. Education was not just a one-way street that morning, Ed was getting a lesson on what a great tool Twitter is and later that day sent out 2 tweets in one day! After a group photo with Ed we boarded the bus and made our way to the next vineyard……Good Earth Food and Wine Co.
As we drove down the laneway we could see all the grapevine rows, and drove up to this cute country building all decorated for the fall. The first thing I noticed was a big fork sticking up out of the ground…yup a fork….a foreshadowing of the country decor of the inside. As we entered the cute country building the smell was overpowering with delcious-ness! We made our way to the back patio where we were greeted and took our seats; Nicolette, our hostess shared with us all that Good Earth offers including cooking classes (I SO want to come back here and take a class!!) – to them wine is a food group – and the history of the vineyard. Nicolette couldn’t stay long as she had to head over to the cooking class, but throughout lunch we got to meet the great people that make Good Earth good! Andréa the Winemaker, Executive Chef Michael and Kara, the Official Wine Wench. We started off with their ‘Sip and Savour’ where we sampled 3 of their wines along with 3 bites designed by Chef Michael to complement the wines; my favourite had to be the Rosé (or the panty remover as Kara told us they called it) and I’m now regretting that I didn’t get a bottle of it (and so is my husband after I told him what they call it haha). We then enjoyed a lunch that consisted of a Potato Leek soup, a choice of pork tenderloin or fish main dish (the lobster sauce was out of this world!!!!) and then a yummy dessert that included carmalized apples. Of course wine was served at lunch, which for me was the Chardonay. With full bellies and our fill of amazing wine we boarded the bus and made our way back to Toronto.
Prior to this wine tour I had been on one before with 2 of my good friends when we spent a long weekend in San Francisco last year, in the famous Sonoma & Napa Valley. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour but after this tour in Ontario Wine Country I realized we don’t have to go too far to get amazing wine…..it really is in our backyard! The one common thread at Flat Rock Cellars and The Good Earth was their genuine love and passion for what they do and their willingness to share it with others. I would definitely recommend both of these places to family and friends and will be planning another trip to Ontario Wine Country soon!
Here are a few of my favourite pictures I took from this amazing day!