Interlaced arts, wine and culinary trails wrap the bounty of the county in epicurean adventure. Breweries, cideries and more than 35 wineries flow from breeze-kissed farmland to Sahara-like sand dunes. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the quintessential grapes. The fruit of Trail Estate Winery envelopes the nose and palate with the fresh aromatics of ripe cherries, a touch of oak and minerality from the Pinot; and a Chardonnay with a butter and vanilla nose, and apple and light toasty notes. Specializing in sparkling, the fine bubbles of Hinterland effuse a soft and creamy mouthfeel with the apple, pear and bread-y notes of Les Etoiles, fresh berries of Borealis and tropical fruit of Whitecap. Dodge chickens in the yard at Kinsip House of Fine Spirits to sample a range of botanical and herbaceous spirits like juniper gin and pine vodka. Shall we select maple whisky or whisky barrel-aged maple syrup? The display of bitters from chili espresso to hop and sumac is unparalleled.
Overlooking the river at The Mill, chef Sebastien Schwab elicits the purity of each and every ingredient. His “of the moment” meats and fish are superlative, but his spicy barbeque pulled jackfruit is a vegetarian dream. Seasonal menus keep the attention on Seedlings for local striploin with miso sweet potato, and inventive dishes like noisette spaghetti squash with brie and fennel pollen.
A flourishing community of artists and enthusiasts includes the artist residency at Spark Box Studio, Studio Barn workshops in woodworking, sewing and painting, the Baxter Art Centre’s life drawing for adults and portraiture for children and functional pottery workshops at Mena Dragonfly Studio. Handcrafted blown glass sculptures are on display at Armstrong Glassworks, while the adjacent studio enables a hypnotic viewing of glass-blowing demonstrations. Andrew Csafordi Studio Gallery is becoming an iconic destination for its serenity and encaustic painting gallery and workshops. The most passionate and eclectic contemporary modern art collection of extraordinary colour and vibrancy is at Sybil Frank. The culture of The County is found in its food, wine and art from the heart.