Prince Edward County Lavender: Sweet smelling lavender
This lavender farm in Prince Edward County, to the west of Picton grows many varieties of lavender. There is also a boutique on site with hand crafted lavender products, body care products, culinary products, herbal teas, essential oil and of course plants. There are also local crafts and decorative products to buy.
You can also take a walk in the fields to see the lavender. When we were there we could also see the hives used to make lavender honey as well as a demonstrations on distilling lavender for the essential oils.
Copper Kettle Chocolate Company: For the sweet tooth
The Copper Kettle Chocolate Co. is a small store specializing in one thing only - chocolate. They have a wide selection of various chocolates, plain or added with flavours, anything from classic almonds to chipotle pepper. The owner is quite passionate about her craft and will give you good recommendations to help you chose. She also has a few samples to try.
What to buy: One item in particular that I would recommend is what is referred to as a shot. It ressembles a truffle but inside the chocolate is some local wine. As the owner reminded us, you must eat this in one bite or risk having to clean your shirt. The ones we tried were very good and interesting combination of flavour.
What to pay: The shots were 2$ while the bars (or bark) ranged from 7 to 12$ for a package of 4.
- Food and Dining
The Black River Cheese Company: Fine craft cheese
The cheese factory was started in 1901 by local farmers and it continues to make delicious craft cheeses. Their mild cheddar was named the best mild cheddar in Canada in 2011.
There are also gifts, fruit, baked goods and ice cream for sale in the shop.
What to buy: Cheese. As previously mentioned, the mild cheddar is excellent and they also make a maple cheddar, with just a tiny hint of maple flavour. Highly recommended!
What to pay: Depends on the type and quantity but is in line with regular cheese prices
- Road Trip
66 Gilead Distillery: Boutique Distillery
This is a very unique establishment as the major international conglomerates "own" the market for spirits.
This is a small craft distillery and certainly the only one in the area, as independent distilleries are almost non-existant in Ontario.
Currently they offer four types of spirts; a traditional gin, a vodka made from rye, a vodka made from wheat and a pine-flavoured vodka (really pine gin, but it can't be legally called a gin, as true gin is flavoured with another evergreen, juniper).
They are also working on both a Canadian style whisky, a bourbon style whisky and a rum. They anticipate that they will be ready for consumption in late 2012 or early 2013.
These spirits are made with a traditional copper still that does not remove all flavours, like the continuous flow processes from the major distillers.
There is also a cooperage on site, where a cooper makes barrels for the distillery and the local wineries. The cooper also turns out furniture using staves.
What to buy: Spirits with flavour! They also produce a tonic concentrate made the traditional way, by boiling the bark of the Cinchona tree,
What to pay: $45 a 750ml bottle of spirits. Tasting of $5 for all four of the spirits that are made here.
- Road Trip
Huff Estates Winery: A larger winery in Prince Edward County
A good sized wine shop with numerous wines on offer. Some are from local grapes, but others are brought in from the Niagara Region. There is also a very nice high-end art shop as well as a hotel on the premises.
What to buy: Wines - reds, whites, sparkling as well as high-end art
What to pay: $18 - $34 per bottle. Tastings are inexpensive - $1.00 for two tastings
- Road Trip
Lift Haus Winery: A boutique winery
One of around thirty small and boutique wineries in Prince Edward County. With just a few acres of grapes under cultivation, this is probably the only place where you can buy these lovely wines. The reds are the "big reds" I love having during the cold winter months.
This is run by the same family that runs the Cornelius White B&B in Bloomfield, a 10 or 15 minute drive away.
What to buy: WInes. The limestone soil is similar to what is found in the Burgundy area of France. Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc are their best wines; the 2010 and 2011 vintages are wonderful!
Tastings are not free, a couple of dollars for a tasting glass.
What to pay: $20 - $25 per bottle
- Road Trip
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