Annapolis Valley Food & Wine Tour
Annapolis Valley Food & Wine Tour
Foodies will revel in the bounty of culinary experiences the Annapolis Valley has to offer. As Canada’s up-and-coming wine destination, you can tour the 11 established wineries/vineyards and sample unique varietals like Marechal Foch and L’Acadie Blanc. An exploration of Annapolis Valley farmers’ markets is a must, and at the many u-picks in the region, you’ll discover first hand the inspiration for much of the region’s delicious local cuisine.
Dill Family Farm
Named for the late Howard Dill, who pioneered “Dill’s Atlantic Giant” pumpkin variety, this family farm has produced world-record-breaking pumpkins weighing up to 1,818 lbs. Stroll through the immaculately–maintained pumpkin patch, visit the seed centre, and take home a souvenir. Don’t forget to make your way to Long Pond, the birthplace of hockey. If you’re lucky enough to be in Windsor in the fall, the Annual Pumpkin Regatta, where giant pumpkins are hollowed out, painted and piloted across a lake, is a must-see.
Nestled in the enchanting Gaspereau Valley, Luckett Vineyards takes advantage of a fertile terroir to produce its award-winning wines. Sip a silky Muscat as you drink in the stunning views overlooking the Minas Basin and Blomidon. Make a free phone call to any place in North America in the iconic British phone booth that sits mid-vineyard. Be sure to indulge in a meal in the impressive Barrel Cellar.
As the province’s premier producer of traditional sparkling Nova Scotia wines, and the only certified organic winery, L’Acadie Vineyards is truly something special. It is celebrated as a leader for employing green features throughout the wine making process. Take an enlightening winery tour and then relax in the tasting bar overlooking the Gaspereau Valley. Tastings are a complimentary feature of the tour.
The first winery to establish itself in the Annapolis Valley, Gaspereau Vineyards is a premium boutique winery situated on the edge of a picturesque, 35-acre vineyard. Specializing in fruit-forward, terroir-driven white whites, and earthy, robust red wines, the vineyard strives to produce uniquely Nova Scotian wines that remain true to their variety.
Just Us! Coffee Roastery
Just Us! Coffee Roastery is a fair-trade coffee roaster located in Grand Pré. With coffee shops located across the province, this location is the hub of the business, housing the Roastery and Chocolate Workshop. Dedicated to the craft of artisan roasting, Just Us! is driven by a passion to bring out the best possible aromas, flavours, and body in each coffee they source. It’s also the home of Canada’s first and only Fair Trade Museum where visitors can learn about coffee from the farmers’ point of view through interactive displays, games, and videos.
Visit the Tangled Garden, where herbs and fruit are transformed into jewel-like jellies and flavourful liqueurs. Enjoy a lavender or rose petal ice cream as you take a stroll through the three-acre herb and sculpture garden. Take a meditative walk through the onsite labyrinth and don’t forget to stop by the gift shop where you’ll discover a fine selection of gourmet, hand-crafted cordials, jams, vinegars, and honey.
Domaine de Grand Pré
Nova Scotia’s first operating winery, Domaine de Grand Pré offers award-winning wines amongst cobblestone courtyards and beautiful gardens. Visit the Grand Pré estate for a boutique wine tour, where you can amble through row upon row of grapevines. Sip a glass of Vintner’s Reserve L’Acadie as you dine at the celebrated Le Caveau Restaurant, or relax on the pergola.
Wolfville Farmers' Market
At the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, everything is grown, harvested, or made by the vendors themselves. Open year-round, this bustling market is overflowing with music, artisan crafts, and of course fresh local food. You’ll meet the farmers who tend the land and the local chefs who bring all the ingredients together to work their magic.
Bruce Dienes © 2013.
The Port Pub & Bistro
The Port Pub & Bistro is a gastropub in the heart of Port Williams. Serving pub-style food with a gourmet twist, the restaurant concentrates on creatively presented local foods with a moderate price range. With a view of the Cornwallis River and the Acadian dykelands, the pub is an ideal place to sit back, enjoy some fine food, and sip a local brew from the onsite microbrewery.
Prescott House Museum
Horticulturalist Charles Prescott was an important figure in the development of Nova Scotia’s apple industry and also helped form the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association. This National and Provincial Historic Site allows visitors to chance to see how rural gentry lived in the mid-1800s. Set near the dykelands that surround Port Williams, the views and onsite gardens are worth stopping for all on their own.
Fox Hill Cheese House
Also located in Port Williams, Fox Hill Cheese House crafts over 20 varieties of cheeses, natural yogurt, and non-homogenized whole milk. All their milk is sourced from their own herd of Holstein cows. You can watch the cheese-making process from the viewing window, savour complimentary product samples, and take in the panoramic view from the timber-frame deck. Interpretive panels provide visitors with the history of Fox Hill as well as the dairy industry at large. Be sure to try the gelato or the fresh chocolate milk.
Deborah Nicholson 2013 (Photo Credit)
Planters Ridge Winery
The vineyard and winery are located on the site of the Woodworth family farm which is part of an original land grant offered to the New England Planter family in 1760 by the Lieutenant Governor after the Acadian expulsion. Today, the winery is housed in a renovated 150 year old barn and the vineyard is planted on the sandy-clay slopes of a ridge overlooking the Union Dyke and the Wellington Dyke, with views of the Minas Basin at high tide.
Blomidon Estate Winery
Visit Blomidon Estate Winery, situated in a scenic, 10-hectare setting on the edge of the Minas Basin. Indulge in a wine tasting, stroll through the vineyard, or relax with some wine and cheese on the patio. Before you leave, stop by the onsite wine shop to pick up one of their award-winning vintages to take home.
Halls Harbour Lobster Pound
Located in an authentic fishing village, The Halls Harbour Lobster Pound provides a unique Nova Scotian experience. Walk along the harbourfront boardwalk and explore the pound’s buildings, complete with educational interpretive panels. When it comes time for the main event, simply choose your lobster from the live tank, relax while they cook it, and then settle in for a feast of the world’s best lobster. You can eat in the dining room or atop the very dock the lobster arrived on. Time your visit just right to experience low tide on the Bay of Fundy.
Dempsey Corner Orchards
Dempsey Corner Orchards boasts 57 varieties of apples, 15 of which are over a 100 years old and virtually extinct from modern agriculture. Roll up your sleeves and become a farmer yourself on the guided u-pick tours. Sample chutneys and vinegars in the century-old barn, or learn to craft your own basket. After taking the children to the nearby petting zoo and playground, stop by Tea Room for some Mile High Apple Pie!