Having traveled the lighthouse route from Halifax, there had been plenty to see and do and lots to eat and drink too. I was quite surprised by the quality of national wines available in Canada, and had never until now realised it was such a big producer of the product. So I would like to tell you about the next most notable place that left a culinary impression on me which was Luckett Vineyards located in Wolfville. Recommended by our wonderful B&B hosts at the Seafaring Maiden in Granville Ferry near Annapolis Royal, who were also great cooks themselves providing us with a different delicious homemade breakfast every morning.
Driving through the valley on our way up to Cape Breton we drove up the hill to an impressive scenic view of the land below. Coming up for Thanks Giving there were gorgeous displays of Pumpkins and flowers at the entrance of the shop and restaurant. We sat down in the open air section of the dining area, with a stunning view of the vineyard with the signature British red telephone box sat right in the middle. It is said that you can dial to anywhere in North America for free from this phone box which I thought was quite cool.
Settling down for lunch taking in the views of the farmland and the coastline cliffs in the distance, my husband opted for the manly roast beef and blue cheese panini with a side of curried cauliflower chowder, while I enjoyed a delightful selection of premium cheese, fresh fruit and preserves served with posh crackers all accompanied by a delicious glass of Phone Box Red wine. The quality of the food here was top notch, and utterly delicious. Service was of course to a high standard as one would expect in a restaurant of this caliber. Attentive without over fussing and well paced.
While we ate we saw one of the local bus tours come in to sample some of the wine and walk round the vineyard. I felt sorry for them because they had what seemed like a mere fleeting moment to take in this fantastic place and certainly didn’t have time to stop for a delicious lunch.
Wine tasting courses are available, tours, private dining in the Barrel Cellar and course there is shopping where you can take home as much of their delicious wine as you can afford! We did of course buy a bottle of the Phone Box Red wine to have later that evening and I just had to pick up one of their organic apples which they had for sale in a basket. It was the most juicy and fresh tasting apples I think I have ever eaten.
The vineyard has been awarded in the Canadian Best Wines of 2012 with a silver and two bronze wine winners. Their wine can be purchased at the Wolfville farmers market in addition to their shop on site. If you would like to learn more about Luckett Vineyards check our their website: www.luckettvineyards.com
I first came across their Phone Box Red wine in a restaurant in Lunenburg, I was truly glad that we were able to visit the source of this wonderful wine. With no “Canada” section on the supermarket wine aisle I had previously been quite ignorant of the country’s produce. Having done a little research I have learned that Canada has only been producing wine seriously since the 1970’s with wholesale quality changes taking place in the late 1980’s and the market opening up to the US in 1988. Many vineyards are still experimenting with different varieties of grape to see what will grow, and with around 50% of wine sales taking place at the farm gate they have to produce a wide variety of wines to satisfy differing tastes. I have also learned a little too late that Canadian wineries had been a feature at a trade and press tasting earlier this year in May. Hopefully they were well received and will begin to make a feature in our off licence retailers and restaurants. I really feel like we Europeans are missing out big time.