Sunny fall day – check.
Group of enthusiastic friends – check.
Road trip to Twenty Valley – check.
Food Trucks and Wine Country – double-check!!
It has been a yearly tradition to take a jaunt out to Ontario wine country in the fall. The leaves on the trees are shedding
their summer green, the air is crisp and the vines are dripping with a promise of delicious wines to fill our glasses. This year’s trip however
came with an extra bonus in the form of a plethora of food trucks set up at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery in Jordan. The event, coordinated in celebration
of harvest time, was called – Food Trucks Eat: Twenty Valley and it combined the best of food trucks, a group of feature wineries and a live jazz band.
What a glorious way to spend an autumn afternoon.
Our day started with a visit to Malivoire where we sampled a variety of wines including their; Old Vine Foch, a Musqué Spritz
(an interesting, effervescent white) and then, we were fortunate to taste a superb Gewürztraminer Icewine. The tasting room was very cosy with
a large chalk board at the entrance for guest comments and drawings, shelves filled with Malivoire wines sporting their signature “ladybug” on the labels and a stunning
iron chandelier in the form of twiggy, willow like branches.
Parked outside the entrance to Malivoire was a mobile cheesemonger aptly called The Cheesy Guys. What a treat to be able to
sample and purchase creative, local artisanal cheese – Mango, Carmelized Onion, or Chocolate cheese anyone? Decadent goodness and well worth a taste.
Next stop – food truck heaven!
We arrived at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery around noon , just when things started to get roll’in and we were pleasantly greeted at the entrance. Admission was free to the event but if your wanted
to buy wine to go with your food choices, then you could purchase a tasting glass for $3.00 – which you did get to keep.
As we walked around, we soon realized that it wasn’t going to be easy to choose what we’d be having for lunch.
Toasted ravioli, no problem – the Rome’n Chariot had that covered. Lobster Rolls , octopus or shrimp tacos – Buster’s Sea Cove offered that.
Oysters and more lobster rolls – Tide and Vine was worth a visit or how about savory and sweet pies at Itty Bitty Pie? Now, if you were in the mood for gourmet grilled cheese –
guess what – the griddle was hot at Gorilla Cheese. Where else could you get the Gorilla Sarducci – Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Red Onions, Fresh Basil, Balsamic Glaze on Multigrain?
After dividing and conquering, we all congregated at a comfortable table in the covered barn area where the jazz band was setting up.
It was interesting to see what everyone in the group had chosen. The variety of food was incredible and it all came out of those glorious food trucks!
There were grilled cheese sandwiches, fish and chips, gourmet squash soup, cumin scented carrot salad, jicima salad and of course, I couldn’t resist those fresh oysters and shrimp tacos.
For wine, I decided to try a tasty Riesling from 13th Street Winery – a perfect pairing.
As we all sat together and talked and laughed and appreciated how lucky we were to live so close to wine country, the band played an
appropriate version of “Heaven, I’m in Heaven….” I couldn’t help but think that it was a perfect moment.
When our food truck lunches were devoured and our wine glasses empty and the band left for a break;
we headed back out to the valley for our last stop of the day – Daniel Lenko Estate Winery.
This is a very unassuming winery located off King St. in Beamsville – blink and you’ll miss it.
But don’t let appearances fool you, the winery is owned by Daniel Lenko, a third generation grape grower that produces award-winning wines.
We’ve visited this winery many times over the years and have been more than pleased with their selection.
The tasting room is in the family kitchen of a small house on the side of the road.
It’s rustic, quaint, dated and this time under some renovation but again,
the wine speaks for itself. We asked Daniel what the term Meritage meant as we sampled one of his reds.
He told us not to pronounce it like a french word, it isn’t one – he then explained that the term was coined in California
and represented a “bordeaux” style wine, however we are not able to call it that here.
I suppose it’s similar to not being able to call sparkling wine “champagne” because we are not in that region.
Regardless, Ontario wine country can hold its own and can
be proud of its many unique wineries and wine makers and then add to that those outstanding food trucks and you’ve got the perfect fall road trip!
I wonder what’s in store for us next time?
© 2013 Ann Ivy Male