There are times when we plan our visits to wine country well in advance - carefully researching the wineries we hope to visit, the wines we wish to sample, and the places to go for a hike, food, or to shop. Other times we wake up and just head out. A few weeks ago we had just that sort of visit.
This visit started when I read a tweet from one of our favourite food trucks stating that they would be at Dillons distillery for Sunday brunch withthree other food trucks. Hmmm - I had wanted to visit Dillons for some time.
Then I received an e-mail from one of our most visited wineries which we had rather ignored of late because there were just too many wineries to go to. Malivoire had a new release that they were celebrating AND the Cheesy Guys food truck was to be parked there. This food truck is reputed to have Canada's best grilled cheese sandwich.
Our day was set!
Malivoire was out first stop. They have really focused on the tasting room doubling the space and including a few interactive aspects to add to the experience. We tasted the new releases and bought a case to bring home.
The Cheesy Guys were set up outside.
On that day they were featuring two grilled paninis. Since we had heard so much about their grilled cheese made with a cheese blend and served with their house-made salsa ketchup we had that.
After gorging on gooey, melted cheese encased in crisp, buttered bread we hopped back into the car and headed to Dillon's (because we needed to eat more . . .)
Dillon's is a new addition to the Niagara wine country. Geoff Dillon (with degrees in biochemistry and economics), along with his father, Dr. Peter Dillon (a professor at Trent University who specializes in biogeochemistry), opened the doors to Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers in 2012. Using the bounty of natural botanicals, herbs and fruit sourced from Niagara, the distillery is focused squarely on small-batch spirits, hand-crafted at the production facility shared with Angels Gate Winery.
The grape-based spirit provides the base for the various distilled products, including Dillon’s Small Batch White Rye (with a delightful nose of rye, minerals and a touch of citrus); the Small Batch Gin (a mellow and smooth elixir with notes of juniper, herbs, tonic and spice) and a line of bitters all made with a mixture of fresh botanicals.
When we got to Dillon's the parking lot was full and there were groups of people standing around munching on food. We made a beeline to our favourite food truck - the Gastronomo Vagabundo. Unfortunately they were not serving their famous fish tacos and we selling out of many things already.
We ordered the corn fritters and salmon kibbeh rissole even though we didn't have a clue what that was. *smile* When the food was ready we took possession of an upturned wine barrel and munched on the amazing food.
After we had eaten we noticed the menu of the Tide and Vine truck. We had thought they only served oysters but realised that they also had lobster rolls, scallop and Niagara peach skewers, and watermelon gazpacho with crab salad. Shoot - so much to eat and so little time.
There was also a women selling 'adult' popsicles made with local fruit and spirits.
The folks from Dillon's had created specialty coctails for the day and were serving them up to happy people. I would have indulged but was worried about driving afterwards!
I see many cocktail experiments in our future . . .