Today dawned a beautiful sunny morning after a rainy and windy evening and overnight at the Stonehame Chalets in Pictou County NS. From a vantage point of 800 feet, the view from this location, especially on such a morning, is simply outstanding. A great swath of Pictou County, including Pictou Island, is visible with PEI off in the distance.
We left the main highway at Masstown for a Fundy Shore visit to Parrsboro and environs. It has been a while. We had, perhaps, forgotten just how pretty this area is - with stunning views out across the bay in front and a backdrop of tree covered hills.
There's a great deal of local anticipation about the upcoming Bay of Fundy positioning in the new seven wonders of the world vote.
We lunched at Diane's restaurant in Five Islands and admired the view from perhaps one if the most scenic campsites we'd seen to date. The steamed and fried clams and lightly battered flounder sure hit the spot.
Then onward through Pleasant Valley to the Noel Shore side of Minas Basin and to Grand Pre and more awesome views with the Domaine de Grande Pre vineyard in foreground. We discovered from a delighted winery owner, Hanspeter Stutuz, that the onsite restaurant, Le Caveau, has just been named by Wine Access Aug/Sept 2011 magazine as one of the TOP 20 VIneyard restaurants - in the world. That's pretty impressive among seriously tough competition.
A thoroughly pleasant evening followed in the company of judges and wine media folks participating in the Canadian Wine Awards (hosted in Nova Scotia this year) from across Canada and local winemakers and partners. We were delighted to meet Stewart Creaser of Avondale Sky winery which is opening soon in Newport Landing near Windsor, NS. (You may recall the news item about the winery moving a whole church building clean across the Bay of Fundy for use as a main building. We got the full story from Stewart. Given the acute timing required to accommodate the tides, it was quite a feat.
Chris and Peggy Hawes of Bear River Winery were there and, of course, Hans Christian Jost.
Hanspeter and Jurg Stutz played host (and daughter Beatrice and her partner, talented Chef Jason Lynch, who run the restaurant, laid on an impressive meal accompanied by a superb selection of local wines). We were struck by the obvious friendships and mutual respect that clearly exist among our local winemakers.
In the morning we're bound for the Annapolis Royal, Bear River, Meteghan, Pubnico and the Lunenburg/Mahone Bay areas to (finally) round out this oddysey.