It's Maple in the County time with major activities for the weekend of March 23 -24.
The biblical promised land was described as a land flowing with milk and honey. This weekend, Prince Edward County, which is widely seen as a little bit of heaven, is flowing with wine and maple syrup and it's a great weekend for a wine tour.
Although maple syrup and wine don't seem to be a perfect pairing, when the sap starts running, the vineyards start to wake from their winter dormancy. Most vineyards move to Friday - Monday hours, although the larger ones are open every day. Vineyard workers are starting to prune the hardy North American vines, and in a month the hilled European vinifera will emerge from their mounded earthen blankets to greet a new vintage year.
The anticipation is sweet and so are the treats awaiting the early wine tourists.
There is so much going on it will take more than one column. This one is for the Hillier to Wellington area.
Across the road Hillier Creek have a selection of local maple products for sale and are offering maple cheddar appetizers.
The family at\Stanners vineyard in Hillier are toasting their new releases around a bonfire with marshmallows and Dorothy's maple sugar pie. They are also giving away seeds for spring planting.
Norman Hardie is serving up his 2009 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs with cold smoked salmon gravlox cured in Mike Fosters' fresh tapped maple syrup.
Sandbanks Estate are offering maple infused mulled wine and maple syrup pie to pair with their Winter Harvest wine. Tastings and samples are complimentary.
Keint-he are letting you select from their portfolio of wines to pair with crostini with chorizo, maple mustard, grated maple cheddar, maple almond butter, and maple bacon almonds.
Karlo Estates are also offering pairings with their portfolio of wines. Chef Van Horne of the Regent Cafe will be serving up white bean, maple and walnut pate on Red Fife crostini, dark chocolate maple and date truffles, and maple and tamarind spiced nuts.
A deliciously sticky weekend in the County - don't miss it.
Visit Veronica Leonard's website www.thewinetourist.wordpress.com for a compilation of her favourite wine touring blogs, columns and articles or follow her on Twitter @travelprose