Aimed at creating a truly unique experience for Islanders and tourists alike, five local beverage producers have joined together to establish a trail guiding guests to their facilities throughout Queens County. The “5/15 Fermentation Trail” highlights producers of mead, wine, cider, beer and spirits. Each location is within a 15 minute drive from another producer on the trail that stretches from Wheatley River to Riverdale.
At the top of the trail is Island Honey Wine Company, located on Millboro Road in scenic Wheatley River. On their farm that is home to various free-range animals, Charles and Laura Lipnicki grow haskap berries, lavender and a few other crops. They also produce a variety of award winning honey wine, known as mead, on site featuring their farm ingredients. If guests time it right they can enjoy a farm tour and a ride on the Meadmobile to take in the full experience that the Lipnickis have created on their picturesque farm.
Further into the trail sits Deep Roots Distillery. Located in Warren Grove on Route 248, Deep Roots Distillery was started by Mike and Carol Beamish and they focus on creating unique hand crafted spirits that aim to create an authentic PEI experience, a few of which have gone on to win a National Award, such as their Absinthe and Island Tide Liquor. They also have Gin and Vodka that can make the perfect PEI inspired cocktails. They have a few recipes published on their website.
Further down the trail in Cornwall is Village Green, PEI’s newest and smallest brewery. Owned and operated by brewer and Certified Cicerone, Bryan Carver (also the author of this article), Village Green makes small batches of beer that change on a regular basis. From hoppy IPAs to English influenced pub ales and Saisons paying tribute to Belgian brewing traditions. Enjoy a pint in the taproom or sit out on the patio to enjoy the summer sun. Be sure to grab a few cans when leaving, they tend to sell out quickly, so scoop up your favourites.
A short drive from Cornwall, perched on a sunny hill in St. Catherines is Matos Winery. Jim and Heather Matos started establishing their vineyard in 2008, with the winery officially opening in 2011. In the beautiful vineyard, the Matos family grows Gamay Noir and Chardonnay grapes that they harvest in the fall to make their award winning wines. Be sure to have a taste of the wines and unique spirits they produce on site. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to grab a bag of table grapes to snack on too.
Not far from the winery, Riverdale Orchard has their cider barn and orchard looking out over beautiful rolling hills. Here Anne and Alex Jamieson grow apples and create award winning Ciders, while highlighting the love of their home country of Scotland. Hopefully you’re hungry when you arrive, as Anne is an exceptional Chef. Grab a cider in the newly renovated tap room and if you’re lucky, you might even be able to get one of Anne’s exceptional Scotch Pies or delightful Oat Biscuits.
The “5/15 Fermentation Trail” has something for anyone that enjoys a drink, while highlighting the exceptional products that independent producers are making on PEI.