Celebrating the Harvest on Ontario’s West Coast

Celebrating the Harvest on Ontario’s West Coast

Celebrating the Harvest on Ontario’s West Coast

Huron County is the most agriculturally productive region in Ontario so fall around here means harvest season. We invite you to plan a trip to enjoy our breathtaking fall colours and the abundance of fresh produce grown on Ontario’s West Coast.  

Apple Orchards

How do you like them apples?

Visit an apple orchard for some fresh, crisp apples and delicious cider. Maitside Orchard near Brussels grows 20 varieties of apples, pears and peaches and are famous for their fresh cider. Their “Play and Learn” Center, open Saturday afternoons in September and October, offers plenty of family fun activities.

Location: 23 Orchard Line, Brussels, ON

Blake’s Apple Orchard, also near Brussels, has been growing apples since 1949. They offer 10 varieties of apples, whether pick-your-own or fresh picked in store, as well as cider, apple butter and honey.

Location: 42933 St Michaels Road, Brussels, ON

In early October, Meeting Place Organic Farm offers certified organic Spy apples, an heirloom apple with a sweet/tart flavour. Fans of apple butter will want to pick up a few homemade jars that pairs well with cheese and roasted meats.

Location: 86016 Creek Line, RR 1 Lucknow, ON

Fresh from the Farm

Finding local, fresh and delicious food doesn’t get any easier than in Huron County, especially during the fall harvest season. Fergusson Apiaries offers different varieties of 100% unpasteurized Ontario honey, and related products in their on-site store. Their honey and beeswax products are still made in small consistent batches on the premises to provide the very best quality.
Location: 39006 Zurich-Hensall Road #84, Hensall, ON

The Garlic Box Products

Garlic lovers and home chefs should not miss The Garlic Box, Canada’s premier food manufacturer using Ontario grown garlic. A family-run business, The Garlic Box processes more than 40,000 lbs. of fresh garlic per year into innovative products.
Location: 54 London Road, Highway #4, Hensall, ON

Metzger Meat Products offers delicious specialty meats sourced from locally trusted farms, employing traditional European preparation methods. They pride themselves on producing healthy products and traditionally-smoked German delights. Their pepperettes and side bacon are world-class and must-try items on any visit.

Location: 180 Brock Avenue, Hensall, ON

Pick up a fresh or frozen turkey for your holiday meal at Hayter’s Farm, a family-owned turkey farm where three generations have taken a hands-on approach to raising wholesome, great-tasting turkey.

Location: 37467 Dashwood Road #83, Dashwood, ON

Masse Fruits and Vegetables

If ham or pork is more of a family tradition during the holidays, check out The Whole Pig, a third-generation family farm that takes pride in assuring the highest quality pork. The Whole Pig carries over 100 high-quality pork products that are delicious, nutritious, and crowd-pleasing favourites.

Location: 37871 Dashwood Road #83, Dashwood, ON

Blyth Farm Cheese is a small, family business near the historical village of Blyth. They make several great varieties of Gouda-style goat cheese on site, including Golden Blyth, Blyth Nettle and Blyth’s Drunken Goat – made with wine.

Location: 82521 Allboro Line, Blyth, ON

Harvest Canned Goods

If you want to find all of your late fall produce in one stop, consider a visit to Masse Fruits and Vegetables. Open until November 1, they are proud growers of Everbearing strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, beans, peas, squash, pumpkins, and more.

Location: 35291 Zurich-Hensall Road #84, St Joseph, ON

 Find fresh produce as well as prepared foods at Jerry Rader Homestyle Market & Catering. Their retail market offers a variety of fresh salads and meats in the deli, frozen entrees and baked goods.

Location: 38110 Zurich-Hensall Road #84, Zurich, ON

Finally, stop in at Zehrs Country Market to find something for everyone. From home-style baked goods to locally-raised meats, apples from their own orchard and fresh seasonal vegetables.

Location: 75073 Bluewater Highway #21, Bayfield, ON

Huron County: Ontario’s Newest Craft Beer and Wine Destination

Huron County: Ontario’s Newest Craft Beer and Wine Destination

Huron County: Ontario’s Newest Craft Beer and Wine Destination

Ontario’s West Coast has quickly emerged as one of Ontario’s newest craft beer and wine regions. You’ll find farm-to-table beer and wine as well as crisp ciders, IPAs, sour ales, dark stouts, and every flavour and colour combination in between.  

Huron County offers two distinct wine and beer road trips. The Coastline Tour visits wineries and breweries located along the scenic shoreline of Lake Huron and the Countryside Tour visits those located within the picturesque rural landscapes. We understand that choices can be hard, so we highly recommend you make it easy for yourself and plan to spend at least a couple of days exploring the beer and wine treasures located throughout the countryside and coastline of Ontario’s West Coast.

Coastline Tour

Travelling from Grand Bend to Goderich, this route covers 50 km of magnificent Lake Huron shoreline staying primarily on Bluewater Highway #21.

Start your road trip at Dark Horse Estate Winery, an impressive vineyard and 31,000 sq. ft. manor including a tasting room, production facility, barrel cellar, ballroom, VIP lounge, and patio spaces. A family-owned and operated winery that brings a unique essence to every bottle of wine and a memorable experience to every visitor.

Location: 70665 B Line, Grand Bend, ON   

Continue travelling north on Bluewater Highway through the former French-Canadian settlement of St. Joseph. The Historical Park tells the unique and surprising history of today’s tiny, modest village.

Just past St. Joseph is Hessenland Inn and Schatz Winery, offering wine tastings of their new vintages in unique outdoor and indoor spaces. Hessenland’s location also boasts lovely accommodations, memorable dining experiences and expansive gardens and vineyards all in one location.

Location: 72981 Bluewater Highway #21, Zurich

Two minutes down the road is Bad Apple Brewing Company, a family-owned, family-run and family friendly craft brewery. Located in a renovated century barn, the brewery sits on a small orchard where they grow fresh produce that is used in many of their beer recipes.

Location: 73463 Bluewater Highway #21, Zurich, ON

Wine glasses

Continue north towards the next stop, Cornerfield Wine Co., a family-owned and operated boutique winery whose wines feature a blend of Huron County grown grapes.  Enjoy a tasting and share in the beauty of the vineyard.

Location: 74444 Bluewater Highway #21, Bayfield, ON

Your next stop is in the charming lakeside village of Bayfield, known for its heritage Main Street lined with galleries, boutique shops and casual fine-dining restaurants.

Located on picturesque Main Street, Bayfield Brewing Company & Public House is a brewery and brewpub with a passion for producing craft beer and craft food. Offering a selection of in-house beer on tap and food featuring many of Huron County’s own fresh ingredients.

Location: 14 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield, ON

Just north of Bayfield is River Road Brewing & Hops, a farm-based, sustainable brewery dedicated to providing delicious and quality crafted beers. The ingredients that go into making their beer are grown right on the farm giving a fresh taste like no other brewery in the area.

Location: 35449 Bayfield River Road, Bayfield, ON 

Continuing north on Orchard Line, you’ll reach Bayfield Berry Farm, Huron County’s newest winery and first distillery. Indulge in their field to finish creations of hard cider, fruit wines – apple, blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry and more – fruit Schnapps and wine coolers.

Location: 77697 Orchard Line, Bayfield, ON

Back on Bluewater Highway #21, continue north until you reach Goderich, the ‘Prettiest Town in Canada’. The town has a rich and colourful history, celebrated in its museums and destinations of historical interest.

Square Brew is your final stop. With a name inspired by the town’s octagonal core known as The Square, the brewery produces roughly 2000 litres of beer per week, meeting demand for their popular 1L Growlers.

Location: 430 Parsons Court, Goderich, ON

* Bonus Stop

East Street Cider in Goderich is a small urban craft cidery. Using 100% Ontario apples, they are focused on crafting authentic, easy-drinking cider with refreshing, pure taste that everyone can enjoy. .

Location: 130 East Street, Goderich, ON

Countryside

Countryside Tour

On this tour, enjoy a road trip that takes you through the agricultural heartland of Huron County through cultivated fields, crossing the Bayfield and Maitland Rivers and visiting the bygone era charm of Ontario’s West Coast’s towns and villages.

Starting in the Town of Exeter, the “Home of the White Squirrel”, Exeter boasts a historic downtown featuring heritage architecture and inviting retail shops.

Eddington’s of Exeter is a farm to table restaurant located in the original Carling (of beer fame) homestead. Local food is the driving force in Eddington’s kitchen along with a locally-sourced menu that changes seasonally.

Location: 527 Main Street S, Exeter, ON

Continue north on Provincial Highway #4 to Brucefield and turn left onto Mill Road/County Road #3. Follow Mill Road to the hamlet of Varna and then turn right onto Parr Line/County Road #31 to reach your next stop.

Stone House Brewing is a traditional craft brewery with a tap room and outdoor patio. Trained under a German Brewmaster, owner Mike Corrie’s first beer was a Czech Pilsner beer (the brewery’s flagship beer).

Location: 76050 Parr Line, Varna, ON

Continue north on Parr Line/County Road #33 until you reach the village of Holmesville. At Holmesville, turn left onto Provincial Highway #8 to find your next stop 5 km away.

The beautifully designed 2nd Streetlight Estate Winery was established when, after a three year search for the right location, the owners planted the five different vines of Cabernet Franc, Baco Noir, Vidal, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Location: 36594 Huron Road/Highway #8, Clinton, ON

Wine glasses

Continue west on Highway #8 and turn right onto Benmiller Line/County Road 1. Crossing the Maitland River, enter the community of Benmiller and turn right onto Londesboro Road/County Road #15 continuing along to County Road #4. Travel north on County Road #4 to the Village of Blyth.

Upon reaching Blyth, you’ll find the distinctive architecture of Cowbell Brewing Co.  A Canadian destination craft brewery, Cowbell features a state-of-the-art brewing facility, restaurant and retail store making it one of Huron County’s top attractions since its opening in 2017.

Location: 40035 Blyth Road, Blyth, ON

Take a little time to explore the historic Village of Blyth exuding Victorian charm. Stroll down Queen Street, peek into the unique galleries and shops and make your way to Blyth Memorial Hall, home of the world-famous Blyth Festival Theatre.

From Blyth, head south on County Road #4 to Provincial Highway #8 in Clinton. Turning left onto Highway #8, proceed east for 5km before turning right onto Sanctuary Line for your final stop.

Maelström Winery is Huron County’s first winery and is focused on small batch, high quality wines. Their artisanal and “hands-off” approach allows the richness of the terroir to come through in their wine. Take a winery tour, book a tasting on the outdoor patio or sit by the fireplace in the tasting room; open year-round.

Location: 78925 Sanctuary Line, Seaforth, ON

*Bonus Stop

Currently only offering online sales, Half Hours on Earth Brewery is well worth a try if you get the chance. Though one of the smallest producers in Ontario, Half Hours on Earth Brewery is mighty. Their focus is on producing beers that impart a refreshing dryness with yeast forward flavour and aromatic characteristics.

Location: 151 Main St S, Seaforth, ON

Please be a responsible guest. Practice social distancing, wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently and wear masks when indoors or when social distancing is not possible.  Let’s be kind to one another.

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Enjoy Dinner or a Wine Tasting in the Vineyard

Hessenland Inn and Schatz Winery is offering a unique al fresco dining experience this summer.  You can enjoy dinner or a wine tasting at a table set-up right in the vineyards.  Experience their newly launched menu as you sit among the grape vine enjoying a glass (or two) of their Schatz wines made from the grapes grown on the vines that you are sitting amongst. It doesn’t get more locavore than that. If eating local is important to you, Hessenland Inn is certified Feast On by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. Feast On is a certification program that recognizes businesses committed to sourcing Ontario grown and made food and drink.

Before summer is over, make a reservation to enjoy a memorable dining experience with wine grown on the vines that surround your table.

 

Hessenland Inn Grapes
Hessenland Meal

Hessenland Inn & Schatz Winery

72981 Bluewater Highway

Zurich, ON N0M 2T0

Reservations:

Phone: 519-236-7707

Toll free: 1-866-543-7736

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Drive-In Dining

Drive-In Dining

Drive-In Dining

Before there were food trucks there was the drive-in restaurant and hamburger stand. Huron County is home to six of these independently-owned drive-in restaurants. Each of them has their own unique specialties but the one thing they have in common is that they continue to serve quality locally-sourced summer favourites straight from the grill to your car or one of the nearby picnic tables. Lake Huron, beaches and sunsets, a trip to Huron County has to also include some summertime grilled favourites. 

Courtesy of Jeff Oesch

Courtesy of Freeze King, Seaforth

Farmer’s Dell
6 London Road (Highway #4), Brucefield

Freeze King
42566 Huron Road (Highway #8), Seaforth

Courtesy of Frosty Queen, Wingham 

Courtesy of  Jodi Nurse

Frosty Queen
143 Josephine Street, Wingham

Sky Ranch Drive-In
81669 Bluewater Highway, Goderich

Courtesy of Christina Duizer Photography

Courtesy of Woodland Drive-in, Bayfield

Willy’s Burger Bar
267 Huron Street (Highway #8), Clinton

Woodland Drive-In    
17 Mill Road, Bayfield

Family-Friendly Activities

Family-Friendly Activities

Family-Friendly Activities

Whether spending the day building sandcastles on the beach, chasing tadpoles in the river, or catching a movie under the stars, Ontario’s West Coast has lots of fun family-friendly activities to get you out of the house and burning up some of that energy.

Shipka Drive In

Courtesy of Erika Moore

Pack up the car and get ready for this summertime tradition of yesteryear by taking in a blockbuster under the stars at the Starlite Drive-In Theatre outside of Grand Bend.

After a day enjoying the sand and surf at Point Farms Provincial Park head across the road to Point Farms Market for a round of miniature golf topped off with an ice cream cone, there are 30+ flavours to choose from!

Courtesy of Point Farms Market and Mini Golf

Courtesy of Point Farms Market and Mini Golf

 Huron County fairs have been celebrating agriculture and community spirit for over 160 years. From animals big and small to amusement rides, games, food, and more. The Bayfield Fair, August 14-16, 2020.

Courtesy of IceCulture Inc

Catch your own trout at the Fish-Out Pond at Hedley’s Trout Farm. Spring-fed pond is restocked many times each year with trout from their grow-out facility. Keep and pay for what you catch. Rental rods and equipment available. By appointment only.

For 30 years Iceculture has been a major player in the world of ice carving. Book a 90-minute guided tour to see the processes, hear the stories behind the projects, and learn how Iceculture earned its international reputation.

Must-Try Eats

Must-Try Eats

Must-Try Eats

Homemade treats, ethnic food, and simple staples made sublime using fresh locally grown ingredients are some of the must-try flavours to experiences in Ontario’s West Coast. Plan a picnic or enjoy a meal to go with one of our tasty suggestions below. Share your must-try food experiences with us using the hashtag: #OntariosWestCoast.

Culbert’s Bakery (Goderich) has been around since 1877. All of their products are made fresh on the premises the old fashioned way. The must-try is their world-famous cream puff doughnut, heaven!

You’ll be happy with anything you choose at Cait’s Café (Goderich), but we recommend the Blyth Veg sandwich on the in-house made croissant: avocado, tomato, Blyth Farm cumin goat cheese, local organic greens, pesto mayo, and house-made lime cumin dressing.

Blyth Veg at Cait's

Courtesy of Cait’s Cafe, Goderich 

Zehrs Country Market

There’s a lot of good pie to be had in Huron County. As a starting point on your pie adventure, we suggest heading to Zehr’s Country Market (Bayfield) and picking up one of the fresh-baked, still hot from the oven pies.

Craving something different? Exeter Thai Cuisine (Exeter) offers up an authentic Pad Thai along with a full menu of other Thai cuisine favourites.

Put together the ultimate cheese and charcuterie board for cocktails on the patio. Pair-up a couple of varieties of Blyth Farm Cheese (Blyth) with smoked and cured meats (be sure to include some pepperettes) from Metzger Meat Products (Hensall). Compliment with preserves and pickles from Bayfield Berry Farm (Bayfield).

Courtesy of Exeter Thai Cuisine, Exeter

Courtesy of Blyth Farm Cheese, Blyth

Courtesy of Coastal Coffee

If a good cup of coffee is important to you we have you covered.  Pick up some beans or a fresh brewed cup of one of their signature blends at Shopbike Coffee Roasters (Bayfield). Look for Huron’s other artisan coffee roaster, Coastal Coffee (north of Goderich). You’ll find both Shopbike and Coastal Coffee blends being served at a number of local restaurants and cafés.