Land Warmed by the Sun
The Cowichan Valley, just north of Victoria, is rich in farms and culinary businesses thanks to its warm, protected climate. You could spend days and days visiting all the different wineries and farms, but we only had one day . . . .
Their first chocolate bar was Corazon, which they made for their wedding – “fall in love with the perfect marriage of floral rose, sweet honey, complex cacao nibs and a kiss of vanilla. A rose is often a token of the heart, and Corazon means heart in Spanish, a ‘romantic’ language, so it is only fitting that two people in love created this bar – together.” It is interesting how often couples enter marriage and a new business at the same time.
They also sell heavenly ice cream cones made with certified organic milk and eggs. There was real mint in the chocolate chip mint ice cream and local hazelnuts in the maple hazelnut ice cream. Yum!
Bread and Cheese in Cowichan Bay
True Grain Bread Bakery is adjacent to Hilary’s Artisan Cheese – the perfect opportunity for a picnic lunch on the porch.
Their website states that they measure success by plant diversity and do not want to devote all their land to growing grapes: “You will notice lots of ‘weeds’ and compost piles on both properties. Our philosophy is multiculturalism for plants and fauna. Even the lowly broom and dock have a role. . . . Monocultures, in our experience, encourage frenetic efforts to maintain control and breed their own demise.”
We arrived at the end of the day and had a quiet chat with Mr. Godfrey. I enjoyed a taste (and later a full bottle) of William Maltman, named after Godfrey’s uncle. It’s a blend of Marechal Foch and Gamay Noir – a complex red wine that still maintains its fruity origins. I also enjoyed their Chardonnay with its strong notes of apple.