The County Cider Company + Fifth Town Artisan Cheese

If you enjoyed my recent post about Cold Creek Vineyards, I think you’ll like this one too… because I’m back to talking cider!

On a particularly gorgeous day during our visit to Prince Edward County, I had a lovely lunch at The County Cider Company with Tania and my Aunt Sue (who graciously hosted us during our visit!) The County Cider Company is located in Waupoos, a beautiful area situated on Lake Ontario’s Smith Bay, approximately 13 km southeast of Picton. Waupoos is famous for its wineries and cideries (including the eponymous Waupoos Estates Winery), its mysterious Lake on the Mountain, and its unrivaled waterfront views – arguably the best in the County!

Like Cold Creek Vineyards, County Cider Company is technically a winery, but ciders are their specialty! The farm property it sits on has been producing apples since 1850. William and Berva Howes purchased the farm in 1970, and their son Grant took over in the early 90s to pursue his passion project of cider production. “Grant’s Cider” made it to LCBO shelves in 1995, and he continued producing ciders until 2017 when he passed away. Having earned the nickname “The Godfather of Ontario Cider”, Grant’s legacy lives on through the multiple award-winning ciders that County Cider Company continues to produce. They grow over 16 different varieties of apples over 40+ acres of orchards, producing 160 tonnes of apples – and 150,000 litres of cider – every year! In addition to their tasting bar, The County Cider Company has an onsite restaurant with one of the most sought-after patios in the County. We couldn’t wait to check it out!

Tables at the patio restaurant are first-come, first-serve, so there was a bit of a wait when we arrived. I should mention that there’s also indoor seating, but the patio is popular for a reason – it has one of the best views in Waupoos!

We didn’t mind the short wait, because it gave us a chance to wander the vineyards and explore the tasting bar! The views of the water from the vineyard are indescribably stunning – you have to visit in person to truly experience its beauty for yourself.

We had just started perusing their indoor tasting room, which offers a flight of five 2-oz pours for $10 (a great deal!) when we were called to our table.

Naturally, we started off with a beverage! The County Cider Company produces so many varieties of cider that it was difficult to choose, but ultimately I went with the County Peach, which I really enjoyed. It tasted like summer in a glass!

The restaurant serves a minimalistic menu of simple summer classics done exceptionally well. (I always find the smaller and simpler the menu, the better the food!) My aunt and I both ordered the burger, which comes topped with Brie, caramelized onions, arugula and an apple whiskey glaze. I don’t think they could have chosen a better selection of toppings – they all complemented each other perfectly, without overpowering the taste of the burger itself. Tania got the ‘Funguy’ – a wood-fired, thin-crust pizza topped with mushrooms, goat cheese, arugula, b├ęchamel sauce and balsamic glaze – and it was also excellent (of course I had to steal a slice!)

We had a great meal at The County Cider Company, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area! While we were in Waupoos, we also decided to stop by Fifth Town for a little cheese tasting.

Fifth Town is an artisanal cheese producer located five minutes up the road from The County Cider Company. Their 4800 square foot production facility sits on 20 acres of land and is truly a sight to behold! It was designed with sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind, and is Platinum LEED certified. Fifth Town is Canada’s only LEED-certified dairy, and was the first Canadian manufacturing facility in any industry to receive the Platinum LEED certification. Their commitment to environmental and social responsibility has earned them the title of Canada’s Greenest Dairy!

Fifth Town offers cheese tastings at their outdoor bar for just $3 a person. We were presented with a massive sampling tray with eight different cheeses to try. My favourites were the Cape Vessey (their signature goat cheese), the Truffalo (water buffalo cheese infused with black truffle), and the Triple Cream Brie (made with jersey milk from a local farm). We were also given some complimentary strawberry iced tea to drink during the tasting.

Fifth Town also has a sit-down patio where you can relax and enjoy a cheese board, burrata salad, or even some goat cheese gelato!

Before heading out, we stopped into their indoor shop where you can purchase cheeses to take home, along with various spreads, dips and tapenades – the shop has a complimentary tasting bar where you can try before you buy.

Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this post! Now, if you ever find yourself hungry in Waupoos, you have not just one, but two recommendations for savoury spots. I couldn’t tell you which is the more delicious option – you’ll just have to try both and decide for yourself!

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