Report from - Archibalds 9th Annual Fruit Wine and Food Festival ... May 31, 2008
For those who haven’t been to Archibald’s lately, you’re missing out on an extraordinary place. The main store seems to have expanded and there’s now a golf course on the property. It has been a few years since I have attended their fruit wine festival, and the last time I did I discovered one of the more unique wineries in all of Ontario – Moon Shadows Estate Winery – the first maple syrup based winery – and potentially still the only.
Today, nine wineries from as far a field as Haliburton, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Buckhorn – to as close as Whitby and Stouffville converged on Archibald’s (located in Bowmanville) to pitch their wares under the greenhouse roof. There were also 15 different eateries/producers/specialty shops with a variety of foods: from the sweet - pastry and mousse, the savoury - beef-pesto and spicy chicken skewers, and the downright delicious - beef Wellington and mini-buffalo burgers. All while lounge act Simon Maxwell (complete with winks and points out to the crowd) gave perfect renditions of jazz standards. Then the rains came, in buckets and in waves, but thankfully there was enough cover that the greenhouse didn’t get over-crowded and nobody ran screaming for cover – there was plenty of room for people to sit, eat and drink while waiting for the inevitable return of the sunshine.