TASTE Takes Flight!
The County’s popular harvest-time food and wine show, TASTE Community Grown, is going to be a little different this year. The name itself reflects a stronger focus on the concept of COMMUNITY – the agricultural and culinary communities that bring their treasures to the table and the local, regional and visiting communities that come to sample, relish and enjoy it all. Duarte Da Silva, Executive Director of Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association has been up to his green wellies in preparations for the 2017 TASTE event. We talked to him about what’s on the event menu.
THE NEW LOCATION
“TASTE is definitely going to be different this year, starting with a very different location. The event this year is taking place in, wait for it, Hangar #4 at Camp Picton! Hangar #4 is one of several huge, historic buildings in Loch Sloy Holdings Business Park, a.k.a. Camp Picton, a crucial World War II air force training base. We are thrilled. It’s a terrific location, lots of green space and a ton of history. During planning, I discovered most people in The County know about Camp Picton, but not many have actually been there. This is a good opportunity for people to explore and get up close to County history as well as giving us the chance to reimagine TASTE. We love the new venue. It’s large and convenient logistically for parking and such, and it really is an amazing location. 18,000 square feet of indoor space plus outdoor space to roam and even a runway to take advantage of!
THE NEW FOCUS
“We have changed the focus of TASTE to be much more community oriented, and that starts with reducing the admission price from $40 to $20.
We want people to be able to come for the day with their friends and family, so we created a Family Pass so a family or group of four can come for $64 instead of $80.
The tickets are different this year too. The admission ticket gets you into Camp Picton, into the TASTE show and gives you freedom to explore the grounds and all the activities we’ll have here – including free workshops. As in past years you can purchase food and produce from local artisans and farmers, you can spend as long as you like and you’ll leave with a complimentary tasting glass and a swag bag.
SAMPLING ALL THAT GOOD STUFF
So admission to the event and to the activities is $20. As before there will be plenty of tastings available costing between $2 and $4. You pay using tickets that cost $2 each, so you can buy just a few or a whole stack, and use them to sample wines, beers, distillery products and all sorts of food from local chefs and restaurants. With the explosion of craft breweries we’ve added a dedicated beer garden featuring local and regional craft breweries. Yes, TASTE 2017 offers much more than wine! You can enjoy just about everything The County offers from foodmakers and farmers, chefs and growers, brewers and vintners and artists, too.
There will be art displays including one by Maison Depoivre Art Gallery of large-scale art works. That’s the beauty of the soaring space in Hangar #4. We’ll most definitely be honouring Camp Picton’s history. We’ll have funky displays of industrial equipment, vintage tractors and trucks, firetrucks and, of course, airplanes, too. We’re proud to boost awareness of the importance of this place. I’d heard of it but never seen it up close. It really is something to see.
WHO’LL BE THERE?
We absolutely want to attract local visitors to come see what’s happening up on The Heights and to dig into all the great stuff grown and fermented and produced right here. The lower admission price makes it feel more of a neighbourhood happening for people that live here, and we know we’ll still draw crowds from further away – the people who WISH they lived here. September is a beautiful time to be in The County, and TASTE takes advantage of the season – the date usually falls just before harvest. There’s colour and fabulous produce everywhere. There’s lots of activities going on and it is an excellent time to get out of the city and into the countryside. TASTE draws weekenders from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Kingston and they and locals can gather together to celebrate The County’s culinary scene – from wine to pickles. This is going to be seriously good.
TASTE Community Grown happens on Saturday, September 23 from 11am to 5pm and you can read more about it and purchase tickets at www.tastecommunitygrown.com