Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 26, 2012 Fort Langley, Circle Farm Tour and Lunch – Bacchus Bistro at Domaine De Chaberton Winery

May 26, 2012 Fort Langley, Circle Farm Tour and Lunch – Bacchus Bistro at Domaine De Chaberton Winery

We waited for Willy in the Mix Bakery next to his apartment and ate breakfast rolls and drank coffee and bought a baguette. 

Then we drove to Fort Langley where there was a Farmer’s Market that we wanted to visit.  We visited the Fort, which was established in 1827 by the Hudson Bay Company as its main gathering point for the fur trade in Western Canada.  Upstream gathering points brought furs down river and the Company also salted and shipped salmon and cranberries in barrels from the area.  It lies about 30 miles upstream east of Vancouver on the Fraser River about fifty miles downstream from the confluence of the Thompson River that leads to the headwaters of the Columbia River.  A paddle wheel boat was used to take furs down river to Vancouver and bring supplies up stream and open skiffs and canoes were used upstream from Fort Langley.

The headquarters of the Fort is also famous because it was the place that British Columbia was declared a colony of Great Britain in 1858.  There was no evidence that the First Nations people were anything other than peaceful and the Company policy was to encourage its male employees to marry native women.

The fort has been reconstructed as it existed in the 1800’s and is a Canadian National Historic Site now.  The store house is original and the headquarters has been reconstructed to its original plans.  We also visited the barrel cooperage, the living quarters of employees and a garden area.

After the Fort we went to the Farmer’s Market but it was only a couple of stands.  So we went on the Langley Circle Farm Tour (, which was a collection of food producers in the area of Langley.  There is a town of Langley and a town of Fort Langley. Although there are 15 facilities and attractions on the tour we stopped at only five.  One was Fonrt Langley National Historic Site.

The first stop after the Fort was The Fort Wine Company.  It was a series of cranberry bogs and berry patches on the flat land near the Fraser River that were used to make fruit wines and vinegars.  I found the wines unusual after drinking so many grape wines, but like the dessert wines, but Willy liked the wines and I bought two bottles of wine for Willy to take back to his apartment.

We then went to Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery but it was not yet open for the season. Our goal was to go to Domaine De Chaberton Estate Winery, but we stopped at JD Farms Specialty Turkey Store on the way and tasted their delightful turkey sausages and bought turkey sliced breast for Willy and a about ½ lb. of Turkey sausage for us.

We arrived at Domaine De Chaberton Estate Winery at around and checked into the Bacchus Restaurant for a reservation and then went to the tasting room.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Bacchus Bistro had been given a 24 rating by the Zagat Guide. The wines were not as well made or did not have the clean finish as the ones we had tasted in Oregon and Northern California but the Bistro was lovely and we were called to lunch shortly after we arrived.  The Bistro had a covered patio facing the 55 acre vineyard with a French menu.  We were lucky to get a table on the patio next to the vineyard.  I ordered the Table d’ Hotel, a three course meal with different prices for different entrees.  I order the cheapest choice, Steamed Island Mussels in a light cream sauce with julienne strips of fresh fennel poached in the ($26.50). The choice of appetizers was the soup of the day (Roasted Garlic) which I chose, or a balsamic mushroom salad with fresh goat’s cheese, which Suzette chose or a salad.  The soup was a smooth but heavy cream soup garnished with a few purple chive flowers, which were in bloom everywhere and lovely.  Elaine and Billy and Willy ordered an entrée each.  Elaine ordered the broiled Rockfish filet and Billy and Willy ordered the lamb shank garnished with a bell pepper and onion reduction.  Suzette ordered the Oysters Rockefeller served as a milky stew with Pacific Northwest Coast oysters. It was the waitress’ first day and I did not communicate well with her about the wine, which caused a delay, I said I wished a taste of the wines to help decide and she said, “The tasting room is next door,” which actually turned out to be the right idea.  After Suzette and I ordered, we ran back to the tasting room and tasted, in quick succession, all the white wines and several of the reds.  A taste is usually less than one ounce of wine.  The Sylvaner white had a creamy texture and a balance of both tart and sweetness, so I ordered a bottle for lunch for the table ($27.50).

Suzette and I ordered Rhubarb Upside Down cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert and because of the mix up in the wine and delay in service the main waitress/bar tender brought us an extra dessert of Chocolate Mouse. The entire bill was $175.00 and it was around

Since I wanted to see the Cone Collection Exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery in downtown Vancouver we started back to town.  Unfortunately the winery was a long way from the Trans Canadian Highway and it was crowed and several places under construction, so w did not get back to the Museum until around 4:20 p.m. Billy and Elaine parked the car and waited for us at a coffee shop near the Museum while we ran through the Cone Collection.  I saw pieces that I do not recall seeing in Baltimore.  The exhibit was set up like the Baltimore Exhibit.

Because the Vancouver Art Gallery closed at , we were unable to see the Emily Carr paintings.  I really became interested in her work when I saw that she was a member of the Theosophical Society.  Also on Granville Island we saw an art school named after her.  She is considered B.C.’s greatest artist.  Alas, not enough time to see everything.

Here is a description of her work from the Vancouver Art Gallery website:

“Throughout her career, Emily Carr’s art was informed by a questioning of organized religion. This was strengthened through her encounters with Lawren Harris, a founding member of the Group of Seven and a proponent of Theosophy, in the mid-1920s. From 1930 on, Carr focused much of her activity as a painter on her vision of nature as a “god-like” vehicle that held out the possibility for linking consciousness to a realm beyond earth-bound human culture.”
Bon Appétit

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