hon·ey·moon | \ ˈhə-nē-ˌmün
Originally derived from the Scandinavian practice of drinking mead, or fermented honey, during the first month of marriage (measured by one lunar cycle) in order to improve the likelihood of conception.
One of my wine colleagues, Sylvain Segard, owns Millefleurs Lavender Farm and Meadery in Prince Edward County. I visited Millefleurs with my husband, on a recent trip to PEC, coincidentally during our own honeymoon. Well, we're not looking to conceive any more children, (we have 2 already), but as a winewriter and Accredited Sommelier, it goes without saying that I love wine and learning about its place in culture and history.
Sylvain is an Accredited Sommelier and winemaker, specializing in making mead or honey wine.
What did we learn?
During medieval times, mead was an important part of wedding ceremonies to promote good luck. So our visit was auspicious!
Sylvain explained that Mead is made from the fermentation of honey into a wine which expresses bright acidity, honey and beeswax notes, along with a wide range of floral and herbal aromas and flavours. It is made without any grapes at all, so it's unique in the wine world. Mead can also be fermented with fruit, herbs, spice, or grain. Sylvain is bringing Mead into the 21st century, crafting several different styles to suit different tastes.
Is all Mead sweet?
No! Millefleurs makes a range of mead, from dry to sweet, and also makes sparkling mead, so there's a style for every taste. My own favourite was the Harmonie Lavender Mead. It's very fragrant and gives a delicious lingering flavour of lavender. I brought some home with me.
Does Mead pair with food?
Definitely! You could pair Nostalgie rosé, a dry honey wine fermented with field berries, with roast pork, for example. Or the Harmonie Lavender Mead would be exciting paired with lamb.
Sucrerie is a delicate medium-sweet wine crafted from Maple syrup and County honey. Enjoy on its own or with Pumpkin Pie, a perfect fall match.
Another favourite was Poésie, an apricot-almond wine with a sweet aroma and delicious taste of apricot stone fruits. This would be an excellent after-dinner sipper.
What happens with those beautiful fields of organic lavender?
Sylvain's wife Wilma, crafts wonderful body care products, such as soap, after-shave and pure essential oils. These products are available in the peaceful gift shop, where you can also purchase their Mead. We stocked up on all our favourites and a few gifts.
What about the beehives on the farm?
Millefleurs also hosts several beehives, whose happy bees live next to the lavender fields. Harvested from their apiaries and other locations in Prince Edward County, Millefleurs makes honey that is bottled raw and unpasteurised. Some honey is infused with their lavender, and others with lemon, ginger root, cocoa, or cinnamon. I love honey, so I picked up a couple of jars to bring home. I put it on my porridge, in coffee and substitute it for sugar when I bake.
Sylvain is a sommelier and master distiller, and Wilma is a botanist and master gardener. Both are biologists. They are passionate about the environment and dedicated to their community.
Next time you visit Prince Edward County, plan a stop at Millefleurs... located overlooking the water of Lake Ontario... under the big blue County sky.
17461 Loyalist Pkwy, Wellington, ON K0K 3LO
For more info. or to order from their e-store:
Jane Staples, Accredited Sommelier and Wine Writer
Photos, Jan Järvlepp