We try to get out and see the fall colours every October and with Hockley Valley Resort located just an hour north of Toronto, it seemed like a great destination. Hockley Valley is located in the Town of Mono, just 5 minutes north of the Caledon border. Alas, with the unusually hot sunny weather this fall, the leaves hadn’t changed much but the drive up Horseshoe Hill Road through Caledon still gave us lots of scenery to enjoy en route.
The property that was to become Hockley Valley Resort was purchased by Nancy and Mario Adamo in 1985. It has gone through a series of renovations and additions over the years and today includes a farm-to-table restaurant, a new winery, 18 hole championship golf course, 8000 sq. foot spa, ski resort, and conference centre.
I was really looking forward to trying ‘Cabin’, the resort’s rustic farm-to-table restaurant. Hockley Valley maintains a large 2+ acre fruit and vegetable garden which supplies most of the fresh produce in season and the resort’s restaurants source the much of the remaining products from local farmers and suppliers.
We started our meal by sharing an appetizer: fall farm vegetable fritters, served with reggiano and truffle aioli. These were deliciously addictive and a great start to our our night. There were a few veggie options on the menu and I tried the ‘Black Box’ platter, harvested weekly from the HVR farm & Fiddle Foot Farm which turned out to be a pleasant surprise of delicious veggie tapas. I barely had room for dessert but of course ordered one anyways – Niagara peach trifle. Overall, an excellent meal.
Although it had good variety, the breakfast buffet in the morning was nothing to write home about but on the bright side, our light lunch at Babbo Wine Bar & Patio was very good. Babbo features an extensive wine list including several wines from Niagara and Prince Edward County as well as selections from Adamo Estate Winery next door.
The harvest salad was visually appealing and tasted great with HVR farm beans & roasted fall squash, soft boiled organic egg, toasted pine nuts, quick pickled carrots, organic soy & balsamic vinaigrette. In nice weather you can choose to eat indoors or on their beautiful patio facing the pool area.
In 2016, Adamo Estate Winery opened its doors to the public in an area of the province not usually known for wine making. Focusing on cool climate varietals like chardonnay and pinot noir, Adamo has 25 acres of organically grown vines on the estate and also purchases grapes from some of the best growers in Ontario including the famed Lowery vineyard.
With Shauna White (formerly of Ravine Vineyards and Le Clos Jordanne) at the helm, Adamo has gotten off to a great start winning a number of awards, including a Platinum medal for their 2014 Oaked Wismer Foxcroft Chardonnay.
The new tasting room was nicely appointed and there was also a nice patio out back which I imagine would be a terrific place to lounge with a glass of wine and a snack in the warmer months.
I was impressed with the quality of the wines. The 2015 Lowrey Vineyard Pinot Noir was aromatic and fruit forward with red berries and soft tannins on the palate. It’s an elegant wine with a nice finish. It should cellar well for a few years, but is drinking beautifully right now. I also ended up buying the 2015 Meritage, also a very nice bottle.
There are many other things to do while in the area. We had time for two outings including a walk at Island Lake Conservation Area, just 10 minutes from the resort.
We also toured the streets of Orangeville where the city has turned old tree stumps into a public art gallery with over 50 intricately carved tree sculptures called “The Art Walk of Tree Sculptures”.
Whether you’re into food, wine, golf, the spa, or just need a getaway from the every day, there’s something for you up in Hockley Valley. If you go, let me know how you like it!
Website: Hockley Valley Resort
Location: 793522 3rd Line EHS, Mono, ON (Google Maps)
All photos by Adrian Berg