Wineries Breweries & Cider Houses | Port Franks

The surprising new destination to delve into exciting new wines, sudsy craft beers and tangy ciders – Ontario’s West Coast, Lake Huron

 Wineries: Enjoy a Charcuterie Board and a glass of local wine! 

Wine Vines Vineyard - Port Franks Getaway Guest Tour
Wine Vines Vineyard

Alton Farms Estate WineryOur founding philosophy remains the same – make a high quality, food friendly, traditional vinifera wine. With several years of success under our belt, winemaker Marc Alton continues to push the boundaries and experiment with blends of Vinifera and cold-climate grapes, challenging conventional thinking about winemaking. A Geo Engineer and Marine Geologist by training, Marc knew that if you could grow peaches in an area, then you could grow grapes. Completely self taught, Marc challenges traditional beliefs about vineyard management and winemaking. Never one to call herself a winemaker, Anne Kurtz-Alton has a nose and palate that have guided Alton Farms Estate Winery from one successful vintage to another. Using her love of wine as her guide, Anne is also completely self-taught. – more info Tip: Make sure you check out their unique tastings!

Dark Horse Estate WineryOur Story: As the first and only estate and tourist destination winery in Huron County, we are the dark horse in this race – an enigmatic contender who, by hard work, tenacity, and heart, achieves undreamed of success. In the spirit of that iconic steed, we call ourselves Dark Horse Estate Winery, and we are creating a new wine-producing agri-tourism region in Ontario that truly embodies our name. Dark Horse Estate Winery could not have been conceived of or built in any place but Huron County. John and Sue Ann Rasenberg combined their passion for farming, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and the dark, rich, loamy soil of this beloved Huron County to build an agri-tourism destination winery that would engage and delight visitors from around the world. John and Sue Ann, with their daughter Ashley and son-in-law Craig, established the winery and vineyard in 2014. Just minutes from the shores of Lake Huron and its world-famous sunsets, the 85- acre estate is a winery, vineyard, and special event venue. The centrepiece of the estate is a 31,000 sq. ft. manor house, which includes a full-service banquet facility, ballroom, state-of-the-art production facility, barrel cellar, tasting room, elite VIP Lounge, and patios overlooking the vineyards. more info Tip: don’t forget to order some artisan cheese to compliment your wine.

Schatz WinerySchatz Winery is a family owned and operated business located on the shores of Lake Huron at St. Joseph.  Second generation innkeepers Frank & Liz Ihrig continue to build on the legacy of founders Christa and the late Ernst Ihrig by maintaining the unique European heritage of the Inn while mindfully innovating along the way. Today, the horse paddocks have been lovingly repurposed to house a growing family of hybrid and common grape varietals in the 5-acre family-run vineyard that is Schatz Winery. 5 Acres of Vineyard Grapes: Marquette, Petite Pearl, Siegerrebe, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac Blanc, La Crescent
TIMELINE: 2014 > Plans for Vineyard Begin, 2015 > First Planting, 2017 > First Harvest, 2018 > First Vintage Release, 2019 – Schatz Winery Opensmore info FYI: Also home to the Hessenland Inn with restaurant & accommodations!


Maelstrom Winerymore info

 Breweries: Craft Beer Micro Breweries & Great Food 

Foam Head on Beer - Port Franks Getaway, Ontario Tour
Foam Head on Beer

Anderson Craft Ales We’re a family owned and operated brewery proudly brewing out of London, Ontario. We pride ourselves on crafting small batch, handcrafted, premium beers without compromise that we know you’ll love; from our family to yours. –more info Tip: The Cream Ale is a Gold Medal Winner!

Bad Apple Brewing Company“We’re Talking About Farm Fresh Fermentation Here People!” Stop by Bad Apple Brewing Company where you will be greeted by their brewer Jason Ingram and his father Sandy. Be prepared for a sampling of unique craft beers and genuine country hospitality! The Ingram’s will sweep you away with their story telling, first hand brewing knowledge and of course delicious beer! Come for a taste, leave with an experience! more info FYI: The tasting room is located in a Century old barn!

Cowbell Brewing Co.more info  

Curley Brewing Companymore info 

Forked River Brewing CompanyNothing brings people together quite like a good beer. Whether you’re in a pub, watching the game, or just sharing a brew with your neighbour, beer is one of the quintessential ingredients to great company. Made in London, Ontario, Forked River Brewing Company is dedicated to delivering consistent, flavourful brews made with care in the traditional craftsman manner with all natural, quality ingredients. Three local, award-winning home-brewers, all University of Western graduates, have teamed up to bring the Forest City the beer it deserves. We believe that our beer has the power to bridge people from all walks of life. Your enjoyment is our success, so raise your glass and here’s to all of us! – more info Tip: Check out the food pairings on their website!

Half Hours on Earthmore info 

Herald Haus Brewing Company – A heritage-inspired brewery in Stratford, incorporating local ingredients from the vast agricultural community that surrounds us. Our entire beer selection is based on historical Stratford and area memories. Owned and operated by Daniel J. Graver and team, we have renovated the historical Herald Building, former printing and newspaper office, into The Herald Haus Brewing Company. – more info Tip: The Taproom has a small menu of perfect bites to accompany the beer.

Refined Fool Brewing Co. – Now serving 2 locations! “We make craft beer in Sarnia, Ontario. Refined Fool is a group of teachers, creatives, blue collars, entrepreneurs, musicians and pastors who care about beer, business, Sarnia, and each other. We started out as a foolish bunch of backyard brewers using propane burners and frozen hoses and now we’re a real life microbrewery.” – more info Fun Fact: This microbrewery has really hip names for their brews like My Cousin Knows the Drummer, a hefeweizen.

Rusty Wrench Brewing Companymore info 

Square BrewSquare Brew is Goderich’s only craft brewery. We brew a rotating variety of beers and serve them up in our tap room for in house or takeout. Bring in your favourite food and stop in for a beer or just grab some to go. You can also find Square Brew beers at a variety of local establishments! – more info Tip: They offer up some great events so be sure to keep an eye on their calendar.

Stonepicker Brewing CompanyStonepicker Brewing Company is located 7143 Forest Road, Plympton-Wyoming, 4 km South of Forest.  Stonepicker Brewing Company opened its doors to the public Labour Day weekend for the first time. The crowds came in and we had lineups at the door and have been going quite steady ever since! We serve many varieties of beer including blonde ale, lagers, ipas and a stout.   We also brew seasonals you can taste at the brewery.   We have cool names for our beer that go with the farm theme of the brewery.  Farmer’s Tan, Crop Tour, Big Red 9350 (names after a tractor) are just a few of the names.  Our beer is also sold in approximately 25 restaurants in the area. We also sell merchandise, ball caps, t-shirts as well as glasses and sample glasses at our brewery.  We have entertainment nights almost every weekend and now we are organizing food events once a month.  These events have been very successful in bringing out the crowds.  We are gearing up for the supper as the tourists should be coming in at that time.  Come on out if you haven’t already! – more info  – Tip: Not sure which brew to order? Order a flight and try them all!

Storm Stayed Brewing Co. – Storm Stayed Brewing Co. is located at 169 Wharncliffe Rd S in London, ON, nestled between Old South and The Coves neighbourhoods. The bright, airy taproom serves as a neighbourhood hub, welcoming all ages to relax with friends and family, play a board game, and enjoy a wide selection of beers crafted on site. Family-style tables encourage interaction, and all public spaces have been designed with accessibility in mind. A menu of locally-sourced, house-made foods, including charcuterie, pretzels, and hot sandwiches, complements the beer. A selection of wine, cider, and non-alcoholic beverages is also available. more info Tip: Enjoy the simplistic edgy atmosphere in the taproom while washing a Pork Belly Bahn Mi down with a Hop Forward of choice.

 Cider Houses: Crisp Apples fermented to liquid perfection 

Cider Apples
Cider Apples

Twin Pines Orchardsmore info 

Have you had the opportunity to visit any of the above wineries, breweries or cider house? Did I miss anyone? What was your experience? We welcome your comments below!

Ask about Private / Semi Private tours offered exclusively to guests staying at Port Franks Getaway - vacation apartments. 

Don’t Drink and Drive!



Luwak Coffee, Ubud, Bali

Coffee Beans and Animal Defecation resulting in a delicious brew. Swing in!

Top things to do in Bali – Alas Harum is one of a few coffee plantations located in Bali. What makes them special is how their unique flavours are realized.  We went for a tour to find out their secret.

Entrance to Alas Harum Luwak Coffee - Ubud, Bali
Entrance to Alas Harum Luwak Coffee

A knowledgable young lady was assigned to us upon entrance and we were quickly on our way. She explained to us how the animal Kopi Luwak, also known as an Asian Palm Civet consume the coffee cherries (I thought they are beans). Normally a disaster to have your coffee plantation eaten away, in this case a sort of blessing.

Roasting Coffee Beans - Alas Harum, Bali
Roasting Coffee Beans

The civit or luwak defecate (poop) the partially digested fermented cherry out and humans harvest the fecal matter which is then cleaned, roasted, and sold for a premium price.

Bali Coffee Beans - Ubud
Bali Coffee Beans / Cherries

The entire process is very controversial due to the fact that nowadays, the animals are caged and force fed to produce the quality outcome. Supposedly, they only consume the best quality of coffee cherries, thus resulting in a superb roast.

Beans Roasting over an Open Fire - Coffee, Bali
Beans Roasting over an Open Fire

We watched how, traditionally, the coffee cherry is roasted over an open fire before being crushed by a huge wooden mallet and then brewed into a delicious cup of coffee.

Luwak Coffee Beans - Ubud, Bali
Luwak Coffee Beans

It was brought to our attention that not only does Alas Harum produce one of the most expensive coffees in the world, they also grow tea. Of course, what is a visit to a plantation with sampling the wares? Our host led us to a terrace overlooking the extremely steep green hills of the property where we were then brought an entire tray of tea samples and a crown jewel coffee.

Truthfully, the majority of the teas were delicious. The coffee, albeit good, had a little too rich of a price for my liking and I found it ever so slightly bitter. The view was amazing!

Fields Surrounding Alas Harum - Swing, Ubud, Bali
Fields Surrounding Alas Harum

Tip: While visiting the plantation, why not go for one of those crazy swing rides that are plastered all over Instagram? You can swing single or double the pleasure 😉

Terrace River Swing - Ubud, Bali
Terrace River Swing Prices

Plantation Name: Alas Harum AgroTourism
Address: Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia

Get There:


Rory’s Beach Bar Review

The hipster backpacker In place to be.  Why we do and do not agree.

Note:  This is an independent review based on my experience.

Restaurant Bar Name: Rory’s Beach Bar
Address: 118/10 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc, Vietnam – Long Beach

Day 3 of our vacation found us checking out Long Beach, about a 5 minute drive from our hotel. Trip Advisor had great reviews for Rory’s Bar, so eventually, after sufficient beach walking, we headed there to chill.

For more info about Phu Quoc and the top things to do click the link.
For my independent review of Gia Thanh Guest House, click the link.

It is a beautiful spot and a popular location; you will find many hipster backpackers, flashpackers, travel gap packers and partiers alike. Unfortunately, the small cocktails are quite pricey and the food is very expensive, but served with a smile. Beers and Strongbow Ciders are good options, still allowing you to soak up the beach front atmosphere and use the free wifi.

Prices / Menu examples are as follows:
– BLT Baguette 120.000 dong / €4.50 / USD$5.30
–  Seafood dish 240.000 dong / €9 / USD$10.55
– Cocktails are 100.000 dong / €3.75 / USD$4.40
– Beers & Cider 50.000 dong / €1.90 / USD$2.20 to 100.000 dong / €3.75 / USD$4.40
– Mixed Drinks 70.000 dong / €2.60 / USD$3.10 to 90.000 dong / €3.40 / USD$4
– Shots 70.000 dong / €2.60 / USD$3.10 to 100.000 dong/ €3.75 / USD$4.40

They also offer Vegan & Gluten Free options.

Our Bill was 230.000 dong / €8.60 / USD$10.10 for one Pina Colada, one 333 beer, and one Strongbow cider.

The good:  In the evenings, after dinner, we went back to Rory’s for drinks on the beach. You have to get your own drinks at the bar, but servers clears the empties. Fair priced drinks, fabulous atmosphere, bonfire, lots of people and a good DJ. BEWARE – they quickly swept by and took half a strongbow cider – we chased and got it back. Then she/he quickly went through and grabbed one of our glasses. Not nice!!?

The bad: you should not leave money here for food.  The Chili cheese fries were a huge rip off – cold cheese gobbed on top of a few cold fries with a ketchup sauce costing 120.000 dong / €4.50 / USD$5.30, Baguette was ok at 120.000 but a large water for 30.000 is overpriced for the island. I ordered an Old fashioned Milkshake; it arrived in the old fashioned stainless steel cup, but that is all that was old fashioned – it tasted like strawberry milk over iced cubes?.

Rory’s is an unfortunate place waiting to take foreigners naive money. Avoid food, long drinks, shakes and water. For an evening out it has great music and atmosphere – drink a beer Saigon or strongbow. For a Beach day, it is fine, but leave for lunch, take your own water and drink Saigons or Strongbows. Not outgoing staff, as so many stated in the reviews.  Just because everybody says it is good, does not mean it is.

Fazit: great bar, not so great restaurant. 

Note: We went to RoRy’s every night of our stay.

Links of Possible Interest:
→ Phu Quoc Island / Photos
…..⇒ Extreme Budget Tips – $10/day Phu Quoc
.….⇒ Stay: Gia Thanh Guest House
…..⇒ Eat: AceroLa Bar and Restaurant
…..⇒ Eat: Bia Ruou Restaurant & Micro brewery
…..⇒ Eat: Bun Cha Ha Noi / Bún Chả Hà Nội
…..⇒ Eat / Bar: Langchia Hostel & Bar
…..⇒ Eat: Quan An Mien Trung (at the night Market)
…..⇒ Eat: Quan Oc Binh Dan Restaurant
…..⇒ Eat: Quan Ra Koi / Quán Ra Khơi
…..⇒ Eat: Thu Phuong Restaurant

Location:  Asia  >  Southeast Asia  >  Vietnam  >  Phu Quoc  > Kien Giang > Duong Dong > Duong To  > Long Beach > Rory’s Beach Bar

Stelazsi Cafe and Wine Bar, Budapest – Review

On our recent visit to Budapest, Hungary we happened upon a wonderful Cafe that deserves a shout out!

Located in the third district of the city is the charming Stelazsi Cafe, Restaurant and Wine Bar.  You must visit to fully appreciate the homey, warm feeling they have created.

We stopped on a beautiful sunny morning for a coffee, taking a short break from sightseeing in beautiful Budapest.  The patio seemed like a good place to enjoy or break and we ordered 2 cappuccinos, costing 450 ft / €1.50 each.

Reminiscent of days gone by, the eye appealing coffee arrived complete with honey, 2 kinds of sugar, sweetener and a glass of water.

The inside is decorated with a homey feel, charmingly and romantic.  It was a wonderful break.

Stelázsi Cafe, Restaurant and Wine Bar
Address: 1036 Budapest, Nagyszombat u. 3.
Opening Hours: every day from 10 am to 10 pm