Monday, 26 November 2018

Vinoteca – a restaurant with a difference …



Vinoteca … delicious food served at a delightful, traditional Italian-Cowichan Valley vineyard …


Vinoteca's patio set for an outside lunch

 I was lucky enough to be able to go on a wine tour … and we visited four vineyards – more about those later on …

Fairly obvious this - just good
I wasn't driving that day - though
bought a bottle home


… but for now – this ties in with the We are the World Blogfest (sign up here) month end post many of us do – highlighting positivity around us …



Believe it or not … I had not been to a vineyard since I arrived – so I just had to make a plan … and promptly visited four in one go – such is life! 




Bringing home the grapes ... the farms in the Valley
are all small-holdings and help each other out


One before lunch, then lunch here at Vinoteca, then two more … all different and with interesting takes on the growth in the Cowichan Valley area from those pioneering days …




Yam and Ginger soup,
with coconut milk

So a few pictures of my meals and views … as well as introducing you to Fatima of Vinoteca – who will feature as my positive human story this month … amazing lady.



Here’s some of her food though … and when I explain her background you’ll understand how interesting her dishes and flavours are …





Roasted beet salad, caramelised apples, crispy prosciutto,
candied pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, Italian parsley
with a ginger truffle vinaigrette


She came over from Mozambique – settled first in Quebec, before moving over to the west of Canada … learnt her range of tastes … catering to the multi-cultural peoples of Canada … from her mother.




At Vinoteca she’s mixed her ideas into the Cowichan Bay way of life and brought in the Italian tradition of the Zanatta family, who own the vineyard.

Seared local sole with tomato, caper, dill and olive oil
dressing; potato wedges and a fresh salad

It was a pleasure meeting her and learning more about the opportunities she is giving families in the Duncan area … and how much she is doing for the under-privileged children in the Valley.



Please enjoy with me … when the post comes along at month end ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

31 comments:

Rhodesia said...

The food looks delicious. Visiting vineyards is great fun and tasting is even better 😉 We used to so love our trips to Cape Town, a great excuse to see how many vineyards we could go to. Have a good week Diane

Anabel Marsh said...

That sounds like a great day!

Kelly Steel said...

Oh my! The food looks so delish! And yummy! She sounds a lovely lady!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
well, you had me at the yam and ginger soup! YAM xx

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Take out the meat and I would certainly love to try her food.

Elephant's Child said...

I am looking forward to learning more about Fatima - who sounds like a shining light.
Loved the views and seeing your food too.

Hels said...

Food has to taste good of course, but your photos show that food has to also look appetising as well. If only our computers had smellavision :)

Joanne said...

How delightful. Wineries are fun - I've enjoyed Napa Valley, and also tours in New Zealand. I need to hit your Canada valley tour. And you always meet interesting people - sounds like Fatima is a shining light. The food pics look delectable. Good for you (and for not driving!)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - yes those vineyards in the Cape were/are special ... I remember them well - perhaps at some stage I'll have the same remembrances for some of those here ... lots to see though - but not all do food and I was late in the year for going out to them ...

@ Anabel - it was a fun time ... glad I went and experienced some this year ...

@ Kelly - Fatima is an amazing gentle soul ... so it was a pleasure talking to her and finding out a bit more ...

@ Yam - yes the Yam soup ... it was very good indeed!

@ Diane - there were vegetarian dishes ... just I usually have salads or fish when I'm out - meat too occasionally ... she is an exceptional chef ...

@ EC - yes ... she is incredibly generous with her time and knowledge ... a 'shining light' I think you said it. It's such a beautiful area and the food always looks so beautiful ...


@ Hels - it did taste very good ... and as you rightly point out looks very appetising ... if there was 'smellavision' - our computers would stop from the drools! It'll come at some stage I suspect?!

@ Joanne - thanks ... one day I'd like to get to Napa Valley ... and yes the tours down under - yet to do those too ... but can tick off the South African ones, though not the South American ones ...

Fatima is amazing ... and her food was delicious - a place to go to if you're ever here ... and thank goodness I wasn't driving ... so I had a little at each of the vineyards, but not much ...


Excellent day out it was ... hope I haven't made you all too hungry - but had to write up about this particular one ... cheers and thanks for visiting - Hilary

Liz A. said...

Sounds like it was a lovely day, albeit long.

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - Thank you for introducing us to Vinoteca. I was just out to the Cowichan Valley this past weekend, for my Wordpress Meet Up. (We gathered at Bridgeman's Bistro in Mill Bay.)
Your post gives me another excuse to drive out that way again soon.
I greatly look forward to reading your WATWB post about Fatima.

Jacqui Murray said...

Nice post, Hilary. I am always in awe of people who can live their lives always considering others. Maybe in my next reincarnation...

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Everything looks so good. Four vineyards in one day must have been a lot of fun.

It sounds like you are really enjoying your stay in Canada very much.

Lisa said...

You just made me so hungry!!! Sounds like you had a lovely time. I didn't know they had vineyards there...

Chatty Crone said...

I am so jealous - I want to go to a vineyard and that setting at the restaurant I want to go too! You are having fun! sandie

Inger said...

The food looks so interesting. I love how you find positive people and things in the somewhat weird world of ours.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Liz ... it was a lovely time and really just a good middle of the day - home for tea!

@ Donna - oh gosh I didn't realise your WP group was down here at Mill Bay - and I haven't tried the Bridgeman's Bistro. Yes, do come down - but please check in with Vinoteca - as they are on winter hours now and have quite a few events out there ... but when you do get there you'll have a wonderful meal.

@ Jacqui - Fatima is just one lovely lady ... yes perhaps I'll join you then! I do really need to do some volunteering ... it is on the table for consideration and action.

@ Arleen - well it was a surprise to me ... but I did enjoy the trip around as too the snippets of information gleaned - as they're local it means I can get to go back.

I am enjoying my time here ... it's fun ...

@ Lisa - sorry ... I make myself hungry when I see the bistros and restaurants around ... they're so innovative. Yes there are vineyards and lots of other interesting sidelines, crafts, et al - it's wonderful ... so I hope you can get up to visit ...

@ Sandie - I know ... I am being very lucky and yes having fun too ...

@ Inger - you'd love it up here and thankfully I do get out and about getting interesting contacts and finding things out ... and then spending a little time with them ...

Thanks so much to you all - it's a special place this Valley up here - cheers Hilary

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Yeah it does sound like a great day

Sue Bursztynski said...

My mouth is watering - stop it! 😛

Sandra Cox said...

Sounds like a lovely place, with delicious food, run by a wonderful woman.

Debby Gies said...

Wow, that sounds delicious. What a great fusion mixture of cultures. Looking forward to the next post Hilary. :) x

Juliet Batten said...

We have lots of lovely vineyards in NZ too, so I felt quite at home coming along with you on this trip. Thanks Hilary.

Keith's Ramblings said...

I really envy you and your day out! Sounds like heaven to me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo-Anne - it was a fun day ...

@ Sue - sorry .. my mouth wants to take itself off there every day!!

@ Sandra - amazing place - especially with Fatima running it ...

@ Debby - it was truly delicious ... and as you say that fusion of tastes ... so good - thanks the post is ready for Friday ...

@ Juliet - I gather you've wonderful vineyards in NZ ... and I wonder how similar the two places are ... possibly quite in the circumstances ...

@ Keith - yes - I feel envious of myself - lovely day ...

Cheers and thanks for visiting - it was a gorgeous time ... delicious too! Hilary

peppylady (Dora) said...

Never heard of yam and ginger soup. I like both. Read your story over at Elephant Child and yes scones does sound good.
Coffee is on

Haddock said...

Like that picture of bringing home the grapes.

Sandra Cox said...

I love the fact that the farmers all help each other.
YOU have a great day.
Cheers,

bazza said...

I so jealous - that looks my kind of restaurant. And I LOVE visiting vinyards!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s ultracrepidarian Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

DMS said...

The food looks delicious. I have been obsessed with beets this year- so that dish especially appeals to me.

Four vineyards in one day- wow. Must have been fun. :)
~Jess

David Gascoigne said...

I am sure that a visit to four vineyards, Hilary, added new twists to your already scintillating prose!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi everyone ... I know I'm going to miss those vineyards and that scenery ... but England isn't bad in the sun!! I'll reply properly anon, once I've settled back in - cheers Hilary