If you haven’t heard of AIR MILES Perks you need to listen up, because you my friend are totally missing out on some great experiences and savings! If you follow me on social media (@shortpresents) you know that I recently took the most amazing trip to the valley to visit the Grand Pre Winery for a wine tasting, and if you have an AIR MILES Card you can too! Here’s EVERYTHING you need to know about the AIR MILES Reward Program, and my recent adventures in the valley.
Did you know that an AIR MILES Card comes packed with special benefits? Every AIR MILES Collector gets access to extra perks just by having the Card. You can experience Bonus Rewards including saving at restaurants, movies, getaways just for being a Collector. The Best part is you don’t need to use a single Mile.
I recently had the chance to take advantage of some of these great rewards on my trip to the Grand Pre Winery. To start; no booking was required so it was easy as hopping in your car and showing up at the winery. Once we arrived, I presented my AIR MILES Card, and received a 2-for-1 Wine Tasting! Not only did we get a 50% savings on the cost of the tasting, but got to enjoy a number of different samples and relax with a great conversation with the amazingly knowledgeable staff at Grand Pre. The staff even went so far as to offer me white wines in place of reds (red wine does not agree with me) which I thought was very nice, and totally didn’t expect. Needless to say, I will definitely be back to take advantage of this Reward again.
As for the sampling, I sampled the Premium tasting that included 8 wines, and offered both a sparkling wine, and a rosé. I’ve been on a rosé kick lately, and I’ve also just discovered that local rosés are actually known to be more dry rather than overly sweet like most (which just happens to be my preference!) Curious about the wines we tried? Here’s some shots:
One of the wine we sampled that really stood out was a Tidal Bay. Did you know that the label Tidal Bay is actually similar to that of Champagne? There were only 12 wineries that received this rigorous designation this year, and Grand Pre was one of them. Similar to a Champagne, Tidal Bay wines need to adhere to a certain standard:
“ To obtain the Tidal Bay designation, all wines must be made from specific grape varieties, include 100% Nova Scotia grown grapes, follow a strict set of standards and be approved every year by an independent blind tasting panel.
These standards were created by a committee of winemakers, sommeliers and wine experts and are strictly enforced throughout the winemaking process, from growing to bottling.
Wines can be a combination of the approved grape varieties, but must demonstrate the distinctive taste profile that reflects the classic Nova Scotian style: lively fresh green fruit, dynamic acidity and characteristic minerality. Tidal Bay wines must also be relatively low in alcohol and no more than 11%” → to read more be sure to pop over to the WANS website.
24 HOUR GUIDE TO WOLFVILLE NS
If you’re going to head down to the valley for a wine tour at Grand Pre you might as well make a day out of it right? What I love about the valley is that it’s just a quick drive out of the city, but there’s something to be said about the pace and people here that I think we all could use once in a while. Find out where we stayed, ate, and what we did to make the most of our trip!
Where we stayed
Because we knew we wanted to spend the night we were happy to find a room at the Blomidon Inn. This place is just so picturesque, isn’t it? A grand, 19th-century mansion, this bed-and-breakfast was a short walk from downtown Wolfville (super convenient). The victorian-style rooms were adorably furnished, and the staff were seriously great. I honestly have no complaints.
It’s been a while since I stayed at a B&B or an Inn, so I kind of felt like I was on the set of Gilmore Girls, and staying at Lorelai’s Inn. Making that experience even more surreal; we flipped on the television after getting back from dinner to try and settle ourselves after a fun filled day, and guess what was on TV? Gilmore Girls. I was in heaven.
The Blomidon Inn is all charm, and everything we needed. The room included a continental breakfast, as well as afternoon tea (and treats) served in an elegant dining room (be still my beating heart). I would totally come back again.
Where we ate
Whenever I go anywhere my list for food places almost always exceeds my to-do list, so of course, I did my research. However, what I didn’t plan for was that the restos close SUPER early in Wolfville. We are kind of late eaters, and so when 7:45pm rolled around we found ourselves rather limited in where we could go.
With most of the places on my list closing in 15 minutes we decided to try La Torta which from a sign we passed earlier offered wood fired pizza, and seriously can I just tell you that you need to go here? Everything we ate was actually ah-mazing, and I mean we eat a lot of pizza (and all over the world I might add) but this pizza rivals some of the best! We also had a chance to meet the owner as well, and he was such a lovely guy, and it’s clear he really cares about the food he serves at his restaurant. Watching him toss the dough (which he let me snapchat btw) it was obvious to me that he knew his way around the kitchen, which I learned later was because he hired an Italian Chef to come to Wolfville and teach him on traditional pizza makin, and let me tell you – it paid off.
We ordered the Spinach and Hazelnut salad (which is actually walnuts and a super funny typo) to share, but we liked it so much we ordered a second. I have NO idea how someone can take something as simple as spinach, walnuts, pears, and parm cheese and make it so completely and utterly to die for, but it is. Don’t even think about it just ORDER IT!
We also got the mushroom and prosciutto pizza and the sausage pizza. It’s very clear that all the ingredients are freshly prepared, and of the utmost quality. I gotta say we fell head over heels for this place, and I really hope they expand to Halifax someday, but if not we’ll make the trip.
Other restos on our list, and why we must come back again were: Le Caveau, Privet House, Port Pub, and Troy (definitely sit outside it’s so freaking cute).
Another spot you need to check out is T.A.N Coffee they make a pretty mean Matcha Latte (hot or iced)! We went back for a second. It’s a cute little spot to hang out too, of course, we bumped into the owner of La Torta the next day. It felt like we were on a movie set and we all had to laugh at the coincidence. We also got the inside scoop that he might be working with a black flour that adds a smokey flavor to the pizza. Needless to say we’re intrigued and it gave us even more of a reason to come back for another visit.
From sweet to savory these’s gotta be a crepe that tickles your fancy at Naked Crepe. When I walked in the server said I “looked smashing”, so she obviously scored some instant brownie points with me. Also, they are open all day, and pretty late, so you can pop in any time of the day. All-day breakfast crepes? Sign me up.
What we did
2-for-1 Wine tasting at Grand Pre Winery (as mentioned above). Thanks to our AIR MILES Card it literally cost us $12 total! And we tried 8 wines, not one, but 8 each. Safe to say I kind of feel like an expert in Grand Pre Wines now (at least the ones on the premium tasting).
Something you might not know about the vineyard is that you’re free to explore the grounds, and make your way to the beautiful UNESCO site located in the back. It’s absolutely stunning, and open to the public at all times. You could pack a little lunch or charcuterie, and purchase some wine at the winery after your tasting, and have a cute little romantic picnic back there. Like I said the view is spectacular, and the vineyard is massive (biggest in the area actually) and beautifully maintained. We had a blast just walking around taking it all in.
There are also tours available every two hours, or so. We missed out because of traffic in Wolfville (if you can believe it), but I’m hoping to catch one next time.
Before our tasting, we also drove up to the look off at Blomidon Park (photo below). Isn’t it just stunning? I would argue it’s the best view of the valley. Definitely, a must-see if you’re in town. Did you know that on a clear day you can see five counties? Blomidon Look-Off is on top of the North Mountain in the Fundy Shore and Annapolis Valley region. It is a small roadside stop with a beautiful panoramic view of the Annapolis Valley, and like I said a must-see.
Lastly, on your trip to Wolfville don’t forget to get lost (or found) in the Tangled Gardens (highly recommend). It has got to be the most peaceful little spot, and it’s really close to Grand Pre Winery so you could absolutely do both. Saunter through rows and row of plants, flowers, and herbs then explore the wildflower labyrinth and reflect by the tranquil pond. You’ll see butterflies, fish, and frogs a plenty, and instantly feel like you’ve been swept up into a fairytale land. The garden is open daily from 10am – 6pm from April to December and admission is $5. And don’t forget to grab some of their yummy homemade jams or liqueurs!
Before you go through the labyrinth be sure to ask a question, and once you get to the middle the answer should present itself. It’s really a neat spot, and I can’t even imagine the amount of work that goes into planning that labyrinth. Each row is expertly measured to ensure proper scale and subsequent zen balance. The only thing that could make this place better is if the various sections were either numbered or labeled to match the map. I think having a little blurb about the plants, or the types of plants or the various areas would also be SUPER interesting for visitors. Just my two cents, but honestly it’s stunning, and I would totally go back again.
As well we also shopped along on the main drag in Wolfville. There are so many cute little stores and shops in Wolfville we managed to pick up some great vintage records, and hung out at the clock park with our delicious matcha lattes and people watched. We toured around the beautiful campus of Acadia and walked along the old railways. It was such a lovely trip! And I know I’ve said this before, but it really reminds me of Stars Hallow, so any Gilmore Girls fan out there get your butts down to the valley because you won’t regret it.
Huge shout out to AIR MILES for making me aware of their awesome Perks, as I probably would not have made this trip otherwise. But as you can tell I’m so glad I did. To view all the AIR MILES Perks or to find some in your area be sure to click → here.
Hope you found today’s post helpful! I was pretty excited to learn about these exciting offers myself, and I hope you are too. So get out there and enjoy those Perks! To view all the AIR MILES Perks click here.
*This post was sponsored by AIR MILES; however, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting my sponsors, and allowing me to continue to share great content with you. All images shot using the Nikon 1J5.