Wexford, since the 1800s has been known as the “Model County” this nickname came about as we here in Wexford were the first to introduce new ways of farming, this reputation has carried on to today, however now it isn’t just farming we are modelled on!
Wexford is one of the most fertile counties in Ireland, lush green and lucky enough to have higher rates of sunshine than elsewhere on the island. It is no wonder that we have 100s of Berry and fruit farms feeding the rest of the country!
We also have a higher than average rate of Organic Farms, an abundance of Beef and Dairy Farms, along with literally hundreds of fields yielding a wide variety of crops from vegetables to grains.
And our seafood industry is highly renowned, Kilmore Quay a tiny village of thatched cottages provides much of the seafood eaten in the south east, with fresh seafood being shipped as far as Dublin daily from the fish markets here.
It is no wonder, with all this going on, for hundreds of years, that we have such a strong population of artisan food providers! Our Taste of Wexford Food Tour give you the opportunity to do just that, taste some of the best food this island has to offer!
Bacon has gotten a lot of bad press in recent times, talk of additives and preservatives and loaded with salt. Well at O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon Company we return to Bacon as it was prepared in the past.
Using ethically farmed pork, a curing salt made from a secret family recipe and a small team of dedicated staff, the bacon here is indescribably good!
O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon has won numerous prestigious awards, is highly acclaimed by food critics and is the chosen bacon of many of the top chefs in Ireland.
Discover for yourself on this exclusive tour of the O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon Company, what the difference is between Wet and Dry Cure Bacon, why they don’t use phosphates, why their bacon doesn’t shrink and why it tastes so good!
The tour lasts approx 1 hour and includes tasting samples and a complimentary 300grm packet of their award winning dry cure traditional Irish “Rashers”
Our next stop is at Ballyminane Mill. Built in 1832 and owned by the same family for generations this Mill is still powered by water from the local river which turns the huge Mill wheels that grind locally grown wheat into stone ground flour, a key ingredient in many traditional Irish breads, like our iconic Irish Soda Bread.
The Mill is untouched by modern technology, everything is as it was the day the mill was built. On this exclusive access tour you will meet the current Care Taker, John Murphy, who will explain his families work over the centuries, and bring you on a tour of the mill, explaining this age old process. The rumble of the wheel and the whoosh of the water as the wheel turns is quite a humbling experience.
Unlike many museums, here you can touch and feel the past, the old scales, the trapdoors worn away smooth with the many working hands, the stooped doorways and sense of time standing still.
The benefits of stone ground flour are many and it can be used for many uses besides bread, by the end of your tour you will be itching to start baking!
From Enniscorthy we cross some of the most picturesque agricultural scenery to arrive in New Ross just in time for a little lunch.
The Cracked Teapot is one of the best places to enjoy lunch in the whole county, using local products as much as possible, always organic, free range and fresh, the menu here is fantastic. A blend of traditional soups and sandwiches with more contemporary dishes available too. O’Neills Bacon and Ballyminane Flour, of course, feature heavily!
The Cracked Teapot is a celebration of the best traditional Irish foods done properly!
Lunch is not included in the price of the tour to allow you to choose from the seasonal menu and indulge yourself with a little dessert should you fancy!
New Ross is the home of the Wexford Food Family, a network of food producers set up to support and cross promote each others brands. And so it is the perfect place to indulge in a little shopping! A visit to The Bakehouse and the Full & Plenty Farm Shop is a must.
Here you can purchase a wide range of items from soda breads, tea bracks and scones to locally made cheese, chutney, preserves, chocolate, smoked salmon, handmade farmhouse butter, raw milk and so much more
At the Bakehouse, Sean and Barbra will be happy to tell you about their baked goods and let you sample some brack, a rich fruitcake that has been eaten in Ireland since the medieval era
Jolly, proprietor of the Full & Plenty Farmshop can advise on their selection of cheeses while telling you the story behind every other product she stocks. Much of the fruit and veg is sourced from local growers and even foragers
Finally we head back towards Wexford Town having done an almost loop of the entire county. Our final stop of the day is the Cleverman Brewery. Owned by husband and wife team Malcolm and Andrea, and building on their years of experience in the pub trade, they opened their small craft brewery in 2010 and have built up a loyal fan base.
With four signature brews, each one named after a “clever man” these beers are as full of character as the brewery itself. An Amber Ale, a Kolsch style beer, a turf smoked Stout and in honour of Andreas US roots in Chicago, an American Pale Ale.
Your tour will include samples of each as Malcolm explains their ingredients, the inspiration for each one, and the brewing process involved.
Afterwards, you will receive 2 complimentary bottles of your favourite brew!
Luxury Vehicle to Transport you across the county
Chill Storage for any purchases made
Insightful Gallivanting Guide
Exclusive Access to O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon Tour plus tasting samples and 300gm pack
Exclusive Access to Ballyminane Mill with a private tour conducted by the Miller himself and a bag of Stoneground flour to take home
Shopping opportunity at The Bakehouse and Full & Plenty Farm Shop
Beer Tasting and Brewery Tour of the Cleverman Brewery with 2 bottles to take home
Available Thursday and Friday
Minimum group size 4