A new online portal offers a flavour of all the unique culinary offerings in Dumfries and Galloway, writes Erin McDermott

A NEW interactive project is shining a spotlight on the independent food and drink producers making a positive impact throughout Dumfries & Galloway. 
The region’s top culinary experiences are being profiled on a new website  – dgfoodanddrink.com – hosted by Eat SW Scotland, the regional food group for Dumfries & Galloway, with joint funding from the council and Scotland Food and Drink.


As the new site shows, in-depth information of the story behind the business can make the produce all the more enticing. 
To give you a taste of the new Food and Drink Dumfries & Galloway website, here are six of the many fascinating business it showcases....

HeraldScotland:

BLADNOCH DISTILLERY
Bladnoch, Newton Stewart
VISIT the 200-year-old estate which is home to Bladnoch Distillery. You can book a tour at this impressive site and discover how Bladnoch and Pure Scot Whiskies are crafted first hand. If you book the classic tour and taste option you will indulge in sampling three of the popular releases from the Bladnoch and Pure Scot range. Alternatively, the 1817 tour is designed as a more in-depth look through the centuries-old distillery. This two-hour tour and tasting experience gives visitors the opportunity to use the same tools and equipment as the production team. The visitor centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and don’t forget to visit Café Melba while you’re there. 
uk.bladnoch.com

KNOCKINAAM LODGE
Portpatrick, Stranraer, DG9 9AD
WITHIN this 19th century country house hotel in Dumfries and Galloway is a charming 3 AA rosette restaurant. Knockinaam showcases the finest local suppliers with their rotating seasonal menu, accompanied by fresh produce, much of which is handpicked that morning from the Knockinaam Garden. Visitors are free to take a walk around the vegetable garden to hear first-hand how it is grown. Whether you’re tucking into a delicious lunch or dinner, a tasting guide is provided to explain exactly what you are eating, focusing on method, seasonality and local suppliers. There will also be a cocktail waitress on hand to prepare seasonal cocktails to pair with your food – these too will be infused with ingredients from the garden.
www.knockinaamlodge.com


LOW AULDGIRTH
Nithsdale, DG2 OXJ
THIS small Scottish steading and farm shop is a real gem in the region. Everything sold through the shop Nurture From Nature is produced on the farm itself – from upcycled trinkets from the farm’s past, through to fresh produce from the animals. Low Auldgirth take great pride in the slow grown quality of the farm produce. The family farm work with natural and organic processes to build an ecosystem that is environmentally sustainable and self-regenerative. Wool and meat from the small flock of heritage sheep are among the farm’s key produce, all animals are raised organically – completely free from any chemicals or intensive systems.
www.nurturefromnature.co.uk

HeraldScotland:

THE LOVE BUG D&G
Lockerbie, DG11 2FD
AS well as providing a popular service for wedding hire, The Love Bug D&G is now available for bespoke regional food or drink tours. Sample the foodie hotspots of Dumfries and Galloway in the style and comfort of a classic VW campervan. Enjoy a unique day out by booking on to the popular VW Distillery Trail or take the world’s first Tartan Chocolate Tour. Over the summer months, the option of a retro picnic serving a generous selection of local produce is on offer. And should you wish to compose your own foodie trail around the diverse region, tailor-made tours can also be arranged. 
www.thelovebugdg.co.uk

BEER WITHOUT BORDERS
5 Friars Vennel / 16 Brewery Street, Dumfries DG1 2RQ
BEER Without Borders is a craft beer project that aims to build bridges between the EU and Scottish beer communities. Two years ago the group opened their first taproom and bottle shop in Dumfries named Riverside Tap. At the venue you can enjoy a beer tasting experience led by one of the beer experts. Guests will sample six beers all made using different styles, here you will learn about the different methods involved in making each beer, and the background of the breweries involved. The Riverside Tap is open from 2pm (12pm on Friday and Saturday) seven days a week. Visit the website to book. 
www.beerwithoutborders.co.uk

SOLWAY VIEW
Balmangan Farm, Borgue, Kirkcudbright, DG6 4TR
FOR a truly personalised farm tour experience Solway View, as the name suggests, offers a scenic setting to explore with all the family. As well as hosting a popular campsite for holiday seekers, Solway View is home to Balmangan Farm – a 330 acre estate located by the sea. Here you can enjoy a walking tour around the farm which is opening up to the wider public in the next week or two. The 1.5/ two-hour tour will highlight the farm’s rewilding project. As part of the Northwoods Rewilding Network, the farm is committed to improving the soil, reversing the decline in local wildlife, and helping to highlight the importance of small producers. On the tour you can expect to meet Tamworth pigs, Highland cattle and the surrounding nature trails are home to red squirrels and roe deer. Tea, coffee, cakes and scones will also be offered to visitors.
www.solwayviewholidays.co.uk
 

This article was brought to you in partnership with Eat SW Scotland