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Ontario Wineries off the Beaten Path

Adventurous winemakers, owners and Vineyard Managers are continually expanding the areas where grapes are grown and wine is produced.

When we think of Ontario our thoughts most often direct us to the Niagara Peninsula. In the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake you find some of Canada's best known wineries. These include Chateau des Charmes, Fielding Estate Winery,Hernder Estate Wines, Inniskillin Truis, Reif Estate Winery and Taswy.

Your thoughts may drift to Prince Edward County. Prince Edward County is Ontario`second best known wine region, on the opposite side of the lake from Niagara-on-the-Lake. A Designated Viticultural Area in Ontario with close to 50 wineries.

Then there are many of us who like the wines from Lake Erie North Shore region. Lake Erie to the South, and including Pelee Island, Lake Erie North Shore appellation is almost completely surrounded by water. The vineyards of Southwestern Ontario cover over 500 acres situated in a favoured microclimates along the north shore of Lake Erie in Essex, Kent and Elgin counties.

Yet adventurous owner have ventured beyond these regions and established vineyards and very successful wineries. Take Dark Horse Estate winery. It is located in Grand Bend, ON. on the souther end of Lake Huron, 70 km north of London.

Vignoble Clos duVully
Vignoble Clos duVully

A number of wineries are now located near Ottawa near the province of Quebec. These include Vankleek Hill Vineyards, Vignoble Clos duVully, Stone Crop Acres Winery, Scheuermann Vineyard & Winery, Smokie Ridge Vineyards and Jabulani Vineyard & Winery.

Jabulani winner silver for their 2018   Blanco Seco  and double gold for 2015   Marquette Chete Barrel Select  at All Canadian Championships

Applewood Farm Winery, Stouffville won double gold for thier 2017  Mac Meade. The winery is owned by the Passafiume Family and began as one of the very first pick-your-own farms. The winery opened in 2000 offering fruit wines and mead. The winery specializes in unique fruit blend wines. One very popular wine is Eloras Harvest a medley of five summer fruits and honey.

Blue Gypsy Wines is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Louis Gaal and Claire Faguy. Six years in the making, the fruit winery opened its doors in October 2011 in Oxford Mills, Ontario, about 45 minutes south of Ottawa, 90 minutes from downtown Montreal

Then there is Potter Settlement Artisan Winery located in Tweed about half way between Toronto and Ottawa. The winery was founded in 2000 by Sandor, Ken and Maureen Johnson on land that has been owned throughout the generations by the family since the early 1800's. Their signature wine is Frontenac Gris Late Harvest Auslese. Winner of Bronze for   2018  Sauvignon Blanc and silver for Pinot Noir Rosé at the All Candian Championships.

Of course we all know Plympton-Wyoming. Its a town in Ontario located just below the south end of Lake Huron north of Lake Erie North Shore. Here is where Marc and Anne Alton (Alton Winery) moved to Aberarder Line in Plympton-Wyoming with a goal of creating a vineyard and winery. They now have 6 acres of grape production selling wines to the local market.


Archibald's Estate Winery is nestled in the picturesque Oak Ridges Moraine. Since 1983, visitors to Archibald's have enjoyed a taste of country! From apples fresh off the tree - to pies still warm from the oven; from cider right off the press - to most recently, fruit fermented into award winning wines - there is something for every palate at this fourth generation family farm. Your hosts are Fred and Sandy Archibald. Located near Oshawa ,half way between Toronto and PEC.

One of the more established winery is Cox Creek Cellar Estate Winery. Cox Creek was founded by Mrs. J Jerry Trochta as part of her dream to continue her winemaking heritage. The estate winery is the culmination of her family's hard work and the bounty of the surrounding area. The winery construction started late July 1998 and was completed in time for the November 20 1998 Grand Opening. Located near Guelph.

The list of Off the Beaten Path wineries goes on and on with more wineries opening every year. But I must mention two more wineries Kawartha Country Wines located in Buckhorn, ON The tasting room is a 1866 log cabin.

Muskoka Lakes Winery located two hours north of Toronto on Lake Muskoka. Bala is home to the only two producing commercial cranberry farms in the province. In 1952, Orville Johnston began planting cranberries. Over fifty years later, Johnston's Cranberry Marsh is one of the oldest cranberry farms in Canada and is owned and operated by Orville's son, Murray Johnston and Murray's wife, Wendy Hogarth. Winner 2 bronze medals and Gold for    2017   Cranberry Blueberry and 2016 Maple    at the All Canadian. Their Georgian Bay Rose  awarded a silver medal.

In the fall of 2001, the Johnstons decided to begin a new venture, Muskoka Lakes Winery. While grapes don't grow in the region, cranberries sure do, and MLW specializes in wines made with Muskoka's native berry. With Jim Warren, a well-known winemaker in the Niagara region, as a consultant the Johnstons began making wine.

Willow Springs ~ Stouffville, ON Known for its award winning Vidal Icewines. Winner of Gold 2015   Cabernet- Merlot at the All Canadian.

In 1999, Denis Perrault, a local dairy farmer started a grape growing operation on the family farm in Naven, Ontario. He originally planted 1 acre of vines consisting of approximately 10 varieties of hybrid grapes in consultation with a vine expert from the University of Guelph.In the spring of 2005, an additional 5 acres of vines were planted, which provides the winery with approximately 20,000 bottles each year.From that day the dream of a vineyard in Ottawa was realized! Domaine Perrault was incorporated in 2005 and is owned and operated by Denis, his wife Lyse, and their two daughters.


A dream can come true if your will tp do the work and have the passion Please visit these wineries and let them know we told you about them


Please report errors. Or contact us if you know a winery we should have listed here.

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