There's a surprising lot of interesting stuff going on around here, and this space is devoted to discovering and sharing it. We'll post regular updates on merchants, activities and events. Look in often and soon you'll see why Meaford calls itself "The other Big Apple".

posted March 9th, 2013
Winter vintner tour at Meaford’s Coffin Ridge Winery

While a vineyard tour evokes thoughts of warm Mediterranean winds in the Tuscan hills or the hot Burgundian summer sun, in Meaford, you can tour our local winery all winter long. Next Saturday, Coffin Ridge Winery is offering a tour behind the scenes of the production facility, and then you can learn, hands-on, the gentle vintner’s art of hand-pruning the grape vines. Dress for the weather, and bring along a pair of pruning shears.

Then after your intimate communion with the vines from whence the wine was born, you can enjoy the actual stuff. Head inside the elegant tasting room for a glass of wine and a delicious vintner’s plate.

The event is $30 per person and space is limited to 20 people, so reserve now. Email to make your reservations.

Coffin Ridge vineyard in winter

Coffin Ridge winter grapes

posted July 27th, 2012
Sample more local Meaford wines at Georgian Hills Vineyards

After visiting the Creemore Springs village brewery and sampling the unique maple mellowed warmth of Collingwood Canadian Whisky, it’s time to return a little closer to home for a visit the uniquely local wines and ciders available just down the road.

We’ve already introduced Thornbury Village Cidery and the delicious Thornbury Premium Cider.

And we’ve paid a few visits to Coffin Ridge, which brought home two double golds from the All Canadian Wine Championships a couple of months ago. Coffin Ridge also has a very delicious (your blogger can vouch for it), fairly dry and tart cider. Their website describes Forbidden Fruit Hard Cider tastily: “Made from 100 percent organic Grey County apples this artisanal cider is cold pressed and filtered to preserve the fresh, crisp, new harvest apple flavours. Robust with a pleasantly intense finish and complex flavours of juicy apple and lemon Forbidden Fruit embodies the essence of autumn harvest.”

But there’s another new winery in the Southern Georgian Bay area, and like Coffin Ridge, it’s less than 15 minutes from Meaford Haven.

Georgian Hills wines

Back in 1998, founding partners Robert Ketchin, Murray Puddicombe and John Ardiel began conducting tests at four sites in the area to determine the best locations for a vineyard and which viticultural methods and grape varieties would prosper in the Georgian Bay region. In 2004, they planted a five-acre commercial vineyard on John Ardiel’s farm on the west side of the Beaver Valley, and eight years later, the estate-managed vineyard is producing more than 12 tons of grapes a year. Three years after those first vines were put in, the team planted a little more than 12 acres of vinifera and hybrid vines at Victoria Corners, just southwest of Sideroad 21 and Grey Road 2 near Ravenna. They harvested the first full crop there in 2010.

Winemaker Lindsay Puddicombe

Georgian Hills Vineyards winemaker Lindsay Puddicombe

Under the guidance of winemaker Lindsay Puddicombe, the winery is already reaping the fruits of their labours. In fact, this year, Georgian Hills Vineyards earned the Silver medal in the red hybrid category for its Marechal Foch 2010. This well-balanced, complex red has flavours of black current, plum, and spicy oak nuances balanced with soft tannins and refreshing acidity, says the website’s tasting notes. “It pairs perfectly with lamb, duck, game meats, and burgers!”

Georgian Hills Vineyards tasting

Vanessa McKean talks about a Georgian Hills white with a visitor.

Plan your visit for the afternoon any day except Monday and Tuesday. The cozy cottage tasting room at Victoria Corners is open from noon to 5 p.m., and you can sample the wines (and buy your favourite), while enjoying a view of the vineyard set among the rolling hills, with the glint of Georgian Bay in the distance.

posted June 1st, 2012
Two Meaford wines the best in Canada – Coffin Ridge brings home gold

Last week, Meaford’s Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery brought home two double-gold awards from the All Canadian Wine Championships, the oldest and largest wine competition in the country. The double-gold awards recognize the best Canadian wine in each of 49 categories.

Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery

The 2011 L’Acadie took the top spot in the single white hybrids category, and the 2010 Marquette outshone all entries in the “other single red hybrids” category.

Both wines were produced from 100 percent Grey County grapes grown at the winery in the rolling hills northwest of the town of Meaford.

Dry aromatic white
Coffin Ridge is the only Ontario winery growing the l’Acadie white grape, which was developed in Ontario decades ago, and is widely used in Nova Scotia.

Full-bodied red
A hybrid of European and North American grape varieties, this cold-hardy grape was chosen by Coffin Ridge soon after the vinyards were first planted, and the winery says it has found “the new standard cold climate red grape variety.”

posted April 27th, 2011
Konrad Ejbich comes to Meaford’s Coffin Ridge Winery

We heard that Meaford’s Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery was having a special event this weekend.  Konrad Ejbich, CBC’s resident wine guru, will be at the Winery this Saturday to celebrate the release of the 2010 Sparkling Pear.   He’ll share his expertise on various food and wine pairings, and you’ll be able to ask him any wine related question you like.

If you’re scratching your head and muttering, “A winery in  Meaford?” this event might be just the thing you need to discover just what’s happening at this beautiful little location set into a slope overlooking rolling hills and Georgian Bay .  Using unique varieties of grapes that survive under winter’s deep blanket of snow and thrive in the long warm summers, Grey County’s first winery is making itself known both locally and in the international world of wine.

Most recently, Coffin Ridge won three medals at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, and you can sample these wines at the tasting bar.

Later on, we’ll take a visit to Coffin Ridge and do some sampling of our own.

Coffin Ridge Winery

The vineyard at Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery in Meaford