While the Kawarthas region is known for growing its own produce, one business has found incredible success in using its homegrown products in a whole new way.
Kawartha Country Wines (2275 County 36, Buckhorn ON) is a small winery solely focused on making uniquely distinctive fruit and grape wines. While you might be used to sipping a Cabernet or a Merlot, Kawartha’s best-kept secret will change the way you drink forever and continues to prove to visitors daily that wine can truly be made from anything… including fruit.
Located on County Road #36 between the small towns of Buckhorn and Bobcaygeon, the wine-making facility, tasting room and gift shop are situated inside in a restored log cabin that was originally built in 1866.
Kawartha Country Wines is the brainchild of its affable owner John Rufa. While the vintner has years of practical experience and has studied enology extensively, it is the way he treats his customers that make him an expert in the field.
The winery offers free tastings of its award-winning beverages and is surrounded by 22 acres of land that is used to grow the apples, pears, raspberries, rhubarb and grapes found in its original wines. Should you choose to stop by (and why wouldn’t you), you will also find some maple trees that are used to produce one of the winery’s most popular Canadian flavours, the delicious maple syrup ice. Rufa joked (although now I think he was being serious) that some of his customers use the maple syrup ice wine to top off their pancakes in the morning leaving them feeling great for the day.
Speaking of Rufa, it is his ability to provide an undeniable sense of comfort and familiarity as he pours glass after glass during the tastings that truly define Kawartha Country Wines. The owner uses a tagline that many in the Buckhorn region already know all too well when he tells you to “take one sip, then judge the second sip.” The vintner promises that he will find you at least one wine that you simply must take home with you before you leave.
If you’d like to enjoy your wine on-site, there is a lovely picnic table set-up adjacent to the property where you are encouraged to indulge with a few friends. I am sure Rufa would even provide the glasses.
If Kawartha Country Wines is Kawartha Northumberland’s best-kept secret, it certainly shouldn’t be. Everyone should try the award-winning fruit wine and stay for a chat with the man behind the taste.
For more information, visit KawarthaCountryWines.ca