Southern Georgian Bay is an exciting emerging wine region in Ontario, Canada. Two area wineries are currently in full operation. Coffin Ridge, halfway between Meaford and Owen Sound, has been selling wine for a few years now. Georgian Hills Vineyards, a few kilometres south of Thornbury, opened its doors to the public in summer, 2011.
In 1999, Neil Lamont, founder and, with his spouse Gwen, co-proprietor of Coffin Ridge, noticed wild grapes growing along the sides of the road east of Owen Sound. He decided to plant various varieties of wine grapes on his property to see if they would survive. Not only did they survive, they THRIVED.
This past year Coffin Ridge won three medals at the 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, for both red and white wines: and two Grand Golds for Marquette (red) and Acadie (white) at the All Canadian Wine Competition.
I recently had the great pleasure to taste both these wines at Coffin Ridge's FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE and was blown away with the quality yielded by these cold-hardy varietals. The winery itself, set in idyllic hilly terrain sloping towards Lake Huron's Georgian Bay - a bay so big that it is often referred to as the Sixth Great Lake" - is a class act. The celebration which comprised of five wine-tastings, each paired with a gourmet appetizer catered by a local chef and followed by a cheese and pastry table, far surpassed my expectations. If I could, I would buy a couple of cases each of 2010 Marquette and 2011 Acadie.
If you combine a visit to Coffin Ridge with one to the second area winery, Georgian Hills Vineyards (6 km south of Thornbury, ON) and a hike to the edge of Old Baldy, the highest cliff face in majestic Beaver Valley, you have the makings of a perfect day in Ontario's newest and most scenic wine region.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.