Our Feast On Certified friends at Georgian Hills Vineyards just hosted their first annual Meet the Makers: Long Table Dinner, and we�ve still got stars in our eyes. We strongly suggest you mark your calendar for next year!
Georgian Hills Vineyards is the result of a crazy idea three friends had over a decade ago. Robert Ketchin, Murray Puddicombe and John Ardiel knew that grapes had grown in the area once upon a time, and thought it was high time they be brought back. With a micro-climate perfect for growing apples, they believed it could be adapted to grapes.
Robert Ketchin hosted us during the long table dinner and explained that all three friends believe strongly in establishing a sustainable winery in the Beaver Valley, with a long term goal to develop a successful wine industry in the Georgian Bay region.
Georgian Hills is one of two homes of winemaker Lindsay Puddicombe. Lindsay graduated from Guelph viticulture school and then later from the Niagara College for wine making. She’s currently flexing her muscles with cold-climate varieties like vidal, gamay noir and marechal foch at Georgian Hills.
The Long Table Dinner
The evening began with a brief history of Georgian Hills Winery and the friends who opened it together, followed by a tour of the beautiful vineyards.
After a brief cocktail hour and a glass of some yet-to-be released bubbles, everyone sat down at one long table to a four-course meal, catered this year by O&B Blue Mountain, with the help of Chef Michael Wilson, who came all the way from Luma in Toronto.
The dinner itself was something straight out of a dream; with Edison bulbs strung over-head, and locally grown flowers (and fruit!) adorning the candle-lit table. Each course was served with a thoughtful wine pairing, with the wine-makers present to share their story.
We could write about the courses for days, and maybe we will, but for now we will just share our favourites! Ontario Beef Tataki served with garlic scape pesto, fire roasted peppers, macerated heirloom tomatoes and esplette, paired perfectly with Georgian Hills Vineyards 2015 Gamay Rose.
The evening passed at a relaxed pace, allowing us ample time to enjoy each course and pairing thoroughly, while chatting with guests seated around us. The county’s leading innovators in the industry were all there to build on the community spirit hovering throughout the room. We had the chance to chat with restaurant owners, farmers and winemakers alike about what makes Grey County so unforgettable.
A Sense Of Place
Evenings like this remind us why Ontario is so special. There are communities all over Ontario working together and supporting each other to make a struggling industry thrive.
The bringing together of chefs, farmers, makers and storytellers to celebrate each other is inspiring; there is a sense of pride for what’s made in Grey that’s hard to miss. Folks support each other and understand that the more good things, beautiful places and delicious experiences that open, the more people will come.
We left the county feeling warm and fuzzy, and eager to go back as soon as we get the chance. As for next year�s Long Table Dinner, tickets aren�t on sale yet, but stay tuned and we will let you know when you can get your hands on one (or several).
To discover more unforgettable places like Georgian Hills, check out Grey County.