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Puddicombe Estate Farms & Winery
by
K. L. Sullivan

Summary: Puddicombe Estate Farms & Winery, an agricultural destination site, is a delightful place to experience an inexpensive day of fun in the country. Located in the outskirts of Hamilton, Ontario, on 100 acres, the facility offers an enjoyable time for children, adults and families. Taste wines, go for a train ride, pet animals and pick your own fruit. All of these activities are available. The entire facility is very laidback. Visitors are referred to as “guests.”

Puddicombe Estate Farms and WineryPuddicombe farm has been in the family since 1797. Originally a cow farm, the owners began to concentrate on fruit during the early 1900’s. After much research about grapes and climate, the fourth generation began to plant grapes. The lake provides a warm blanket and the Niagara Escarpment blocks the “blanket” from moving away. Today the eighth generation participates in the day-to-day operations of the farms and winery. Puddicombe Estate Farms & Winery grow pears, apples, peaches, strawberries and grapes. Today the Puddicombe family farms 360 acres including the 100 acre estate site. Lindsey Puddicombe is the winemaker and produces 8000 cases. The only non-estate grapes purchased are Gewürztraminer from a local vineyard.

Our first stop was the tasting room, a small nicely arranged room adjacent to a gift room. The tasting counter is of a medium oak wood. The wineglasses are stored overhead. Our tasting consultant was informative and friendly. We met Holly Gonsalves, Promotional Director, who answered more of our questions and suggested that we enjoy the train ride.

Puddicombe Estate Farms and WineryThe wine list consists of 13 white wines, 11 reds, 1 rosé, 2 icewines, and 8 fruit wines. Fruit wines are produced with 100 percent fruit. All of the fruit for the fruit wines is grown on the farm with the exception of cranberry. Only selected wines are available each day and that was more than enough. The tastings use one glass. The consultant used the next wine to rinse the glass before the tasting was poured. This prevents the wine from being watered-down or affected by the flavor of the previous wine. Good idea!

The Gewürztraminer Riesling is a blend of 75 percent Gewürztraminer and 25 percent Riesling. It had a sweet aroma and was floral with an apricot taste. It was dry on the finish. The Blueberry with 10.5 percent alcohol had a strong blueberry taste with a long aftertaste. The taste of the raspberry wine had a tart raspberry taste that was dry on the finish. My favorite fruit wine name was Pear-a-dice. This was a blend of Bosh, Bartlett and Sugar Pears. The aroma reminded me of an Icewine. Sauvignon Blanc offered an herbaceous and spice nose with a citrus fruit and grass taste. It had a dry finish. Cabernet Junction was a blend of 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 35 percent Merlot and 5 percent Cabernet Franc. The result was a blackberry nose and taste. It was smooth with fruit and a hint of pepper on the finish. Station Red, a blend of Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Maréchal Foch and a bit of Icewine is a house red. There was licorice on the nose with a fruit salad taste of blackberries and red raspberries. There was an instant sweetness then drying on the finish.

You can bring the entire family to Puddicombe Estate Farms and Winery. Make sure you enjoy the train ride. The small train runs on a track that allows for a ride of twenty-five minutes. Train rides are accompanied with an offer of a glass of red or white wine for the adults. The 2004 Riesling had a golden yellow color with a floral aroma. The taste was citrus and drying. The Cabernet Sauvignon was blackberry with a ruby color. The taste was blackberry and red cherry. The finish was crisp and balanced. Children are offered a non-alcoholic drink. The train track runs through orchards of apples, pears, peaches and cherries. Rambling past two ponds, huge willow trees with overhanging leaves, ducks and geese, the train eventually ended back at the “train station.”

Puddicombe Estate Farms and Winery   Puddicombe Estate Farms and Winery   Puddicombe Estate Farms and Winery

The farm offers pick-your-own fruit. In June, strawberries are available. If you visit in July, look for sweet and sour cherries. September and October are the months to pick apples and pumpkins. Other fruits are available at the seasonal fruit stand.

Young or mature alike enjoy the small petting farm area. Be sure to observe the mountain goat apparatus. Wire enclosures keep the animals safe and visible for even the youngest visitors.

Puddicombe Estate Farms and Winery   Puddicombe Estate Farms and Winery   Puddicombe Estate Farms and Winery

If anyone is hungry, check out the Licensed Café.

Puddicombe Estate Farms & Winery
1468 #8 Highway
Winona, Ontario, Canada

GPS N 43° 20.568' W079° 63.414'

 


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