There are many unusual things about Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery. For most Ontario wine lovers, the location is probably the first unusual thing. The winery is in Grey County, which is up near Georgian Bay, beyond Collingwood and Blue Mountain, heading toward Own Sound. For those not too familiar with Ontario geography – that’s ski country.
In fact, it claims the distinction of being Grey County’s first winery. (It’s not the only one there – there’s also Georgian Hills Vineyards.) Neil and Gwen Lamont have been growing grapes there since 1999 and the winery has been open since 2007.
Cold climate varieties
Because of their location (quite a bit north of Ontario’s traditional wine regions), they also grow a number of varieties that not too many other Ontario wineries are currently using but that are particularly suited to the colder climate – things like La Crescent, which is from Minnesota, Prairie Star, which is from Wisconsin, and Marechal Foch, which is a hardy, cold climate grape originally from Alsace.
In addition to their wines, they also produce a craft cider that’s well known and well loved.
What would you call your winery?
And of course, the name is unusual. When I asked I was told that some folks think the ridge looks like a possible burial mound and there seems to also be a local tale about some coffins falling off a wagon at some point in history. Anyway – the name certainly is memorable – and there’s a dash of dark humour about it (and the black and red colour scheme and choice of names for the wines), given that Neil Lamont also happens to be a practicing surgeon.
The drive to the winery from the Collingwood/Blue Mountains area along Highway 26 is lovely in summer and winter. The winery has a large patio and deck overlooking the 25-acre vineyard and the rolling hills of the area – it’s a lovely spot to sit and have a glass of wine or cider.
Tours and Tasting
They offer free public tours and private tours can be arranged by appointment. Tastings are complimentary.
They also sell wine by the glass and they usually have some light nibbles available for purchase (for example, a Vintner’s picnic may be available in summer) to go with your glass of wine.