Unlike the age-old chicken and egg debate, the name of this winery makes it clear that for the Puddicombes, the farm came first. In fact, the Puddicombe family started the farm in 1797 and have been there ever since. Though they’ve been fruit farmers since the early 1900s, they’ve only been growing Vinifera grapes since the 1960s. Their first winemaking venture was a partnership that they ended up selling. Three years later they started the winery anew and have been making wines since then under their current name.
I don’t normally think of wineries as being kid friendly, but when you’re describing Puddicombe’s, you can’t help but say that it is. Visiting the winery is essentially visiting a working fruit farm that features pick-your-own fields, a petting zoo, nature walks, and Little Pudd, a train that takes you on an educational tour through the orchards and vineyards.
Bakery and Cafe
The winery tasting room is adjacent to the farm bakery and café. The have traditional sandwiches and salads, steak and mushroom pie, Cornish potato and meat pockets, and other kid-friendly foods. Wine is available by the glass, so you can sit down and enjoy a casual meal with a glass of your favourite.
The winery has a banquet room and hosts private parties of all kinds.
Pullman Car B&B
Separate from Little Pudd, the farm also has the “Admiral Dewey Pullman Train Car”, which serves as a bed and breakfast. Before it ended up at Puddicombe’s, the car was used on the Pennsylvania Railroad and after that served as a restaurant in Springville, New York. It’s now a popular feature and from May-Oct. you can stay overnight.
An 8th generation Puddicombe – Lindsay – is the current winemaker. She has a diploma in Viticulture and Winemaking Technology, as well as a diploma in agriculture. The winery makes traditional wines, as well as icewine. It also specializes in fruit wines, most made from its own fruit, such as raspberry, strawberry, peach, iced apple, pear, cranberry, blueberry, and cherry.
A number of wines are available for tasting at the winery. They charge a small fee for tastings.
Pear Cider that Would Make Sir Isaac Proud
Also available at the winery is Sir Isaac’s Pear Cider, which was introduced in 2010. The hard cider (6.5% alcohol) was the brainchild of Brock Puddicombe (winemaker Lindsay’s brother), who realized that when the last local fruit canning factory closed, the family would have quite a surplus of pears. (The Puddicombe’s are one of the largest pear growers in the region.)
In 2010 he started the Puddicombe Cider Company and named the flagship product after the famed leader of the British Forces in Canada during the War of 1812 – Sir Isaac Brock.
Puddicombe’s wines are only available at the winery. As well, Sir Isaac’s Cider is currently only available at the winery.
Lindsay Puddicombe is the winemaker.