The Wine Award of Excellence for Restaurants is an annual award that recognizes leaders in the culinary industry who exhibit strong support of the Ontario South Coast Wineries and high professional standards in wine service.
Who can submit nominations?
Nominations are open to any restaurant that serves and promotes wine from Ontario’s South Coast
Anyone can submit a nomination
You can nominate yourself
How are winners selected?
The winner will be selected by members of the Ontario South Coast Wineries and Growers Association (OSCWGA) Board of Directors. The winner will be announced at the Norfolk County Economic Development Symposium on February 13, 2020.
The decisions of the judges are final. Submissions must qualify based on the criteria guidelines.
Nomination Deadline: January 31, 2020
What are the benefits of winning the award?
Recognition for outstanding support of our local wineries
Promotion of your organization on the OSCWGA website, social media and other marketing materials
Ability to highlight your award and achievements on your own promotional materials
Opportunity to gain media coverage which enhances your profile in the community and beyond
Free one-year OSCWGA membership that entitles you to participate in wine workshops, promotional events and more
Luck of the Irish. Clovers. Green Beer. Guinness…?
You guessed it! Next week is St Patricks and we know that this is a day where (a little bit of) beer is consumed. Don’t worry because we’ve got 5 stellar local recommendations for you to try out for this St Patty’s Day (Thursday March 17th)
Concession Road Brewing – Crossroads Sour: We don’t judge if there’s a celebratory St Patty’s day brunch with beer + pancakes. You know what would be the perfect companion? Concession Road Brewing’s Mandarinia Sour. A dry hopped sour brewed with Mandarinia Bravaria Hops which helps give it a light sweet flavour of mandarine oranges. With 5.25% alc./vol it’s the perfect sidekick to your brunch.
New Limburg – Quad:This Belgian style quadrupel is a full, warming, dark ale that showcases flavours of berries, plum, raisin and cherry. It’s considered an ‘extra strong’ beer with a higher alcohol content of 10.6% alc./vol. It’s recommended to be served only slightly chilled between 10-14 degrees celsius. We suggest sipping this one!
Meuse Brewing – 8 Dark Strong Ale: This award-winning ale is one you that you’ll want to add to your St Patty’s day line up. Inspired by some of Meuse’s favourite Belgian examples, 8 gives you a rich dark malty base with notes of dark red fruits. Perfect for sipping around the campfire at the end of the day. A little higher in alcohol for a beer with 9% alc./vol.
Charlotteville Brewing – Local 519: An ode to Norfolk, called Local 519 can be (and should be) enjoyed anywhere you go. An English Pale Ale that is perfect to have with your fish + chips. It’s malt forward, and nicely balanced with a gentle hop presence. Golden in colour with aromas of honey, biscuit and a hint of raisin. 4.9% alc./vol allows for you to have a pint or two with dinner.
Hometown Brew – Blueberry Saison: Norfolk County is known for its bountiful farming and Hometown Brew created a classic that should make you St Patty’s list. Blueberry Saison is a fruity old world saison with crisp herbal hop character that creates a fresh and vibrant finish. You’ll taste some spice and clove from the yeast which is accompanied by a light malt sweetness. Locally grown blueberries continue to a beautiful mauve haziness. 6.0% alc./vol.
Cheers to local, and cheers to the Irish. Find something new this St.Patrick’s day, and drink local.
The wine and cheese pairing experience is one hot ticket at Blueberry Hill Estate Winery! Good news is, you can message them on Facebook or Instagram or use the contact page on their website to reserve a spot at their table.
Enjoy a flight of three wines/ciders thoughtfully paired with three Canadian cheeses by Dover Cheese Shop. This experience will be led by one of Blueberry Hill’s wine experts who will guide you through each pairing and share why the wine and cheese complement each other so well. You’ll gain deeper understanding of various products while learning the basics of wine and cheese pairing so that you can replicate this experience at home. Reservations required.
On June 6, 2019, the Ontario South Coast Wineries & Growers Association (OSCWGA) celebrated its Tenth Anniversary at Burning Kiln Winery. Speakers included Nick Vranckx, OSCWGA president, Mike McArthur, founding president, Clark Hoskin, director of tourism and economic development for Norfolk County, and Nick Kinkel, agricultural economic development specialist with OMAFRA.
Located in the heart of Ontario’s Garden, Wooden Bear L Winery is well known for their award winning fruit wines and cider. Run by Kim and her friendly staff, visiting the winery is always a pleasure.
Their winemaking philosophy is to produce small batches of product using locally sourced ingredients and less abrasive procedures to retain and enhance natural flavours, aromas, colours, and textures — which is reflected in their award winning Bear Claw Hard Cider. It is a traditional English dry cider that’s clear with intense apple aromas. A popular hit among the locals. Another one of their most popular wines is Gala. Made from Gala apples, it is dry yet smooth, featuring the strong apple and citrus flavours the fruit is known for.
With a glass of wine in hand, the gazebo is a great place to relax and mingle with friends. From here you can see the orchards and farms behind the winery, enjoy the beautiful weather, or even catch a movie playing outdoors. The winery also sells seasonal fruit and produce fresh from their farm as well, so it’s well worth the trip to come back frequently to see what’s available and have a chat with the staff.
Nestled among the picturesque farmlands of Waterford, Bonnieheath Estate is a scenic rural retreat with the sophistication of an estate winery. Upon entering, you are greeted by their friendly dog Lucy, and immersed in the soothing scent of lavender. Wandering through the winery, an assortment of wines and ciders are displayed with locally made products such as jewelry and soap featured throughout. Despite being a tiny room, the lavender boutique’s stark contrast to the rustic feeling of the winery is an experience in itself. From floor to ceiling, lavender products are beautifully arranged on their shelves and tables showcasing bath and body products, culinary products, candles, essential oils, and many more hidden gems. Time almost seems to slow down as one carefully examine each product and breathe in the smell of lavender in the air.
Stepping out of the lavender boutique, you return to reality completely refreshed. The bar is staffed with friendly and knowledgeable employees, making the wine tasting an even more delightful experience. Their Lavender Gris is a unique dessert wine. It has a wonderful lavender aroma, with a delicious honey flavour. With a fuller body compared to their Lavender Ice wine, the Lavender Gris feels like a warm hug, presenting a full body experience when tasting the wine.
In stark contrast to their wines, Folkin’ Hard ciders have a refreshing kick that complements the chuckle that comes with the punny name. Using apples grown in their own orchard, four ciders are created. In the Face is an off-dry, refreshingly light cider, with a kick that is true to name. Cherry Pickin is a semi-sweet apple and cherry cider that is pink in colour. Aside from these two mainline ciders, both seasonal ciders are truly unique, featuring tart and sweet flavours with hints of maple and lavender respectively. Available from March to May is their Sweet Lips strawberry maple cider. For blueberry and lavender season, True Blue blueberry lavender cider that was launched on Canada Day 2017.
With a glass of wine in hand, it’s time to take a leisurely stroll through expansive lavender fields, vineyards, and orchards. Bonnieheath is also a part of Norfolk County’s ALUS program. As a part of this program, native prairie grasses and wildflowers are planted to promote wildlife biodiversity and maintain a wetland on their property. When you talk with Anita, one of the owners of Bonnieheath, she highly recommended visitors to take a walking tour of the property. After exploring the farm, a bowl of delicious lime, lavender, and blueberry sherbet while watching the sunset on their deck is the perfect way to end such an eventful day at the winery.
There is always something to do at Bonnieheath, look forward to their annual LavenderFest and many events throughout the year!
This past Saturday, the OSCWGA was visiting Inasphere Wines, to check out the store and enjoy the views from the Muskoka chairs.
The environment at Inasphere Wines is amazing. The views from the Muskoka chairs were beautiful, and you could even see a clear view of Turkey Point, all the way over to Long Point. But if you look just down the hill, you can see a clear view of the Inasphere vineyards!
Inside the Inasphere retail store, you can immediately sense the ambience and the setting is just perfect. Inasphere also offers a patio just out front of their retail store, which provides a shaded view for those looking to sip and taste. Inasphere has a vast variety of wines, from dry Riesling to Cabernet Franc, Inasphere has a wine to fit anyone’s palate.