Renfrew County’s first winery is set to hold its grand opening this coming weekend in Whitewater Region.
Whitewater O’Brien Winery, located in Westmeath, Ont., will open for the first time Saturday at noon after planting its vines nine years ago. An invitation-only event will begin at 6 p.m.
“We have Marquette, Petite Pearl, and Frontenac as our main varieties,” says winemaker Jason O’Brien.
The O’Briens are also under the understanding that they will become the northernmost winery in the province and they say you can taste the difference growing on the Canadian Shield makes.
“We’re sort of surrounded by this and it gives that very unique flavor that other winemakers strive for in Niagara or in France.”
O’Brien says the secret to operating a winery this far north in Ontario is the cold hardy grape. It is a type of vine that can withstand temperatures of up to -30 C.
“These grapes are able to withstand the colder temperatures that we receive here as opposed to Niagara,” he tells CTV News. “And because of that, we’re able to push the boundaries of where wineries are located.”
With many craft breweries already scattered throughout Renfrew County, the Ottawa Valley Tourism Association sees the opening of its first vineyard as a new opportunity.
“It just taps into a new market,” says digital marketing coordinator Erin Norris.
“Of course, you’ll get some crossover from the folks who are already touring through the breweries, distilleries, and cideries, but there’s some folks that specifically want to sample wines.”
Norris adds that the Whitewater Region is an untapped area of the Ottawa Valley when it comes to options for tourists.
“People will go there to go rafting and then leave, but now this will entice them to stay a little bit longer.”
More information on Whitewater O’Brien Winery, including products and location, can be found on its website.
View original article here Source