Could the United Counties of Leeds Grenville become Ontario’s next designated viticultural area?
It will if Terry and Marsha Dixon, owner of Mallorytown’s new vineyard Eagle Point Winery (www.eaglepointwinery.ca), have their way.
Officially opened in May 2011, the 24 acres of grapes on the rolling hills of the 800- acre Eagle Point Winery produce seven types of wine, including a Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon blend, two Chardonnays, a Pinot Noir, and a Riesling.
Deanna Clark, Economic Development Officer for Leeds Grenville, says the Dixons have built a world-class winery that will become a popular tourism attraction which will bring visitors to the region while it helps grow the local creative economy.
“Eagle Point Winery has become one of our proudest showcases for the local tourism and creative entrepreneur community,” Clark says.
Indeed, the winery was a creative work itself. The Dixons took eight years to transform the former cattle farm into the sprawling winery. The scenic property features waterfalls and luxurious gardens.
The main barn is now a full working winery and retail space from which winery tours are hosted, tastings are performed, and special events are held. The winery also plans to host educational and musical events.
The winery has been built with many windows so that wine enthusiasts can watch the wine being made. Visitors can tour the barrel room with its big vats and the wines in their various stages.
Local media reported that Eagle Point drew much local attention right from the start. Almost 500 people attended the grand opening in May 2011 and the winery is now a regular stop on winery tours that include the Thousand Islands area.
There’s no doubt that Eagle Point puts the Thousand Islands on the winemaking map, says Clark, who hopes the winery will attract more winemakers who will help to grow the local wine tourism industry.