Imported French Wine: The first alcoholic beverage of choice in Simcoe County

Who knew Windrush Estate Winery would be continuing a regional tradition of winemaking that dates back over four centuries?  The consumption of wine in what is now Simcoe County began 400 years ago!

When early Christian priests established their missions here in the early 1600s, among their essentials was sacramental wine.  When the French immigrants’ supply of imported wine ran out, we find references to the production of wine from local grapes. “Gabriel Sagard, among the first Europeans to visit the area, wrote in his  ‘Journey to the Huron Country’ in 1623, “We made more with the grapes of the country; it was very good and fermented in our little keg and in two other bottles.” Just a tidbit of local history to enhance  the background of wine production in the region!”

Wild Grapes in Simcoe County

Written by Lynda Whiston, 2021

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