The fruits of their labours
MAKING WINE TAKES TIME, patience Kawartha wine varieties include apricot,
and a little magic. So does becoming apple, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, nectarine,
a winemaker. peach, pear, plum, raspberry and rhubarb.
After 25 years as an amateur wine- Seasonal specialties include a pumpkin wine
maker, Costco member John Rufa decided and a maple syrup ice wine made from syrup
to take the plunge into professional vinting. produced by the winery’s maple trees.
He purchased land, planted crops and, after “We even make a goldenrod wine, just
four years, hit the ground pouring with from the yellow petals of the goldenrod, that
Kawartha Country Wines (www.kawartha is amazing,” Rufa says.
countrywines.ca), producing a variety of fruit A member at the Markham
wines. “Basically, I retired one day and Costco, Rufa says he and his part-opened the winery the next,” says Rufa. ner, Trish Dougherty, buy “literally
A former high school teacher, Rufa now tons of sugar” for his winemaking
enjoys educating people who visit the win- from Costco. “Fruit-wine making
ery, which is housed in a converted 1866 uses a lot of sugar,” he explains.
log cabin, about the unique wines that he “Most people don’t realize that fruit
makes from the 22 acres of apples, pears, needs lots of sugar to bring it up to
raspberries, rhubarb and grapes on his prop- the level of sweetness of grapes. The
erty as well as fruits and berries produced prices at Costco can’t be beat.”
elsewhere in the region. Although Kawartha Country
“Typically, everyone starts out by making Wines—nestled between the small
red and white wines,” says Rufa, whose towns of Buckhorn and Bobcaygeon,
father introduced him to winemaking when Ontario—produces between 18,000
Rufa was a child. “The depth and breadth of and 20,000 litres per year, a goodly
fruit wines is much greater, and much more amount for a small winery, Rufa says it’s
difficult to make, than grapes. nothing compared to the national wine-
John Rufa and partner
Trish Dougherty toast to
the success of Kawartha
“Each fruit wine is a study in itself. The making businesses.
recipes, the challenges, are different. Just “The big wineries spill that much in
because you master one doesn’t mean you one day,” he says with a laugh.
have the others.” —T. Foster Jones
The BBQ crew
THE 2006 CANADIAN GRAND CHAMPIONS on
the barbecue circuit (left), Brampton’s Team
Cedar Grilling, ran away from the competition at
the Jack Daniel’s World Championship
Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg Tennessee,
last October, taking International third place with
their back ribs and chicken, purchased at Costco.
“We were competing against 68 of the world’s
best teams,” says ’cuer Steve Adams. “I know
that we couldn’t compete at this level without
Meat the champs: (from left) Steve Adams,
Marty Soberg, Daryl Maybanks and Scott Cormier
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