Monday, December 15, 2008

A New Local Industry is Born!

An intriguing new business is taking root in the Beaver Valley. Long known as one of the prime areas in the province for growing apples, the Beaver Valley is now home to a novel new crop, "grapes." Georgian Hills Vineyards, owned by one of my clients, local wine expert/consultant Robert Ketchin, and partners John Ardiel and Murray Puddicombe, have planted vineyards at two different locations outside of Thornbury with the ultimate vision of establishing a full fledged winery in the Georgian Bay area.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a wine tasting at their property located on Grey Road 2 at Victoria Corners. Several red and white wines were available to sample for those in attendance and in talking to the owners, you get a real perspective of what a science and art the wine making trade is. The accompanying photo shows the harvesting of grapes for the firm's "ice wine" which was done last Thursday. The firm currently has about 5,000 vines planted in 2004 on 5 acres at Ardiel's orchard property outside of Thornbury. These vines are now producing 12 tons of grapes each year. A further 14,000 or so vines were planted on 12 of the 50 acres owned by Georgian Hills at Victoria Corners and it is estimated that these vines will be producing a full vintage crop by 2010. The grapes are currently shipped to a winery in the Niagara region for the actual wine production handled by experienced winemaker Lindsay Puddicombe. For further information on this exciting new venture and the wines they have available. visit the Georgian Hills website or contact Robert Ketchin at:

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


My Profile

Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.