One of our favourite stops is Maelstrom Winery between Seaforth and Clinton just off of Huron Road (Highway 8). The Landsborough family were pioneers in the burgeoning wine and beer industry in the area and started the first winery in Huron County. Armed with only a passion for wine and a difficult piece of land on their family farm, they took an idea many thought far-fetched and ran with it. Maelstrom is now a major player in the industry and a destination winery with a beautiful retail store and event space that overlooks eight acres of vineyards, making it an ideal venue for hosting local musicians and comedy tours.
Not resting on their laurels, the company has been expanding with new products and new brands. Brian Landsborough has been experimenting with ciders in recent years, and has developed a new brand, Dog Days Ciders, in which each cider is named after a beloved family pooch.
Brian says that creating ciders is different from wines in that there is more ability to experiment with different styles and flavours. With wine, once you’ve planted your grape varieties, there are only a few ways to change the taste, but with ciders, you can get more creative. Besides a wide range of apple varieties, Brian enjoys playing around with new flavours. His current favourite is also the most popular with customers. Good Time Charlie was named after one of the family pets that Brian grew up with and is a salted caramel cider. He has another flavour in development: The Flying Aviator (this one is after Ava, another long-time four-legged companion).
Brian isn’t the only one working on side projects. Catherine, his mother and co-founder of the winery alongside his dad, has been working on a new brand that takes advantage of the by-products of the winemaking process. Vineyard Botanicals is a line of soaps, lotions and bath bombs created by Catherine using grapeseed oil left over after the wine is pressed. As the winery was ramping up production, she wanted to find a use for this oil that might be otherwise discarded. She also found that wine is an additive to lotions for moisturizing and as an antioxidant. There’s an amount of wine left in every cask that is left after bottling, and this is now collected for use in the botanical line.
Maelstrom Winery is now a one-stop shop for all your pampering needs. 78925 Sanctuary Line, Clinton. www.maelstromwinery.ca