CHEERS TO A DREAM COME TRUE!
Tucked away on a quiet gravel road in South Cayuga, you’ll find Haldimand County’s first and only licensed winery, Bains Road Cider Company. After purchasing and renovating a derelict mushroom farm in 2007, the McDonald family began to build their dream – a unique destination and attraction offering 100% locally-sourced, premium-quality hard ciders and wines.
Bains Road Cider Company, or BRCC, features a variety of craft ciders and wines made from local fruit harvests, produced onsite in small batches to ensure quality and consistency. “2021 marks our tenth year in business,” proudly notes Geoff. “Over the years, we’ve continually expanded our selection of ciders, wines and liqueurs.”
In the process, BRCC has distinguished itself with its unique old-world style ciders and wines. “You can’t find these authentic old-fashioned types of beverages just anywhere,” notes Geoff. “We really pride ourselves on offering something out of the ordinary. Selections like our pumpkin liqueur, blackberry port, and strawberry reserve simply can’t be adequately described. They have to be tasted to truly appreciate how distinctive and flavourful they are.”
Today, BRCC offers a diverse range of delicious beverages, including Iced Apple Cider, Wild Pear Cider, Strawberry Cider, Sparkling Apple Wine, Sparkling Peach Wine, Black Currant Dessert Wine, and much more. “Whatever your tastes, chances are we have something you’ll love to sip and savour,” notes Geoff. “We’re always experimenting to come up with new and different products for our customers. We want to delight as many palates and tastes as we can.”
“I was totally blown away!” praised one recent visitor who also happened to be a professional restaurant sommelier for 15 years. I had never tasted ciders, both pear and apple, as crisp, fresh and bursting with flavour until I sampled the Lionsheart Apple and Wild Pear ciders at Bains. They are truly impressive. We’ll definitely be back for more!”
BRCC’s model of using locally sourced fruit acquired through close partnerships with the region’s farmers is inspiring. When you combine this commitment to the community with their ingenious know-how and passion for crafting fruit wines and ciders, you have a recipe for exceeding expectations. “We’re fortunate to have so many incredible fruit varieties of such high quality cultivated right here in our region,” adds Geoff.
From the beginning, BRCC has made extensive use of locally produced fruits, purchasing large quantities of excess strawberries and other fruits from neighbouring farms and orchards. “By using what grows abundantly around us, we are able to create a quality product from excess supply that would usually go to waste,” explains Geoff. “It gives us great pride to be able to put these amazing fruits to good use.”
At the same time, BRCC also harvests its own wide range of fruits. “We grow heritage apples, such as Tolman Sweet, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Golden Russet, which we combine with Macintosh, Spy and Mutsu to create our variety of ciders,” says Geoff. “It all adds up to amazing and interesting flavours you simply won’t find anywhere else.” Other plantings at BRCC include black currants, blackberries, Bosc and Flemish Beauty pears, Montmorency sour cherries, and a small but growing quantity of old-world grape varietals.
Currently the retail space closed with curbside pick-up only. However in April of 2022 BRCC plans to open the on-farm retail space again offering tours and tastings, immersing guests into the art, craft and science of producing wines and ciders. “We had a great time tasting their products and learning all about what they do and the process they use,” noted a recent visitor. “Geoff really knows his stuff and couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly. Bains is just a great place to check out.”
BRCC also proudly partners with other local artisans, makers and community organizations. “We have joined with Haldimand Wax Works to sell their amazing products at our location and even offer classes,” notes Geoff. “You can learn how to make your own candles, and enjoy tastings of our wines and ciders while you learn!” Watch the website for upcoming sessions.
In support of a very worthy cause, BRCC is now accepting its empty bottle returns on behalf of Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge. The bottle return earnings will be donated to Hobbitstee to help fund this wonderful service. “These are the folks you can call when you find an injured wild animal,” says Geoff. “They rehabilitate, care for, and eventually release these injured animals back into the wild. This is a service that benefits all of us and relies mostly on donations.”
Such community-mindedness is what BRCC was founded on. From using locally based suppliers to partnering with other makers, Geoff is proud to help our regional communities thrive and grow. While BRCC is definitely worth a visit, you can also find their incredible selection of wines and ciders seasonally at the Dunnville Farmers’ Market, Saturdays from 8:30 am to 11:45 am.
So, raise a glass and discover your new favourite drink. One taste of the distinctively delicious wines and ciders crafted by Bains Road Cider Company, and you’ll agree success is worth savouring!
1019 Bains Road, Dunnville, ON
Haldimand County gratefully acknowledges the support of FedDev Ontario for tourism businesses in Ontario’s Southwest.