Hi, my name is Ron Barr and I have been retained as the new wine maker at Rush Creek. I hail from just outside the nation’s capital in Ottawa and have been a strong proponent of many things and issues that affect our lives in so many ways. I have always fought for the small guy and business owner and my expertise is in running businesses that function properly and produce what they are expected to produce. I run my businesses by design as opposed to default.
Wine making I have come to appreciate works the same way.
As part of my responsibilities to the new owner of Rush Creek and for the sake of keeping you the reader updated with all things Rush Creek I have decided to write my first ever blog about a subject that has absolutely fascinated me.
Wine making on the scale and scope of Rush Creek is not for the weak of heart. I was mentored by what I believe to be one of the best in Kim Flintoft who was the founding award winning wine maker for the past 19 years. His 225 awards over that time is proof of his dedication to be the best. I will say the man is very patient as well. His co-founding wife Wendy looked after pretty well everything other than the wine making and working the farm fields.
My only experience in wine making prior to my time with Kim was helping at Carolinian Winery & Eatery for Bonnie Preece. There I was responsible for helping bottle the product and keeping the meticulous paperwork required by various levels and departments of government. To be honest I didn’t think there was much to taking a bunch of fruit, grinding it up, throwing a few things into a barrel, stirring it up and wham, we have wine.
Not the case at all. Wine making is truly a work of art. The intricacies are tremendous and the learning curve is very steep. I am told you never stop learning. I am certainly up to the challenge and welcome this new dynamic in my life.
Rush Creek attended the recent London Wine show at the Western Fair District and we couldn’t be more pleased with the exposure we received by the announced crowd of 15,000 who attended over the three day event. It was great and we were able to connect with many people who had visited the winery in the past and who thought we had closed for good. I can emphatically state that we are alive and well and committed to making exceptional products while further committing to even better customer service. The winery retained long time employee and the face for the place Marg Thiessen who has a passion for good old fashion customer service and always provides a warm friendly smile for those who grace our doors.
Marg will also be responsible for on-line orders of the wine and we have set up a PayPal account for those out of town customers. She will also be monitoring the emails coming in and bringing special requests to the attention of either myself or Bonnie.
We will also be adding our own blends of coffee, we are in the process of setting up a beautiful gift shop that complements our wine sales and don’t be surprised if we add specialty cheeses, pies and delicious butter tarts over the next several months leading up to the spring and summer months.
Rush Creek has a terrific future with what is being planned by the new owner. In the very near future you will hear plans about possible expansion of the main building, you will hear about new fruit wines plus we will be adding the compliment of grape wine as we are permitted by law to have up to 20% grapes incorporated into our many delicious blends.
Also, be sure to mark Saturday February 14th on your calendar as we will be featuring a Valentine’s Day tour with seating’s at 11 am and then again at 2:30 pm. The cost of the package is $12 and includes a tour of where we make wine, wine tasting and a food/wine pairing seminar. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by calling the winery.
Finally we will be announcing a grand re-opening in the next few weeks and encourage everyone to come visit and support a local business in the community. Buying local is so important to the health and prosperity of a small community like Aylmer.
Well that is my first blog and please check often as I plan on a new one every two weeks to keep you informed and again if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please communicate and we will address each query as they come in.
Have a “berry” wonderful day!