Muskoka To-DAILY

Cranberry growers take you on Blueberry Hill wine tour

BALA — If you’re crazy about cranberry wine, you’ll love the new Blueberry Hill at Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh & Muskoka Lakes Winery.

All summer, we’ll be taking visitors on a guided journey to the top of Blueberry Hill.

Along the way, they’ll discover the facts and lore that make blueberries a fascinating part of our Canadian heritage. Sampling blueberries, blueberry products and, of course, blueberry wine makes the experience uniquely Muskoka.

All summer, visitors will discover what’s special about Canada’s native blueberries and how they taste – from berry to bottle.

On Saturday July 15 at 1 p.m., Mayor Don Furniss will cut the ribbon to officially open this new Muskoka experience.

Check out the new Blueberry Hill Tales & Taste Experience at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Or enjoy other blueberry flavours and activities throughout the day that celebrate this Canadian gem.

“Blueberries, especially wild varieties, have a strong connection to Canada’s history. They’re

native only to North America and are Canada’s biggest fruit crop by value,” says Wendy

Hogarth, proprietor.

“Canada is the second largest producer of blueberries and the world’s largest producer of wild blueberries.”

Blueberry Hill is a test garden. With little information available on blueberry farming – especially

in Muskoka – she and her husband Murray Johnston decided to conduct their own trials. Blueberry Hill allows them to experiment with blueberry varieties, management and cultivation – all while entertaining visitors. Blueberry Hill is also a beautiful scenic overlook of the farm.

Muskoka Lakes Winery was founded on the idea of “terroir” – or taste of place.

Putting Muskoka in a glass meant starting with fruit native to this region ‐ cranberries and  blueberries.

Blueberries grow wild all over the Johnstons’ 350 acre farm, but some places are hard to get to

and production is often claimed by the bears. “Given how popular our blueberries have

become,” says Hogarth, “it was time to tame this wild fruit.”

After the grand opening, the Blueberry Hill Tales & Taste Experience will be offered daily at noon

p.m. and 2 p.m. from July 16 to September 10.

What’s the difference between wild and cultivated blueberries? What does fire have to do with blueberry growing? These questions and more will be answered on a guided journey to the top of Blueberry Hill. Visitors will also taste blueberries in new ways, including exclusive blueberry wines only available to taste on the tour.

Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery is located at 1074 Cranberry Rd. Bala,


For more information, contact Hogarth by email at, or call 705‐762‐3203.


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