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Monday, January 23, 2006

Canada's Newest Winery Opens!!!

Greetings All and Sundry!
Deacon Dr. Fresh here.

After the recent and terrifying post by our Roving Reporter Rozeen Diego, I have a real lurch interview for y'all! Today we're rappin' with the man in the picture: Charlie C. "Chuck" Waggon from his winery in Kirkland Lake. Chuck has taken up the challenge, and has just opened up against all odds, the World's Northernmost Winery in the usually frozen wasteland of Northern Ontario.
We pick up our conversation...
D.D.F. - So Chuck...they said it couldn't be done and shouldn't be done, but you've done it! You've created a whole new wine appellation that only needs VQA recognition to start to boom.
Chuck - That's true, that's true. I fought the friggin bastards on the Town Council who wouldn't let me build a winery on their property. Then I fought the idiots in France who wouldn't supply my vines and now I'm fightin for recognition with the VQA. I hope they'll prove to be a little more sensible and get behind my product.
D.D.F - Where did y'all settle on as the location for your winery, Chuck?
Chuck - Well I tried to put it right smack on the bastard parking lot of the Comfort Inn, but the sumbitches wouldn't let me. I wound up building the winery in my garage. Naturally it aint real big, but we're aiming at a limited quantity anyway - say 2 cases the first couple of years, so we have to charge a premium price. Then again it's gonna be a premium product, so who gives a bastard?
D.D.F. - What do you consider a premium price?
Chuck - I figure for something that's been as much of a royal pain in the ass as this venture, 2 grand a bottle ought to be a fair price. The problem is we got a really short sonofabitch growing season here. That creates certain difficulties for our winemaker.
D.D.F. - How long is your season?
Chuck - We're looking at about 6 days on a good year; 7 for the icewine. The rest of the time the ground's frozen and everyone has SAD and is depressed and pissed off, expecially my brother Roy, our wine maker. If he goes off his meds we're screwed with a capital F.
D.D.F. - What kind of training does Roy have?
Chuck - Well the bastard's been drunk most of his adult life. I reckon that gives him a certain credibility and cache.
D.D.F. - So tell me about your winery itself. What's it called?
Chuck - Well I wanted to call it "F.U. Winery", because that's what I've wound-up saying to almost everyone connected with the venture. Roy wanted to call it "You Sonofabitch!" Winery cause that's what you can hear him yelling at the vat when the whoreson leaks grape juice over his snow-mobile tarpaulin. We compromised for commercial reasons and gave 25,000 bucks to a company that specializes in corporate branding. They came up with the final name: "Kirkland Lake Estate Winery". My brother thinks it's crap, but I think it's friggin' brilliant!
D.D.F. - What wines will you specialize in?
Chuck - We're only going with 2 grapes right now. Pinot Noir and Concord. We buy the Pinot Grapes directly from France cause there's no friggin way they'll grow up here. By the time they arrive and clear customs they're in pretty rough shape, so we boil the bastards down and make Ma Waggon's Heartbreak Grape Preserves.
D.D.F - So your mother's involved in this too?
Chuck - Hell no! She's been dead for years! We just use her mason jars for the jam.
For the Concord, we buy cases of Welch's grape juice at the IGA. Then we open the jars and leave them in the garage near the husky kennel until a nice yeast infection forms a crust on the surface. Then we boil it down and let it freeze and bingo! By June, we got ice-wine!
D.D.F. - So if I got this right, you're not actually growin' any of your own grapes?
Chuck - Hell no! You can't even get a backhoe to break through this ground until the second week of the August thaw. By then winter's on the way again and the ground starts to freeze up pretty quick.
D.D.F. - Well Chuck, at least it's very picturesque and beautiful up there! There must be a lot to do.
Chuck - Do you work for the tourism board or something? Lots to do? Where the hell did you ever get an idea like that? There's dick-all to do up here! We ride snow-mobiles, hunt, drink and freeze. Don't make it sound like Honolulu or friggin Paris!
D.D.F. - Are you going to be gettin' your wine into any fine restaurants?
Chuck - Yes we are. I've been working alongside the top sommelier in Timmins; Jake Blacksnake. Jake works for Swiss Chalet and has been giving me some good info. He's helped me get my wines into Hai Fat Gardens here in Kirkland Lake. They cook the rice and chicken-balls just right! I don't care where you go, you can travel all the way to friggin Tokyo but you won't get better Chinese food than at Hai Fat Gardens. They got a branch in Minden now too.
D.D.F. - Well thanks Chuck for the update. We hope you get full blown appellation status real soon.
Chuck - Full blown? Yeah, I wouldn't mind that either!
Stay tuned for more info on the World's Northernmost Winery...
Deacon Dr. Fresh
Supportin' the small-players


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