Words by Cara Williams / Photos by Clay Dolan
Nestled within the rolling hills above the quaint hamlet of Redwing sits The Roost vineyard and winery. Gorgeous in its simplicity, The Roost presents breathtaking views over the Escarpment and beyond to Georgian Bay. Following their quiet opening in August 2017, The Roost has already solidified itself as a destination for thirsty tourists and wine enthusiasts in Grey County.
For owners/winemakers Michael and Jessica Maish, this is the realization of a dream. “We have always wanted to open a winery,” explains Jessica. “This property has been in my family for years. Mike and I had just spent a month in Hawaii where we enjoyed amazing sunsets every day. We came back to visit my mother and the sunsets here are as just stunning as any we had seen on our travels. We thought, ‘this is it’.” The former globetrotters have lived around the world yet nothing had felt more like home, than this stretch of land. As Jessica puts it, “We came home to roost. Hence the name.”
Shortly after hatching this new plan, the couple welcomed the birth of their son. “It was a lot to take on at once,” notes Michael. “But we were confident in our vision to create a place where people could come, enjoy good wine and take in the amazing view.” The pair buckled down, studying Enology and Viticulture at Washington State University, and learned a lot through trial and error. Today the winery is thriving and people are talking. “The reception has been amazing and we have dedicated regulars who we saw every weekend last summer,” says Jessica. “We’re looking forward to meeting new wine lovers this spring.”
Grey County is quickly becoming recognized as a bona fide wine tourism destination. Joining established Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery and Georgian Hills Vineyards, The Roost is in good company, producing cold climate, small batch wine made primarily with hand-planted, handpicked Grey County grapes. Michael and Jessica run every aspect of the winery, from the tending of the vines, which were planted in 2013 and 2014, to making the wine.
Visitors to The Roost can sample six wines; three whites; two reds and a rosé, purchased by the glass or in flights of four. From the flagship Marquette, which has notes of tart cherries, red currants and black pepper, to the dry and elegant white L’Acadie, there is a wine for every palate. Two Wrongs Make A White is a unique blend of Riesling and the winery’s third white, Frontenac Blanc (which on its own, is the perfect aromatic sipper). Barn Red and The Roost Rosé round out the selections. While at the winery, treat yourself to a specialty cheese plate and charcuterie board which compliment the tastings. Bottles are available for purchase, but because this boutique winery produces small batches, popular vintages have a tendency to sell out, so be sure to stock up while you can!
The tasting room and production cellar are housed in a stunning converted barn, which originated from a farm nearly 140 km away. A painstaking process, turned labour of love, the barn was disassembled, moved and reassembled by local Mennonite craftsmen.
Dating back to 1871, the bones of the barn lend to the rustic feel of The Roost. New this year, The Roost is available for private celebrations and dinner parties. “It really is the perfect spot,” notes Jessica. “The Roost is about bringing friends and family together in a beautiful setting, allowing them to dream away an afternoon – accompanied by a glass of wine, of course.”
The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm-6pm, beginning on May 2.
Visit the Roost |E|