Dancing Swallows, Amherstburg’s Newest Vineyard.
- August 14, 2020
Dancing Swallows – The Vineyard on the Hutchins Farm Family tradition claims that this is the “best farmland in Essex County”. Whether that’s absolutely true may be debated, but there is no question that the Hutchins Farm is an exceptional piece of farmland. Ceded from the Crown in 1835, it passed through various hands, until it was purchased by Francis Gore Hutchins in October 1881 for six thousand dollars, which was real money in those days. Originally worked as a typical Southern Ontario full mixed farm, it evolved over the years into a strictly cash crop operation to make best use of the soil. But almost all the buildings remain from the mixed use days. Regardless of their current use, each building is known by its original function.
When the latest generation took over the farm in 1999 the question was: what to do with a 100 acre farm on “best farmland in Essex County”? The answer was found in the Burford Loam soil and the fact the farm sits on a ridge. In Essex County an 8 foot ridge is significant, particularly for a vineyard, as any elevation advantage reduces killing frosts. The gravel in the ridge drains water away keeping the vines ‘feet’ dry. And the dolomotic limestone soil appears to give the test plot wines unique flavours.
And where did the name, “Dancing Swallows”, come from? When the new owners were out working in the Test Plot, they looked up and there were the swallows, having fun diving and swooping, chasing each other, and even playing ‘chicken’ with the tractors. They started serving as a reminder that the whole purpose was to produce wines to enjoy, and that you have to take a step back from all the technical details, and be like the dancing swallows – just have some fun.
Dancing Swallows is located at:
8704 Essex Road 9, Amherstburg, ON N9V 0C8
Phone (519) 563-7697