The best part of Fred Archibald’s day is when he’s standing behind the bar at his winery and chatting with his customers.
Fred and his partner Sandy run Archibald’s Estate Winery & Apple Orchard, a feast for the senses for anyone who loves apples. Which is to say: everyone!
The business began as a hobby farm, operated by Fred’s father and grandfather. “We’ve been involved since the beginning,” says Fred. “We planted the first apple trees in 1968.”
Fred and Sandy took over the farm in 1981; that’s when the fun began! At the time, the farm was a strictly wholesale operation. The couple launched their pick-your-own orchard in 1983 and added a small farm shop selling homemade pies and ciders. In his spare time, Fred tried his hand at making wine. As it turns out, he was pretty good at it and in 1997, the Archibald’s opened the doors to their brand-new winery.
Guests to the winery enjoy sampling the 20 varieties of fruit wines – including the powerful Nightcap Wine, which is akin to a light brandy – and six ciders, like the popular new hard ginger cider. One of the most common questions guests ask is how best to pair fruit wine with food. Without reservation, Fred recommends experimenting. “Fruit wines are very versatile,” he says. “For example, our apple black current wine is the best thing ever with turkey!”
Autumn is Fred’s favourite time of year. Not only is the winery hopping, but visitors flock to the orchard to pick their own apples and enjoy a day in the fresh country air. “We don’t do a lot of razzle dazzle here,” says Fred with a grin. “Our pick-your-own experience is authentic and true to our roots.”
Want a down-to-earth apple-picking experience, paired with a tasting of award-winning fruit wines and ciders? Plan a trip to Archibald’s Estate Winery & Apple Orchard this autumn – and please remember to bring a designated driver if you partake at the winery!