The word tour, derived from the Latin for “circle,” describes the shape tour groups create as they surround and attack their “guide,” which is French for “fact pinata.” Obtain candied information by any means necessary with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get a Winter Wine Adventure Package for two at Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery in Bala. The Winter Wine Adventure Package includes the following:
- Full-day snowshoe rental for two (a $20 value)
- A farm tour and tutored cranberry-wine tasting for two (a $10 value)
Farm tours run daily at 1 p.m.
The staff at Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery reaps quality cranberries and relies on native Muskoka fruit to stock its award-winning wine cellar. Upon arrival at the sprawling farm, duos can slip paws into rental snowshoes and embark upon a self-guided tour of scenic Cranberry Trails dappled with informative signs, kid-friendly puzzles, and treasure buried by land-locked pirates. Visitors can glean information about the cranberry-growing process from 14 stations situated alongside the 1-kilometre Old Marsh trail or drink in picturesque vistas from atop an outlook on the 2.5-kilometre Little Orville Lake trail. On farm tours, guests feast eyes on lush marshes and study the stages of cranberry growth and harvesting, such as planting and the fruit’s first date with vodka. Patrons conclude their cranberry crusade with cockle-warming sips of fruit-based libations during a tutored wine tasting.
Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh
Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh was founded in 1952 by Orville Johnston, and is currently helmed by his children. During tours of the farm, patrons traverse a landscape dotted with cranberries and Muskoka Lakes Winery. At the winery, guests sample fruit-based libations during a tutored wine tasting. Wilderness trails cut through the property and are open year-round. During the winter, visitors can hike them wearing cross-country skis, snowshoes, or old-timey tennis racquets on their feet. Youngsters can also enjoy the farm—though the winery is off limits to them—by joining in on scavenger hunts or wielding nets ideal for catching critters when the weather is nice.