NOTE: THIS ITEM FIRST APPEARED EARLIER TODAY IN POSTMEDIA NEWSPAPER WEBSITES ACROSS CANADA: LAC BROME, QUEBEC – “I don’t want something that starts big and then goes ‘pfffffttt’ after two seconds. I call that a quickie.” Leon Courville is pouring some of his wines for me at his pretty, barn-like winery in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and explaining how he emphasizes making wine with structure. His St.-Pepin, a white wine made with a grape that does well in cold climates, starts a bit thin to my taste but finishes with a nice, lingering, chardonnay-like finish I quite like. “I think people ... continue reading →

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GREY COUNTY – It doesn’t seem possible. I’ve walked maybe five minutes, past an old apple orchard, through a small meadow dotted with tiny white and purple wildflowers, and then into a hardwood forest of maple, birch, ash and beech trees filled with the soft, filtered light of an early autumn day. Suddenly, my guide for the day stops. “Look over there,” he says. I look out and gaze in wonder. I know my car climbed a reasonably steep hill to get to the Old Baldy/Kimberley Lookout. And I know that the Bruce Trail snakes along the Niagara Escarpment, with ... continue reading →


VANCOUVER – This is one of the world’s favourite cities, a perennial list-topper with gorgeous scenery, fantastic food and a wealth of great things to do. Here are a few favourites. STANLEY PARK This is Canada’s top urban park, and one of the best in the world. Nestled at the northwest tip of downtown, the park bulges out into the Burrard Inlet like a giant green thumb. You’ll find centuries-old, sweet-smelling cedars, towering firs and deep, dark forests. There’s an 8.8 km long walking and cycling path around the perimeter, but you’ll miss the essence of the park if you ... continue reading →


World class wines in an area that resembles the Napa Valley of California. Fabulous lodges with great food. And kayaking in deep blue waters that feel like the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. I arrived in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, the far north end of the South Island, knowing I’d be tasting some of the world’s best – and most popular – Sauvignon Blanc. Somehow I didn’t realize the area had such jaw-dropping scenery, as well. Upon arrival at the small airport in Blenheim, my guide from Marlborough Tours and I motored over to Fromm, an old-school style ... continue reading →


GRAVENHURST, ONTARIO – In one corner is a mock-up of the glorious Segwun steamship, symbol of Muskoka. In the other corner is a fabulous re-creation of an old-time Muskoka resort, complete with a front porch. In the middle are wonderful old-style postcards and a gleaming wooden boat from the days when craftsmanship was more than a marketing buzzword. Mary Patterson, a delightful historian, is giving me a tour of the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre on the Gravenhurst waterfront. It’s a fun spot with interactive displays that not only show wonderful wares but tells great stories of both society’s elite ... continue reading →