In the fall of 2000, Amber and Kemp Stewart purchased the property that is now Hillier Creek Estates. Though the property had not been inhabited for 15 years, the land had quite a bit of history, tracing its roots to the Loyalist days of the County.
The land had been originally granted to Dr. Latham, a British army surgeon serving in the United States during the War of 1812. He is noted as being the first innoculator of the smallpox vaccine. Dr. Latham never resided on the property, but instead lived and died in Kingston.
For generations, the land was recognized as the Stapleton farm, and the adjoining road still carries that name. The property is best known locally as the Badgley farm: it had been a thriving, mixed farm with crops, dairy, and animals. After the passing of George, Lois Badgley fostered 24 teenagers, and the Badgley children planted the blue spruce tree adjacent to the barn in his honour.
The barn, now used as our winery, cellar, and tasting room, outdates us all. Estimated to be over 160 years old, the original barn was built directly on the ground. After its purchase by the current owners, it was necessary to raise the barn in order to complete renovation and restoration. A cribbing system was used to hold and suspend the barn, alternating timbers four inches at a time. Upon raising the barn, it was discovered that there were two underground streams, which necessitated the building of a 9000-gallon cistern below the deck.
The finished foundation stabilized the structure in 2008, and the barn was completed in 2009. Hillier Creek Estates, in its current state, is a farm winery comprised of 50 acres; 30 of which are planted with Gamay, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and our newly planted Vidal. Hillier Creek has already earned medals at an International Wine Competition in Finger Lakes, as well as four bronze Artevino awards in 2009, and six Artevino awards in 2010. Most recently we are thrilled to announce that our 2012 Chardonnay and our 2009 Estate Pinot Noir have both won a Silver Medal at the Royal Winter Fair 2013!
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