Niagara Wine Tour - Fun Fun Fun!
Arlene and I, along with our friends Joe and Denise went out to Niagara today, to visit some wineries, and had a really great time! I'm much more a beer-geek, than a wine-geek, but I'm starting to get into wine a bit, so I really, really enjoyed visiting the wineries and sampling a bunch of different wines, lots of fun!
We visited 5 wineries in all:Maleta
This was our first stop, so we didn't know what to expect... It's a very small, craft winery, the lady working there was really nice... We enjoyed 4 complimentary samples, a Shiraz, a Gamay, a Cabernet-Merlot, and a Meritage. Our favorites where the Gamay and the Cab-Merlot, we picked up a bottle of each...Iniskillin
This was our second stop, obviously this is a much better known brand, a much larger winery with a more elaboriate setup. They offer a 20-stop self guided tour, each station explains a different element of the wine making process, from the climate and soil, to the varieties of grapes, how their picked, the juice extracted, etc, etc... We enjoyed samples of a Pinot Noir, another Gamay, and an Ice Wine, very nice...Leiley
This was another smaller, craft-style winery, enjoyed samples of a new style (to us) - Zweigelt, and Cambourcin...Jackson Triggs
Another large winery, with an absolutely georgeous facility. The architecture of this place was amazing... They even have a amphitheatre with musical acts each weekend....Stratus
This was our last stop. A small, but high-end winery, again, the space where the tastings were done was very, very cool, and the wines were magnificent. We purchase a bottle of their Stratus Red 2002, it's a blended wine, uses a number of varieties of grapes, but absolutely superb!
I was super impressed at how close by all the Niagara Region wineries are, most are within a 2-5 minute drive of one another, so it's quite easy to visit 4 or 5 (or more) in an afternoon... I've been to probably a dozen or so beer festivals, but never visit a single winery, so this was a special treat and I really enjoyed it, I'd recommend it to anyone, a fantastic way to spend a day! While the larger wineries were quite busy, the service was superb across the board, the staff were intelligent, and willing to answer questions, explain the products to us...
Some of the wineries offered complimentary samples, others charged a minimal ($1/$2/sample) charge. The most expensive was Stratus, $10 for a 'flight' of 3 wines... I think from an educational perspective this was great, as I was able to sample probably 10+ wines, quite inexpensively and sort of educate my palate along the way, get an appreciate for what I like/dislike...
I typically don't go for white wines, but I did enjoy an unoaked Chardonnay, I don't think I've had an unoaked before, this means that it hasn't been aged in a barrel, so instead of the woody flavours, the more tangy-fruity flavours come through, which I quite enjoyed!
On our way back in decided to hit the Pepperwood Bistro
in Burlington, for dinner, it was outstanding, great food, awesome beer - Joe and I each had a pint of the Best Bitter Dry Hopped... Arlene and Denise went for the Framboise..
So a super day! Great weather, great wine, great food, great friends! As good as it gets!!!