Come along with me for an exclusive Wine Country Tour, giving you access to Niagara’s best wine experiences! Tour and taste through beautiful wine country at four of the region’s most unique wine destinations: Thirty Bench Wine Makers, Peller Estates, Wine Country Vintners, and Trius Winery. In this itinerary I will recommend not only what wineries to attend, but what bottle of wine to bring home with you and things to do and eat in between. Warm up from the cold and cozy up with glass of wine in hand.
Thirty Bench Wine Makers
Thirty Bench wines are carefully crafted in small lots ensuring every single bottle of Thirty Bench wine boasts exceptional quality and flavour. Many of their wines are rare and hard to find, but that makes them even harder to forget!
What bottle to bring home: Thirty Bench Red
This was my very favourite wine that I sampled out of all the wineries! It unfortunately can only be found in the Niagara region. The bottle I brought home is already long gone and I am still pining for more. Looks like in the Spring I’m just going to have to make another trip back to the area!
Aroma: Cedar, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate and black cherry.
Tasting Profile: The finish is long and wonderful, with a raspberry pie, black cherry and nutmeg afterglow.
Food Pairing: Grilled red meats prepared medium-rare to rare.
Peller Estates was recently awarded the title of Winery of the Year. It’s renowned not only for its abundance in award-winning wines but also for its famous restaurant with celebrity TV chefs.
What bottle to bring home: Vidal Icewine
Icewine is a Canadian delicacy! It’s is a rare dessert wine produced from the juice of naturally frozen grapes that have been picked in the middle of a cold Canadian winter. Grapes are frozen on the vine and hand-picked in the middle of the cold Canadian night. Once picked, the grapes are pressed immediately while still frozen. Yum! Definitely a must for a sweet tooth like me. Pour it over some ice cream or enjoy it on its own!
Aroma: Lemon marmalade, caramelized oranges, peaches and touch of honey.
Tasting Profile: Intense flavours of honey, lemon, star fruit, and brown sugar. Sweet citrus and star fruit linger on the finish.
Food Pairing: Soft cheeses, spicy cuisine, or ice cream.
The Pie Plate & Maple Leaf Fudge Shop
Not skipping out on lunch is essential during a full day of wine sampling, especially if you’ll be driving or biking from winery to winery in which case, you’ll crash into the vineyards themselves with no lunch in your system. Luckily there is a popular nearby restaurant in a cute little house that has amazing food, friendly staff, and is also a bakery! For lunch I had the Canadian Pizza with maple syrup, bacon, and pear. Yummmmyy! It also doesn’t hurt to visit the Maple Leaf Fudge Shop and sample some local homemade fudge. Fudge is my weakness.
Wine Country Vintners
While visiting, enjoy tasting wines from several Niagara wineries, along with the Wayne Gretzky collection. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this wine will be donated to The Wayne Gretzky Foundation, dedicated to providing less fortunate youth with the opportunity to experience the sport of hockey. You will find a full selection of Wayne Gretzky wines in Wine Country Vintners.
What bottle to bring home: No.99 Cabernet Merlot
Aroma: Black cherry, rich cedar, clove, and mocha-coffee.
Tasting Profile: Black tea and dark chocolate with a long, a sweet and sour character, elegant and smooth finish.
Food Pairing: Grilled meats and baked potatoes, or well with cheese and crackers.
This tour and tasting gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the world of wine making at Trius Winery. It gives you a taste (literally) of the path a grape follows from vineyard to finished wine.
What bottle to bring home: Trius Sauvignon Blanc
Aroma: Grapefruit, green apple and lemon grass.
Tasting Profile: A touch of gooseberry notes on the refreshing citrus finish.
Food Pairing: Delightful with goat cheese and roasted pepper stuffed pitas, summer salads, lemon parsley chicken, fish fillets with fresh herbs, shellfish and sushi.