At this time last year I had a segment about Niagara-on-the-Lake and wine tasting, well here it is again! This year I visited the area with my boyfriend and my parents and I knew what to expect and planned accordingly, ahead of time.
Last year, my best friend and I had gone on a whim and I think our experience would’ve been better if we had put a bit more thought into it. That being said, we still had an amazing weekend. I feel like now that I am familiarized with the area, I should share a few tricks. I also wanted to share my favourite wineries with you.
We headed out at around 11 AM which is a good time to avoid traffic; God knows how crazy the traffic is getting out of Toronto going towards Niagara. The night before we picked out four wineries that we wanted to visit. Now you may wonder how to pick the wineries you want to visit. Well, it’s pretty easy:
- Make a list of the wineries in the area.
- Look at the type of wines they make (full body, dry, red, rosé, ice wine… I can imagine you know what you like if you are planning to do a winery tour)
- Plan according to your budget. Wineries have varying prices!
- Check the reviews (Trip Advisor is usually my go to).
I’m personally a down-to-earth girl, and unfortunately wine tasting can be something snobby. Quite a few places encourage this type of behaviour and that is not where you want to go have fun, and especially to enjoy good wines. I have visited a lot of wineries in the last few years and I have noticed a positive (or should I say, negative correlation) between snobby wineries and quality of products. Listen, it’s not because you are 40 years old, spin your glass and spit your sample that you are a connoisseur. So, leave your snobbiness at home and just enjoy the experience.
On that note, we selected wineries which had positive, constructive reviews. Let me tell you that a lot of people care more about the cheeses they’ll pair their wine with than the product itself (go figure).
My favourite winery that I’ve visited in the Niagara region is Between the Lines. I had visited this location last year by chance and knew I had to bring my family there this time around. The staff takes the time to explain each wine with passion and doesn’t belittle anyone that comes in. The tasting room is cute and cozy and their wine is reasonably priced for the exceptional quality.
I also suggest Small Talk. I fell in love with this winery while seeing the pictures on Trip Advisor, and knew I wanted to check it out. Well, they didn’t disappoint! I honestly preferred their cider than their wines, but that is just my sweet tooth talking. The place is beautiful and the staff is also very friendly and down to earth. Everything I was hoping for.
The one that surprised me is Jackson-Triggs. This is a well-established winery, they sell a lot of their wines at the LCBO and the Wine Rack in Toronto, but I was happy to taste their reserve products. I usually avoid big wineries just because I like trying something new that I can’t find in the city, but again their reserve wines can’t be bought at the stores, which made me taste a whole new product of theirs.
To conclude our little trip, we visited a farm stand and bought a lot of fresh garden vegetables and fruits. We ate peaches and grapes on our ride back to Toronto and then cooked a spaghetti sauce made with fresh tomatoes. Overall, this trip was successful and I would recommend this little getaway to anybody.
My Outfit of the Day
Top: Forever 21
Belt and purse: Value Village
When Your Roomie is Your Friend