Archive for June, 2015

wineryRavine Vineyard Estate Winery

For 5 generations the Lowrey family has grown grapes in the soil of one of the oldest commercial vineyards in the area. Known in the past as the Upper Lowrey Farm, this family winery sits atop the ancestral Niagara River that raged 22,000 years ago crafting small-batch organic VQA wines. The result is not only great wines from our mother, Lowrey Farm, but also a wonderful lifestyle that we are eager and proud to share.

Chateau de Charmes

In 1994 Chateau des Charmes opened its new state-of-the-art winery and visitor centre. It was immediately hailed as an agri-tourism landmark. It was the first winery in Ontario purpose-built with the visitor in mind. This was long before there was a Wine Route or a winery tourism business model.

Pauls vision of a world class Niagara wine industry led by high quality estate wineries has reached fruition. Today, the vibrant Ontario industry boasts more than 150 wineries, employs more than 6000 people and receives approximately 1 million visitors each year.

Inniskillin Winery

Inniskillin was granted the first estate winery license in Canada. The Niagara Wine region is coddled and protected in the shadow of the unique natural phenomenon known as the Niagara Escarpment, a massive, geological formation, which was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1990. Located at the southern tip of this 725-kilometre long ridge, the Niagara Peninsula is considered a cool climate viticulture region, as are wine regions such as Burgundy, Germany, Oregon, Tasmania and New Zealand.

Winemakers believe that, in general, cool climate viticulture regions produce lighter, fruitier wines whereas hotter regions produce less fruity, heavier wines. Wines from Niagara, along with most cooler climate regions are characteristically higher in acids and highly aromatic.

warof1812The American occupation of Niagara began on May 27, 1813, and lasted until December 10th when they withdrew to Fort Niagara. Despite American promises of security for lives and property, American forces plundered and harassed town residents. As well, fighting continued as small bands of British soldiers, militia and native warriors frequently attacked American outposts and, sometimes, even penetrated into the town. On the evening of December 10th as the British forces approached the old town from Four Mile Creek, they could see the orange glow in the sky.

By the time they entered the town, as W. Hamilton Merritt recorded in his journal, Nothing but heaps of coals, and streets of furniture that the inhabitants were fortunate enough to get out of their Houses, met the Eye in all Directions. He explained that he was confident that he had the authorization from his superiors to withdraw to the American side and burn the town, thus denying the British troops any shelter during the approaching winter.

Outgunned on the lakes and suffering set backs on land, the Americans started a fleet to counter the British ships. The Americans eventually took control on all the lakes except Lake Ontario. It was on Lake Ontario that the building of massive ships reached its zenith. This floating monster was one of the most heavily armed ships in the world and the Americans scrambled to build a more powerful 130 gun ship the USS New Orleans. However, there was one major problem with launching huge ships on Lake Ontario at the end of the War of 1812 there were no canals and these great ships could not leave Lake Ontario.