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20151212_143649The Niagara region is world renowned for its first-rate wines. With over 70 wineries located in the Niagara peninsula, the array of choice of pristine wineries with VQA standards is impressive. Whether it’s for a bachelorette weekend, or a romantic getaway, going to a Niagara winery in the summer is a great way to create unforgettable memories. The wine experience is sensory based, where the appearance, flavour and aroma intertwine to generate a delectable explosion. From the wine connoisseur, to the novice, indulge your senses and plan a visit to a Niagara winery.

Chateau des Charmes Wines

Strolling the vineyard at Chateau des Charmes entices an instant romantic element. The French-inspired castle ambiance of the exterior building, is breathtaking to say the least. Founded by Paul Bosc in 1978, this family owned winery produces over 30 delicious vintage wines. An ideal venue for a fairytale wedding, Chateau des Charmes stunning backdrop of St David’s Bench vineyard magical rose garden is spectacular. Tours are held in French, English, and Japanese , another standout factor that differentiates Chateau des Charmes as a top winery. The striking scenery and mouth-watering wine choices is what has kept Chateau des Charmes at the top of its game.

Peller Estates Winery

pellarestatesIt comes as no surprise that Peller Estate Winery was awarded Trip Advisors Certificate of Excellence in 2014. This picturesque family operated vineyard has been passed down from generation to generation, which adds to the estates history. For over 50 years founder Andrew Peller, alongside the Peller family, have contributed immensely to the quality of wine in Niagara. The popularity of Peller Estates can partly be attributed to Winemaker Katie Dickieson and winery chef Cityline personality Jason Parson. This duo has taken the food and wine experience to an exceptional level, unparallel to none. Take the time to visit the scenic outdoor patio and stay for lunch, the food and wine pairings will make it worth your while.

Caroline Cellars Winery

Tucked away, off the beaten path, Caroline Cellars Niagara-on-the-Lake winery is filled with heartwarming country charm. Named after the owners late grandmother and mother, Caroline Cellars family operated winery is an endearing site to see. One of the great perks of visiting Caroline Cellars is the free tasting bar and the generous portions. The bottles of wine are affordable, with starting prices averaging $12. Try the light and fruity Plum Wine at only $11.50, it’s a refreshing choice and perfect for a summer day. The relaxed and casual atmosphere, extensive wine choices, and friendly staff, makes this winery experience enjoyable.

Jackson – Triggs Winery

Jackson – Triggs popularity stems from its recognizable brand, and vineyards located across Canada, from British Columbia, Okanagan Valley to Niagara. Established in 2001, this Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard has an jackson triggsarchitecturally modern and contemporary feel. The Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series has attracted talented musical acts such as Sam Roberts Band, and Chantel Kreviazuk. Incredible events are held all summer long at Jackson – Triggs, this element signifies its unique status. If you are in mood for a five course fine dining experience paired with delicious wines, then the Savour the Sights events is ideal. Pick up a bottle of 2012 Reserve Sparkling Cuve Close $14.95, balanced by an aroma of roses and lemons, it’s perfect for any celebration.

Joseph’s Estate Wines

With its appealing country flare, and wooden rustic indoor feel, Joseph’s Estate is a delightful winery that offers a variety of delicious wines. Established in 1979, Joseph’s Estate Wines is one of the three original cottage wineries in Niagara, making it rich with history. Dr. Joseph Pohorly founded Joseph’s Estates and was one of the first to bring recognition and popularity to Icewine. This family owned and operated winery holds valuable informative tours that are paired with yummy snacks. The 2000 Winter Harvest Vidal Icewine is a great choice, rating an 8 on the sweetness scale, it’s perfect if you prefer Icewine that isn’t too sweet, have a sample and you’ll want to take home the bottle!

Reif Estate Winery

Reif Estate Winery exudes a sophisticated atmosphere that is apparent through the polished interior. Founded by Ewald Reif, the 125 acre vineyard opened its doors in 1982 and maintained a positive reputation with its customers due to the helpful staff and educational tours. Set beside a striking 1870′s coach house, Reif Estate’s picturesque garden aids to the serene feel when exploring the property. The sensory wine bar is a crowd favourite, with blind tastings that challenge the senses. The Gamay Cabernet $15.15 is a great bargain and delicious when paired with pizza or a grilled hamburger.

An oasis of mature forest and wildlife in the Niagara River, Navy Island was settled originally by the Lamoka people of the late Archaic Period, 4000 years ago, and, later, by the Meadowood culture peoples, 3000 years ago. Their arrowheads and scrapers have been found along the shoreline.

brtnavyisDuring the early influx of Europeans, the French, who called this place Ile de la Marina, built four bateaux here which they used to supply their posts on the upper Great Lakes.

The British later established a shipyard here. From 1761 to 1764, they built the first vessels to sail the upper Great Lakes under their flag. When the Pontiacs western Indians attacked British outposts following the ceding of New France, these sailing ships were used to move troops and supplies.

During the War of 1812, the British built a blockhouse and stockade on Navy Island. On December 14, 1837, William Lyon Mackenzie and 200 supporters seized the island, setting up a provisional government, constructing batteries and entrenching the blockhouse. The British attacked the rebels and they retreated to the American mainline on January 11, 1838. In the years that followed, many squatters took up residence and farmed here.

In 1875, the Queens Hotel was established. This wood-frame structure was a popular summer resort until it was destroyed by fire in 1910. Today, Navy Island has regenerated and healed itself with mature forests. The Federal Government has leased it to The Niagara Parks Commission since the 1930s.

iceNiagara on the Lake Icewine Festival Tours:

Celebrate Niagara Ice Wine Festival – A Shimmer of Gold  – Poured Daily, Celebrated Annually with Niagara Airbus Driver Guided Tours.  Pricing includes Discovery Pass.

Choose your week –  January 15-17, 22-24,29-31 , 2016

Pickup and Drop off at any Niagara or Downtown Toronto Hotel.

Niagara on the Lake Tour pricing, from Niagara with DiscoveryPASS is $ 85.00 and without DiscoveryPASS is $ 45.00.

From Toronto with DiscoveryPASS is $130.00 and without DiscoveryPASS is $ 90.00

Start  your day off at the Niagara College Teaching Winery!

Time for you to be the Judge !  Tempt your taste buds with two delicious hor d’oeuvres pared with  the Delectable Dean’s List Savant and find out for yourself whether Icewine is best pared with Sweet or Savoury

Next…off to Chateau Des Charmes Winery

Imagine serving up Pork Belly Taco with apple onion slaw alongside their delicious  2014 Vidal Icewine.   A liquid Gold paring not to be missed

We then make our way to Ravine Vineyards

You will visit the Woodruff House for an exceptionally spiced paring. Enjoy Chef Ross Midgleys Homemade Spicy Chicken Meatball in a Mole’ sauce with Rossco’s Corn Bread, perfectly paired with the 2013  Vidal Ice Wine.

From here  you will have Fee time in Niagara on the Lake,   voted the prettiest Town in Canada! You can browse  or  shop in the boutiques or free time for lunch.

Finally end your day with  the 2014 Canadian Winery of the year for a taste of Peller’s award winning and world –renowned Cabernet Franc Ice Wine as you roast their famous Icewine Marshmallows over an open fire.

Niagara_Icewine_FestivalWe start our Niagara Ice Wine Tour at Twenty Valley:

Celebrate Niagara Ice Wine Festival – A Shimmer of Gold – Poured Daily, Celebrated Annually with Niagara Airbus Driver Wine Guides!  Your Tour includes your Discovery Pass! Pricing from Niagara is $85.00 + HST, from Toronto $130.00 + HST.

Without DiscoveryPass pricing from Niagara is $45.00 + HST, Toronto is $90.00 + HST.

Choose your WeekJanuary 15-17, 22-24, 29-31, 2016

Start off with 13TH Street Winery

Enjoy the picturesque winery  boutique as you savour this the amazing  13 Below Pulled Pork with Braised Apples, Pork Belly & Caramelized Onions along with 13 Below Zero Riesling or their drier June’s Vineyard Riesling.

Then off to Flat Rock Cellars

Here Chef will be cooking up  Maple, Cowberry, Winter-herb,  unbelievably tender Roasted Pork Belly, all topped with a delicious sweet scented parsnip puree and wine Caviar. Perfectly  pared with Flat Rock 2013 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

Next is Malivoire Wine Company

Epicurean Delights with Riesling Ice Wine.  Experience braised  Pork Belly sliders with  quince butter, or vegetarian  option of a decadent Blue Cheese Cream Brule!

We then make our way to Redstone Winery

Bundle up and join in the fireside on the Terrace at Redstone to enjoy  a cup of Ice Wine- Inspired creations.  A Sweet and Savory pairing  of Cabernet Franc Icewine with a braised Venison and Dark Chocolate Chile – is sure to keep you warm.

Finish your day  with Free  time in the Quaint  Village of Jordan from to shop, browse or have lunch in the beautiful one of a kind boutiques.

wfol2The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights transforms Niagara Falls, Ontario into stunning displays utilizing colours with millions of sparkling lights making up beautifully illuminated displays.  The Festival captures the magic of the holiday season from November 21, 2015 to January 31, 2016.

The Winter Festival of Lights began in 1983 and is proud to be Canada’s largest illumination festival and the premiere illumination festival in North America, attracting over 1 million visitors and hundreds of motor coaches annually.

The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights transforms Niagara Falls into an array of breathtaking colour with millions of sparkling lights and animated scenic displays, located within the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland and adjacent tourist districts.

Donations are gratefully accepted by Festival Ambassadors at the exit of Dufferin Islands (suggested contribution ($5 – $10 per car; $1 per coach bus passenger), proceeds collected are used to enhance the lights and displays.

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