This past Saturday, Karen and I celebrated her birthday by going on a wine-tasting tour in the Niagara area. It was organized by the University Catholic Community.
Accompanied by two ukulele’s we sang our way to Niagara-on-the-Lake and walked around for an hour and a half. Then it was off to the picnic tables at the Niagara River Whirlpool for a delicious lunch from Angelino’s (one of the best places to buy food in Guelph).
We were off to Chateau des Charmes following that for a tour of a vineyard and the facility. As a group we tasted:
- the 2007 Riesling VQA
- a 2007 Rosé
- the 2007 Gamay Droit (St. Davids Bench Vineyard VQA)
I also tried the 2007 Gewurztraminer (St.Davids Bench Vineyard VQA) at the tasting bar.
I purchased a bottle of the 2007 Riesling VQA.
Then we went to Joseph’s Estate Wines where we had another tour. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between the two wineries, each headed by experienced wine makers and innovators in their industry. As a group we tasted:
- 2006 Gewürztraminer
- 2007 Caroline Rosé VQA
- 2004 Pinot Noir
- 2000 Vidal Icewine VQA
At the tasting bar later I also tried:
- 2006 Merlot Reserve VQA
- 2004 Shiraz VQA
- Vintage Country Red
- Katherine’s Perry Sherry
I purchased a bottle of each of these: Olde Town Port, Olde Niagara Cream Sherry and 2007 Caroline Rosé VQA as well as some grape skin flour.
I learned a lot at each but I enjoyed the Joseph’s tour more since they were more generous with their tasting and tasting bar costs and they allowed us to actually taste grapes on the vine and touch things like putting our hands through the surprisingly dry crushed skins and seed.
Following this we embarked to Niagara (with only a brief stop at a Pickard Peanuts store) and took a stroll along the walkway near the lip of the Falls. Then up to the revolving restaurant in the Skylon Tower for supper. And there was more music on the way home.
The total trip took a little less than 13 hours but what a wonderful day! Something for Karen and I to remember for a long time.