By: Jennifer Armel
Posted on: September 14, 2016
The quaint district of Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) did not disappoint Jonathan (train boy) and I over the labour day long weekend.
We wanted to go on a three-day getaway out of the city and NOTL, only an hour and twenty minutes from the city, seemed like the perfect place to explore.
Some of our highlights include:
- Being the youngest by about 30 years at the Shaw Festival. We saw the play ‘engaged,’ and recommend it. $30 for those under 30. You’re welcome, fellow millennials.
- Jonathan’s cousin touring us around Niagara College. They have a wonderful brewery, winery and culinary school there. The college also happens to be across from the Niagara outlet. One word: CONVENIENT.
- Exploring the beautiful boutiques along Queen St.
- Winning $36 at the casino, Jonathan didn’t do as well…I guess I’ll call it beginners luck?
- Our wonderful three-course breakfasts at our B&B, Arnica. Thank you Peggy and Gerald!
My review of the weekend is going to focus on four of our favourite wineries we went to that weekend and highlight what we recommend. Note: In total we went to eight. No, we are not alcoholics!
Stratus – I had to start off by sharing our favourite, first. Driving up to this winery we knew we were in for a treat. After being greeted at the door, we walked into the beautifully designed Stratus building, which we found out is a LEED-certified facility. Three cheers for sustainability.
Our tasting included four types of wine of our choosing – Stratus red, Cabernet Franc, Stratus Gamay and finally, our favourite ice wine, Stratus red. We were not only blown away by the architecture of the building and the wine, but by the service and information we received by those behind the counter. Beyond friendly, the team knew what they were talking about and made our experience quite enjoyable. We left with three bottles of wine (Red, Gamay and red ice wine) and are looking forward to ordering more online and visiting the winery again. Our recommendation: Everything.
Sunnybrook – No, it’s not just the name of a hospital in Toronto, but of a fabulous fruit winery in NOTL. Going into our tasting here we found out that the fruit wine created here uses 100% locally grown fruits, which we thought was fantastic. Our recommendation: Bosc pear and Redhaven peach wines.
Ravine – Wonderful tasting. Delicious meal. This was the last stop for us on Saturday evening and the wine and food were ‘on-point’. And I’m not just saying this because we were already pretty tipsy from a fun-filled day of wine-sipping. Our recommendation: Riesling, Cabernet Rosé.
Between the lines – Jonathan’s favourite of the day. Two brothers (also millennials), who are essentially wine fanatics, started the winery on their parents’ vineyard. Further details are on their website, but we enjoyed learning about the brothers and even meeting one of them while we were purchasing a few bottles. Our recommendation: Origin Sparkling wine.
Overall, we had a wonderful weekend filled with food, fun, laughter and a whole lot of wine! We’re both looking forward to exploring more wineries on our next trip to NOTL, perhaps next summer.
What wineries have you been to? Do you have a favourite? Let us know by commenting below.