Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Traveling Tips
A Journey for a Wine Connoisseur
My husband and I love wine – from California, Italy, France, Australia – you name it. Our budget couldn’t afford an out-of-country trip, so living just outside Toronto, Ontario, Canada, we had to find a local substitute. After doing some research, first at the liquor store (to find out where most of the Canadian wines are located) we realized some absolutely shocking statistics. The Canadian Niagara Region offers over 80 wineries available for touring and wine tasting. In addition to many famous wineries that have one gold medals in wine tasting worldwide, some are even owned by a few famous names like Mike Weir, Dan Aykroyd and Wayne Gretzky.
Accommodation options proved to be endless – there was something for everyone. Visit Niagara Falls tourism at www.niagarafallstourism.com to find options for campgrounds. For additional camping options, you can visit the Ontario Private Campgrounds Association website at (campgrounds.org ) for more camping options. Since we preferred to travel in our RV and tow the family compact car, we stayed at a family campground called Bissells Hideaway in the Niagara Region (www.bissellshideaway.com).
The more we investigated Niagara Region wineries, the more interesting it became. The history of winemaking in Canada spans over 200 years – believe it or not. But rather than bore you with the details, just visit www.wineriesofniagara.com – you will be suitably impressed. On the same website, you can see a list of all the wineries that offer a wine and dine packages for visitors.
One of the tours I highly recommend is Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery. It is in the little town of Vineland, Ontario and details/locations can be found visiting their website at www.gretzkyestateswines.com. When you’re there, you have to purchase some of their wines for two reasons – their incredible taste and really, how many people do you know have visited Wayne Gretzky’s personal winery. If you are a wine snob like me, you will be happy to know that four of their wines won medals at the Intervin International Wine Awards – that’s a bonus! Gretzky Estates’ 2008 Merlot, 2009 Estate Series Riesling, 2008 Estates Series Pinot Noir, and 2008 Estate Series Shiraz/Cabernet are all award winners and worthy of your wine collection.
For summer, fall and winter wine lovers, the Niagara Region has three major Wine Festivals in June, September, and January. For more information on these festivals, visit www.niagarawinefestival.com.
Our trip logged trips to over thirty wineries in June, enjoying the Vintage Wine Festival, eating incredible meals, loading up our wine reserves and fortunately, enjoying the beautiful summer weather offered by the month of June.