No Wine-ing Allowed

Trip Start May 22, 2009
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4
197
Trip End Feb 16, 2010


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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Drinking wine is one of our favorite activities.  What better way to enjoy this than with friends and free tastings?

After the wedding we geared up our bikes and took off down to wine country for a 3 day exploration of as many wineries as we could manage.  Touring around by bike we were able to see some beautiful countryside as well as start to get our bodies in shape for the torture that is fast approaching...

The first day we explored the Niagara region which was very flat and full of all the most popular vineyards like Inniskillin, Jackson & Triggs, and Peller Estates.  But we didn't go to any of those, instead choosing the smaller, lesser known wineries for some samples of wines we can't find at the local LCBO.  We went to Sunnybrook which is known for their fruit wines and Brian picked up a beautiful Black Current wine.  We also checked out Reif which was a favorite from our last wine tour and were amazed at how they had grown!  Palletine had some amazing deals on Ice wine which we couldn't resist.  Being as we're on bikes it's difficult to restrain ourselves in buying wine as it's hard to cart it around with us.  We will have loaded panniers on our trip, but we're not quite ready for that yet. 

The second day we explored the St. Catharine's & Vineland region which was beautiful, but also full of more hills.  Wonderful sunny weather, we didn't need to worry about the rain like the day before.  At Henry of Pelham we were able to get a guided tour even though we were not there at tour time.  Brian fell in love with one of their red wines.  Now we'll have to find a very special occasion to open it.  Also, the Hernder winery was new to us, and they have a fabulous rhubarb wine which Andrew bought a case of!  Picnicking in Flat Rock's vineyard at the top of the bench was a wonderful respite while we enjoyed a bottle of their refreshing white wine.  Our last stop of the day was Cave Springs Winery in the little town of Jordan which I completely fell in love with.  Dinner in the posh restaurant of Wellingtons was the perfect end to the day!

The third day of biking some of our members were less than excited about getting on their bikes.  I was actually amazed at how quickly my body adjusted and was only sore for a little while on the 2nd day.  While my muscles still need some strengthening, I'm finding cycling quite enjoyable.  This is perfect since my bike is going to be my best friend for the next few months!  Never having done a lot of cycling I wasn't sure how this would go.  However, today we didn't have much riding to do at all.  Within the first kilometer in the Beamsville Bench region there were 3 wineries!  One in which I was very excited about as it was also a meadery and they keep their own bees.  Brian has always been interested in honey wine, so it was great to talk with someone about it and sample a few versions.  We biked down to the shore to visit Lakeside winery and enjoyed some of their plum wine for a picnic lunch.  Finishing up our wine tour experience at 30 Benches vineyard Andrew and Eunah had in-depth one-on-one guided tastings while over-looking their beautiful vineyards.  One thing I found most interesting was when they brought out 3 different Rieslings - all from the same year, yet made from grapes grown in 3 different areas of their vineyards.  Each tasted completely different!  It's amazing to start to gain insight into the complexities of wine. 

All in all it was a wonderful trip and we're well stoked with some bottles to help lubricate the remainder of time before we head out!
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Where I stayed
Residence & Conference Centre (Niagara-on-the-Lake)

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