This post is lonnnng overdue, but we’ve been a bit busy traveling Canada and I figured better late than never (as most of my blog posts seem to go).
At the end of June, we had my bestie Jamie’s bachelorette party in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake and guess who got asked to take charge of the wine tours? Duh, yours truly!
Now, I never take this job lightly, because I have a lot of things to take into consideration.
What styles of wine do the girls typically drink? Which wineries boast the best wine? Which wineries are the most picturesque? Whose going to drive our drunk asses around all day so everyone can enjoy to the fullest? All important questions. Turns out, Niagara is accommodating for these situations. I found a limo service with a stretch limo to fit all of us and a few bottles of champagne and 4 wineries boasting incredible wines of variety and the most picturesque settings. Another score? It was ‘Yes Way, Rosé’ weekend, so more free drinks at a couple of the wineries. Oh, and Wayne Gretzky’s is also a distillery. So- mix four beautiful wineries with great wine, a fair bit of whiskey (at 12pm) and some dressed up chickas and you’ve got a party!
The first winery we were driven to was Wayne Gretzky’s. They had just had their grand opening a few days before this. It’s clear they are going to be very popular based on all the guests there and the limo company’s recommendation to make a reservation for the the group for the tasting bar. After tasting wines at this bright and airy bar, we sauntered to the Distillery portion where we were greeted with a flight of whiskey and other spirits. I’m not even going to bother to tell you which wines and whiskeys I tasted because it was about 12pm and the champagne had already been flowing before the first stop. We also enjoyed the rosé outside as part of the Yes Way, Rosé event. All said and done, this winery is one to check out (both winery and distillery) for its architecture and product.
The second winery we went to was Stratus. We were first greeted at the door stating they were too busy to do a tasting for 10 ladies, but our luck suddenly changed when the head sommelier, Ben, asked us to wait politely for 10 minutes to figure something out. Boy did he ever. Ben guided us through the impeccably designed winery and its private tasting room (where a couple from France would be having their wedding in a few hours) and finished the tour with tastings by the barrels. After bragging for a few minutes about the purest Chardonnay from the barrel with no preservatives added at this point of fermentation, and my plea for a small taste, he caved and broke out the ‘thief’ to fill our glasses with the nectar. HOLY- that was not only the best Chardonnay I’ve had, it was also an incredible intimate experience that felt exclusive. Cheers to this surprise in the trip!
The third winery was Chateau Des Charmes. It is exactly how it sounds- a castle full of charm. The property itself was stunning. The Chateau welcomes you with a fountain in its grand entrance- perfect for pictures- am I right? Most of wine itself wasn’t to our liking, except their sparkling wine, but hey, we came for the views!
The fourth and final winery was Konzelmann. I had had their wine before and have been a huge fan ever since. The wine was tasty and the property was nice. Konzelmann isn’t quite as grand as the others, but does boast great wine and a sweet little lookout deck over the lake.
Overall, Niagara-on-the-Lake did not disappoint. In fact, I hadn’t given Niagara wines a solid chance until now and I’m happy I did.
Cheer to summertime and being close to some of the best wines in the world!