My visit to this beautiful area, world-famous for it’s magnificent luscious Ice Wines
revealed other interesting wine discoveries.
Niagara-on-the-lake is an area of neatly manicured gardens, immaculate houses,
pristine clean cars , everyone is polite and considerate.
It reminded me of the film ‘The Truman Show’ !
I arrived as veraison commenced in Niagara Wine country paradise.
Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario VQA classifies Niagara-on-the -Lake as a distinct area .
There are four main terroirs. On the Niagara Lakeshore, sandy soils provide good drainage
and the temperatures are modified by the lake.
Along the Niagara river there are sandy soils and air currents modify the temperature.
Four mile creek lies below the escarpment with red shale soils with silt and clay.
St David’s Bench beyond the escarpment was carved by glaciers and has rich clay soils .
After a brutally cold winter approximately 15 % of vine loss had occurred, though due to microclimates
such as Konzelmann only 6% loss secondary to the lake effect only property.
First stop Riverview Winery cellars, 1339 Lakeshore road on the wine route along the Niagara river gorge, spectacular scenery after a morning at the falls.
Their Pinot Grigio fresh, pear, clean balanced .
Vidal ice wine pure nectar honey apricot floral wonderfully elegant
Ice wine from red grapes is very rare this Cabernet Franc was interesting.
Next visit –
Konzelmann Estate winery dates back 122 yrs
Herbert Konzelmann remarkably at 78 yrs old is still the winemaker and owner .
They make a range of styles.
Riesling light citrus lemon .
Gewurtztraminer 24 brix hint tropical fruit and lychee
Vidal ice wine- pure nectar mango lychee rich and fantastic.
Cabernet Sauvignon ice wine red fruits strawberries hint cassis.
Just down the road , Hinterbrook is a new winery 5 years old.
Jacob the assistant winemaker showed me around including the ozone cleaned cellar full of oak barrels.
Interesting finds were their unusual Franc blanc a white wine made from Cabernet Franc red grapes.
Then my namesake red wine ‘wanderlust’
The Riesling ice wine had a min sugar 125g/l less sweet than Vidal .
A short cycle later and we arrived at Jackson Triggs
This is a larger set up producing 1.4 million bottles and has a sister winery in Okanaga BC.
Sparlikng wine Method Champenoise, Brut from Chardonnay,Pinot noir and Riesling citrus ,fresh, fruity mineral.
Gewurtztraminer some floral aromas
Sauvignon blanc 2013 lovely fresh gooseberry floral
Pinot noir first vintage , chocolate vanilla some red fruit,good
Gewurtztraminer ice wine luscious delicious floral honey mango tropical fruit texture balance length 5 star my favourite wine so far , phenomenal !
Next stop, just prior to a massive rainstorm,Two Sisters
This is a new winery next to Peller , opened November.
Two sisters from an Italian family background who’s family are in the Toronto building trade.
This is a no expense spared Italianate palatial mansion.
The excellent restaurant, Kitchen 76 serves up fine fare with a huge open kitchen and Pizza oven.
Highly recommended for lunch or dinner with a beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the vineyards
They make a lovely red blend , eleventh post, red cherries, plum,
hint of liquorice soft ripe velvety tannins smooth drinkable with pesto pizza with truffle and Bistecca .
Their Cabernet Franc 2010 is good, smoke hint of coal tar spice herbs . Carbonic Mac giving maximal extraction
I tried their two ice wines Riesling and the rare Cabernet Sauvignon Ice wine -red fruits, rhubarb, strawberry rich full length like sucking on a red fruit sweet the flavours persist , fantastic .
My final stop was Peller Estates. Part of Andrew Peller Limited
which includes many other brands including Trius,Wayne Gretzky, Sandhill and others it is the largest wine producer in Canada.
Recommended for their excellent wine portfolio and for lunch or dinner
outside on the patio amongst the vines is the Barrel House Grill.
Started with a lovely sparkling Rose from Gamay noir,Chardonnay and Pinot noir
with an ice wine dosage , lovely ripe peach and pomegranate .
Gewurtztraminer had typical rose and spice but subtle .
Private reserve Pinot Noir with 9 months in the barrel – truffle, earth, pepper smoky, pomegranate and cherry
Private reserve Cabernet new oak ,plum, cherry, cocoa, vanilla and cassis.
Two fantastic Ice wines-
Gold Award winning Riesling, citrus lemon tangerine apricot beautiful balance long length delicious.
Cab Franc length ++++ sucking on sweets 230 g/l sugar, white currant,rhubarb strawberry, candy, molasses and pomegranate another gorgeous Ice wine.
Lakewinds Country Manor just fabulous , outdoor heated pool, Billiards table , delightful gardens , marvellous hosts Steve and Jane Book early !
Niagara-on-the-lake patio restaurant
Kitchen 76 Two Sisters Vineyards
The Niagara wine region is a real treat . The land is flat and easy for our usual wine tour transport,on bikes.
The people incredibly friendly and accommodating.
Nearly all the wineries are on a walk in basis with regular tours and minimal fee tastings.
Winery restaurants serve excellent meals often with lovely views
And of course, above all, Ice wines to die for !