All things must come to an end. Niagara Wine Festival 2012 swept through Niagara like the celebratory cyclone it is and left residents and tourists alike with glowing, dazed faces. We all satisfied our palettes with exciting wine and food pairings, shook our booties to free concerts, and gazed at parades passing us by in streaming colors.
We decided to wrap up Niagara Wine Festival in a fast-paced Discovery Pass blitz. Visiting three wineries in one day can be a challenge but definitely marked under the ‘fun’ category. Our choices this past weekend were Flat Rock Cellars, Vineland Estates Winery, and Stoney Ridge Estate Winery.
You might be noticing a theme we’ve adhered to for Niagara Wine Festival 2012. During the New Vintage Festival this past year we were sticking to Niagara-on-the-Lake for our winery choices but this time we made a conscious effort to choose wineries closer to the Niagara Bench.
If I’m going to be truly honest it wasn’t just that we were picking Niagara Bench wineries blindly. We were also choosing based on what food they were pairing. Strangely enough, the wine wasn’t the driving factor. Dan and I aren’t exactly wine connoisseurs but that’s a great thing in my opinion. We have no qualms at trying a new wine and that lends itself well to wonderful discoveries and new favorites. Having an experienced wine palette takes time and we are still reasonable youngsters to sipping.
All wineries we chose were beautiful. It’s fantastic that we can visit three Niagara wineries in one day and they all be beautiful for their own reasons. Flat Rock Cellars, perched elegantly over its vineyard, offers up an architecturally unique glass-enclosed tasting room. Vineland Estates Winery has converted a Mennonite homestead into a world-class wine destination with history displayed on every exposed beam of wood. Stoney Ridge Estate Winery beckons you in with every twist and turn of their beautiful garden paths.
Each winery offered a radically different Discovery Pass experience. We sampled BBQ’d kebabs paired with both a 2010 Pinot Noir and 2010 Chardonnay at Flat Rock Cellars. Vineland Estates Winery introduced us to three different wines all paired with 100% Canadian milk artisan cheeses. Beef with horseradish cheddar complimented a 2009 Cabernet Merlot at Stoney Ridge Estate Winery; capped off with a succulent sip of their 2009 Passion.
At the end of Niagara Wine Festival 2012, the only regret I have is a single un-torn ticket on both Discovery Passes. We just couldn’t fit in another winery and time had run out for us. It is a crime; a travesty I tell you. My conclusion is we’ll just have to do this again next year and get it right!
Niagara Wine Festival 2012
September 21 – 30 around the Niagara Region in Ontario, Canada
The Niagara Wine Festival is one of 3 wine festivals in the region. We also host the Niagara Icewine Festival and the Niagara New Vintage Festival.
Festival Guide Download available here:
Click here to download (PDF)
Discovery Pass information:
Flat Rock Cellars
Vineland Estates Winery
Stoney Ridge Estate Winery