The success of the Niagara wine region is the result of a few factors.
First among them is the fact that the microclimate of this area in conjunction with the soil is the perfect setting to develop vineyards for the right kind of grapes.
The second was a committed group of winegrowers who brought in the right kind of grapes, borrowed lessons from some of the premier winemakers in the world, and patiently waited for it all to come together.
Finally, the success of the Niagara wine region relied on making something better than any other place on the planet and making sure that the rest of the world learned about it.
The Niagara wine region has made its reputation by creating a unique product that is in high demand around the world because of the scarcity and because of the quality: Niagara Icewine.
Seeing as this is the first Icewine Festival we are chronicling for Embrace Niagara, we decided we would share a few Discovery Pass experiences. The first was naturally Inniskillin, who are considered the pioneers of making icewine in Canada and one of the premier producers of award-winning icewines in the world.
Apparently, we were not the only ones who felt that way.
When we arrived early on Saturday afternoon we found the winery was bustling. Inniskillin had already poured their wonderful icewine to more than 1,000 people that day.
As we explained during our previous Festival experiences, the Discovery Pass program allows people to get a number of tickets (8 for this festival) for only $40. Each ticket on the pass is exchanged at participating wineries for a wine and food pairing.
Even though Katie and I are becoming reasonably familiar with a number of Niagara wines, we find that the Discovery Pass is a great way to try wines beyond our favourites and match them with different foods than we might not choose on our own. We have found a few new favourites as a result and highly recommend it to new wine drinkers and even seasoned pros.
Inniskillin delivered a great experience!
We exchanged one of our tickets and received a generous serving of their 2008 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine poured into one of their custom-designed Riedel icewine glasses and served with their famous pulled pork slider and housemade cumin Icewine BBQ sauce.
Remember what I said about the Discovery Pass being a great way to find new favourites? We are adding Inniskillin’s Vidal Icewine to that list! This was our first time sipping their liquid gold and we were sorry we waited so long. It was beautifully balanced and paired incredibly well with the richness of pork.
Inniskillin started as a pioneer of Icewine but has gone on to build a reputation as one of the premier winemakers in the world. So, finding a new wine favourite didn’t really come as a surprise. What is surprising is that this premium winemaker still works so hard to make a great customer experience.
There is nothing but high praise to be offered up when describing our experience at Inniskillin. Every employee embraced their role with a smile, the food was delicious, and the entire estate was spotless (right down to the washrooms). This is truly a well-oiled machine.
We highly recommend that you pay a visit to Inniskillin the next time you travel the Niagara wine route!