NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, CANADA. — The vineyards may be dormant under a winter frost, but Niagara wine country remains a hot spot in the chilly air.
No matter the season, the alluring romance of Niagara wine country is a unique experience. From the wine to the food, the people to the events, there is no shortage of items to fill up your itinerary.
“Far from the bustle of a busy urban life and removed from the traditional tourist hubs, a wine country vacation, even if only for a day trip, is truly a quaint escape to a place where the people are friendly and the wine is exquisite,” says Marcel Morgenstern, a Sommelier and Director of Sales at PondView Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. “What happens in Niagara wine country is a story worth telling.”
Planned properly, a Niagara wine country excursion can be a diverse experience that takes in all that the region has to offer, and with the strength of the U.S. dollar offers exceptional value. When coming to Niagara, Marcel puts the following on the must-see and must-do list:
- The unparalleled scenery. Whether at the iconic Niagara Falls, along the scenic Niagara Parkway, in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake or in a vineyard, the backdrops and picturesque landscapes are unique unto themselves.
- The bed & breakfasts. While the major hotel chains dot the Niagara Falls skyline, a stay in a quaint bed and breakfast adds to the allure of your trip. It’s quiet, cozy and comfortable and relaxing.
- The culinary scene. Niagara College has a culinary school that is quite literally pumping out talent that is cooking away in restaurants, bistros, hotels and wineries across the region. The focus is on local food, and it is fantastic.
- The wineries. It is, after all, wine country. Niagara’s landscape is dotted with more than 100 wineries, most of them independently crafting stunning VQA wines that are on par with anything you will find from around the world. And you can’t miss trying some of Canada’s own Icewine, the rich, sweet dessert wine for which it is world renowned.
- The breweries. Building on the success of the wineries, Niagara is fostering a burgeoning craft beer culture. Niagara-on-the-Lake alone is home to Oast House Brewers, Silversmith Brewing and the Niagara College Teaching Brewery.
- The events. Niagara is transformed into a winter wonderland during the Niagara Icewine Festival between January 15th and 31st. On every weekend in February, the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are hosting Days of Wine and Chocolate, allowing people to explore the decadently sweet and savoury art of wine and chocolate pairing.