Last weekend, Brian and I spent a beautiful day taking a wine tour up in the Niagara countryside. Some friends of ours had a great time on their wine tour trip and we wanted to try something different so we researched some places and booked with Wine Tours Toronto, Celebrate The Spring package. We had such a great day learning about the different types of wine, the family history behind the taverns, exploring the wine cellars, and of course - the wine-tasting itself! With the bonus of having gorgeous weather, we also travelled with two other couples who were simply delightful, had a fabulous driver, a delicious inclusive lunch with appetizers throughout the course of the day, and had the pleasure of meeting and learning from our wonderful tour guides and their staff.
We were picked up by the Wine Tours Toronto van in downtown Toronto and served with coffee and yummy croissants for our morning drive.
Our first stop was at the stunning Henry of Pelham winery. Here we enjoyed a visit to their cellar and learned about the estate's fascinating family history and how the name Henry of Pelham came to be.
Then, came the wine-tasting!
We shared so many different types of wine at this place - and they were all sooo good! I'm not generally a red wine person but it was absolutely top-notch here, with no funny after-taste and was incredibly smooth. We enjoyed some sparkling wines, white wine, red wine, ice wine (which I learned is a dessert wine!), classic wines, and late harvest.
Brian and I ended up purchasing the Rosé (the red one on the far right) and for Mother's Day, I bought my mom the Sauvignon Blanc (far left) which was one of the smoothest white wines I've ever tasted! (by that I mean, it almost tasted like water when chilled; perfect for a warm spring / summer day on the patio!)
Our second stop (out of four) was at Aure Wines and Silo Bistro.
Not only did we learn about and drink even more wine here, but we were also served our delicious lunch in their charming little bistro restaurant. I got their grilled chicken breast served with quinoa salad and Brian had the braised pork belly served with watermelon salad. We tried each other's and they were both simply delicious and exquisite!
I loved all the windows in here that brought in lots of natural light and gave you a breath-taking view of the fields.
Just before lunch was served, we were brought down into their cellar and served various types of cheese and other scrumptious appetizers with our wine-tasting.
I was surprised to learn that different lots always produced different types of wines; in other words, if you went to another lot just around the corner, it would taste completely different from another one. Just think of all the wine flavours you could create and play around with!
Brian really loved their Old Vines Foch red wine. Since he loves his whiskey drinks so much he said this particular wine equalized that for him. Apparently it has to do with the American Oak that is added: it's known for being a stronger taste and adding a bit more boldness into its flavour (which he loves!)
Our third stop was at Vieni Wine and Spirit - or as we called it, the real Italian place! Everything made here was of the best Italian wine-makers in the country (So in other words, it was the real good, authentic stuff!)
Inside, we were taken on a tour of their wine cellar and learned that Vieni is known for making one of the best ice wines in the country, if not the world!
We ended up buying their 2013 Riesling white wine to share that night; very delicious!
Their beautiful countryside.
And a picture of our Wine Tours Toronto van.
Our last stop was in the town of Jordan, Ontario: a beautiful little town in the Niagara Region. I had never been there or heard of it but it was absolutely lovely!
It reminded me of a smaller, less crowded Niagara-on-the-Lake.
And I clearly loved all these beautiful trees with the white flowers on them (anyone know what they're called?? I thought it was apple blossom, but after Googling it, I saw I was wrong!)
Our last tour of the day was at the beautiful Cave Spring Cellars.
I really love this chalk-sign!: Why is it that wine and cheese go together so well?
We were taken downstairs into the cellars, which had such a rustic and sophisticated feel to it. Our tour guide here was telling us a wedding had just taken place in this room the night before.
In this little gated room was some of the oldest wine bottles I'd ever seen! There were so many of them, mostly covered in dust.
After the tour, we came back upstairs again where we were fed some delicious grilled shrimp and mini quiches along with the different wines we were taking. For example, different types of wine went together so well with a certain kind of appetizer, and they complimented one another so well.
I have to say, I was a big fan of their sparkling wines! I regret not buying myself an extra bottle.
It was really a wonderful end to our day! On our ride back, we were all served some coffee and reminisced our favourite wines from that day and how lovely of a time we had. I made sure to pick up some brochures too to keep as a memory-sake.
My mom really loved her bottle of wine for Mother's Day too!
We had such a wonderful day with Wine Tours Toronto and we definitely would recommend it to anyone! Even for Brian, he's not someone that is typically a wine drinker but he absolutely loved the wines we were served with and enjoyed each of the four vineyards we were brought to. It was all in all, a lovely day and experience. :)