Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Sampling Wineries in the Niagara region of Ontario

By Keith and Heather Nicol  
     For our wine tasting adventure in the Niagara region of Ontario, we based ourselves out of the comfortable Holiday Inn and Suites in St. Catharines ( .  We found the Holiday Inn to be centrally located and convenient to wineries in the St. Catharines area as well as wineries in some of the surrounding regions. The number of wineries in this region is staggering and unless you are planning a month long trip to this area you will have to be selective. We benefited by the advice of the tourism department in St. Catharines who gave us information not only on some wineries to visit but also other interesting places to visit in the area. The area looked great for cycling and we had planned some cycling adventures for both St. Catharines and the Niagara on the Lake area but the cool, wet weather prevented us from getting out on 2 wheels to explore this area. So we had to sample wine instead! For this leg of the adventure we were joined by our daughter Kristie who was visiting this area from her home in Vancouver.
The Holiday Inn and Suites in St. Catharines is well located for exploring the Niagara Wine Region
Kristie looking over the large wine selection at the Henry of Pelham Wine Boutique
      Our first visit on Thursday, June 6 was to the Henry of Pelham winery (  This winery started in 1988 and they have 180 acres in their vineyard. Our guide Donna Everitt told us they were probably best known for their Baco Noir. The wine tasting area is in an old inn and tavern that dated to 1842 which is a nice bonus about a visit this winery. We went on a great tour led by Chelsea McCormick and saw their massive barrel storage area which can hold up to 1500 barrels! From there we went to the nearby Hernder Estate Winery ( and they have a huge area under vine. Kevin Canough told us that they are the biggest in Ontario and that they produce over 35 different wines. He told us they are probably best known for their Riesling. They have a lovely setting which Kevin told us makes them a popular place to hold weddings.   
Kevin Canough pours us some wine to taste at Hernder Estate Winery

Looking over some the items in the Bakery at 13th Street Winery
       Our last winery for the day was the 13th Street Winery ( . Lindsay Marcaccio told us they were well known for sparkling wines – especially a pinot noir-chardonnay blend. Lindsay also told us that they like to offer visitors more than just wines and that they have a great bakery on site as well as a small art gallery. We ventured into the bakery and ended up with some yummy jams, tarts and even some locally made salsa. At all of these places we had great wines to taste and found the staff very helpful in terms of suggesting what we might want to sample. Our final stop for the day was to the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre where we were lucky enough to see a large ship going through the locks. This is a fine spot to visit to get a sense of the history of the area and to see ships traversing the lock system which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.  For more information:
The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is a perfect place to see locks

No comments:

Post a Comment