But watching from the sidelines wasn't exactly conducive to a good catch-up so we decided to take a day and head down to Niagara-on-the-Lake and tour a Winery. I had never been to either before so was excited to try something new.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a picturesque little town about thirty minutes drive from the well-known Niagara Falls and sits on the edge of Lake Ontario (hence the name). The relatively mild climate and rich soil makes the region an excellent place for fruit production and wineries. The town is also known for its luscious gardens, antique shops, art galleries, cafes and golf courses.
|Window shopping with our friends.|
First we started with a tour of the historic town centre. The fall colours were especially magnificent which only added to the beauty of the streets. After purchasing a variety of jams, spreads and spices (all locally grown and produced) we stopped for a delicious lunch. Lobster poutine, potato and leek soup, turkey/cranberry sandwiches and more...wish I would have taken photos.
Next we drove to the Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate to tour one of the many wineries in the region. I can't even begin to describe the wonderful aromas as we walked in the building.
We signed up for a tour where a guide took us through various aspects of the vineyards and wine production facility and cellar. It was pretty windy outside but were nicely shielded by the vines. True to form, I lingered around the back of the crowd and snapped a few photos.
I should note that we weren't permitted to walk through the actual production vineyards but rather a designated visitor's section. I guess there are too many curious pallets that tamper with the grapes making them unsuitable for wine production.
As someone who spends most of their time indoors amongst the steel and concrete of skyscrapers, I was more than happy to put up with a bit of wind if it meant the opportunity to view the expansive green vineyards and enjoy the sunny blue sky.
After touring the chemistry lab and cellar, guests were treated to a tasting session. I believe our guide served a Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and an Ice wine. All three were well-recieved.
Our final stop was the shores of Lake Ontario. If you looked really hard you could make out the Toronto Skyline across the water (although not in this particular photo). It was a great ending to a fun day with friends. Perhaps our next visit will be poolside in sunny Phoenix?