This past weekend my wine club, the After Eight Wine Club, trekked out to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the annual Niagara Ice Wine Festival. Now before you jump to conclusions, we are not wine snobs. We are a bunch of people who enjoy wine and want to learn more about it. We are not "experts" who sit around with our pinkies in the air sipping only the best $1,000 Bordeaux. We're just a bunch or friends who get together once a month, taste some wine, talk about it a bit, but mostly, just have a good time.
So one of our club members, Kim, has a friend, Del, who is the Director of Hospitality at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Winery. Del gave us an excellent tour of the winery and treated us to some fabulous wine. After giving us a concise background into the company history, he took us through the facility, explaining the wine making process and how Jackson-Triggs were pioneers in the Ontario wine industry. We then sampled some excellent wines! If you're a fan of whites, you must try the Delaine Vineyard 2004 Riesling. If you'd rather have a red, the Delaine Vineyard 2004 Syrah is fabulous. And yes, we did have some ice wine. It was the Ice Wine Festival after all! We sampled the Proprietors' Grand Reserve 2004 Cabernet Franc Icewine. Yes, I said Cabernet Franc Icewine. Ice wines are generally made from white wine grapes. This wine is as good as its Vidal and Riesling counterparts.
Here's pic of the tanks at Jackson-Triggs.
We then headed down the road to Inniskillin Winery. We were greeted by Vivian (good name!) who gave us some insight into the ice wine production process and treated us to 3 of their renowned ice wines. My favourite was the 2003 Olympic Series Vidal Icewine.
The barn at Inniskillin...
Next, we headed into Niagara-on-the-Lake and stopped into the Wine Country Vintners for a lesson in how to taste ice wine and enjoy samples of some other great wines from Hillebrand and Peller Estates Wineries. Then, we headed off to the pub at the Olde Angel Inn for a hearty, delicious meal.
If you have the opportunity to visit the area, I highly recommend a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. We take all of our out of town guests here and everyone loves it! It's a quaint town with great shops and beautiful scenery. And the abundance of wine doesn't hurt either.