For wine lovers, cold-weather means one thing: Icewine. 'Tis the season for sweet sippers by the fire; for endless cheese boards and Vidal. Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to some of Canada's most celebrated Icewine producers. If you've never tried this liquid gold, there's no better time than right now to explore Ontario's wineries.
Here's what our perfect weekend in Icewine country looks like:
1. If you're touring between January 13th - 29th, make sure to pick up a Niagara Icewine Festival Discovery Pass. The pass gets you access to eight experiences across the region -- including pairings (like venison-chocolate stew + cabernet merlot at Vineland Estates!), fireside sippers and more.
2. Winter brings with it a little bit of magic in Wine Country -- especially when it comes to brunch. We always plan to be in the area on Sundays to enjoy brunch at Ravine Vineyard. Whether you're in the mood for stuffed brioche french toast or an open faced cabernet braised brisket sammy -- with mandatory fried egg on top, of course -- you won't be disappointed.
3. Once you fed and happy, it's time to tour icewine country! Make your way down to Inniskillin Winery to taste Canada's most celebrated wine. It is sold in over 74 countries and is the #1 distributed wine in Global Travel Retail.
4. Few people do wine as well as the folks at Stratus Vineyards -- and icewine is no exception. We recommend a vertical tasting, available every Friday. While you're these, make sure to pick up a STRATUS BAR for the road. Ecuadorian chocolate with roasted nibs and lees from Stratus are mixed together to create pure magic.
5. Cap all that icewine off with a glass of something fortified. We suggest a visit to the Southbrook Vineyards for a taster of 'The Anniversary'. This unique little wine has notes of dried figs and Madeira. It lingers, as will you when you see this stunning winery.
BONUS: Have you ever wanted to experience a winemaker’s perspective on Icewine harvest? On January 21st, Peller Estates' Katie Dickieson is hosting an INTENSE icewine experience. Start your day at local grower Falk Farms. Get a behind-the-scenes look at icewine production, before making your way to Peller Estates for a sparkling reception and tour of the world’s first 10Below Icewine Lounge. After that's all done, warm up with a hearty #FeastOn Certified 3-course lunch created by Winery Chef Jason Parsons. It doesn’t get any cooler than that!
Need to rest your head? We suggest spending the night at The Riverbend Inn. It's a stones-throw from town, for those looking to shop -- and looks over the snowy, rolling vineyards of Peller Estates.