I'm looking for some good tips from people who have done the winery thing in the Niagara region. I'm very excited & I'll be heading there on Monday, July 9th for a full day.
First, I don't know exactly how many wineries to plan for in one day. I'm thinking maybe three to six? Is that a good number to plan on?
I want to begin with a guided tour of one of the larger wineries to get a good grounding in how wine is made. Next I really want to take part in a tutored tasting. I'm thinking of starting with the Hillebrand Estates Winery since I've heard that they offer several educational seminars daily. The essence seminar has been highly recommended to me. Would anyone agree with this or recommend the Hillebrand winery as a starting point?
What time should we start touring at? Someone told me that it's smart to start in the morning for undivided attention and to avoid the crowds, we were thinking of starting when Hillebrand opens. Good plan?
Now I need some help planning out where to go after we do Hillebrand. I want a balance between the big guns and the mom-and-pop operations, the sophisticated estates and the barnyard tasting rooms. And we want to have at least one meal in a winery restaurant.
Todd is very interested in having our meal at Inniskillin. Has anyone eaten there? Tips/recommendations? He also wants to tour Maryinessen at some point that day. Would anyone have a suggestion of a route of wineries to follow that day that would begin at Hillebrand, include Maryinessen & Inniskillin (if recommended) that would end in Niagara on the Lake for dinner.
Also, Todd is the designated driver so he won't be able to sample wines, right? Or are a couple of samples okay when driving?