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Wineries review

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canada
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Wineries review

We had gone to Napa two years ago and tastings ranged from $10-20, tours from $30-40 and the bottles they had for sale and tastings were above $50 so Niagara was a pleasant surprise.

The reds were nothing like Napa, which is to be expected, but I was surprisingly pleased with the Cabernet Franc.

**If you pay for tastings that will be taken off the price of a bottle if you buy. Also, we stayed at a B & B and were given many free tasting cards.

The Ice House--$10 pp for a sample of three ice wines and a ice wine slushie (amazing) Don't get suckered into buying ice wine there as the prices are high. Get better prices at Pilliteri and other wineries. We learned that.

Peller--$7 for a tasting of three wines. Informative staff. Wines were okay. Nice reisling. Free sample card gave awful tastings

Hillebrand (Trius)--Great staff. $ 7 for three samples. Free sample card let you sample any three wines which was nice. Nice Cab Franc, Sauv Blanc, and some others

Pilleteri--My favourite. All table wines were free to sample. Ice wine tastings ranged from $2-4. Free informative tour with samplings at the end. Great place!

Caroline's Way--Free tastings but you only get 4. Nice Plum and Vidal wine.

Reif--$5 for three tastings. Very nice White Meritage and Cab Franc ice wine

Inniskillin--$1 per sample of table wine. Not impressed by anyting there. Ice wine tastings ranged from $5-10. WOW! Expensive

Lailey--$5 tasting of 3. Pushy staff. Nice Vidal wine.

Joseph's Estate--they didn't have (or open) three wines that were listed to taste $1-2

Strewn--$0.50 tastings Nice Cab Sauv/Cab Franc and nice Pinot Blanc Nice tasting room and staff

Hinterbrook--Great tastings! Not so great staff, bit pretentious. $5 for 3 tastings. Great Cab Franc, Pinot Grigio, and more

Konzelman--$1-2 tastings. Great staff. Nice Peach wine and Heritage Blend

The wineries are very close together. We biked one day and were able to go to 6 wineries within 6 hours. There were many other wineries we wish we could have went to but didn't get a chance to go. Enjoy yourself!

Edited: 9:50 am, July 25, 2012
Kingsville, Canada
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1. Re: Wineries review

Hi Geo –

Had to respond to your post because your experience sounds an awful lot like ours last weekend! We biked/tasted our way through the area as well and visited many of the same wineries you wrote about. One day we cycled 25km down the Niagara Rec Trail and did tastings on the way back up to NOTL (tastings = reward for exercise).

The Icehouse was our first stop coming back up the trail and the ice wine slushie sure hit the spot (we also did the $10pp tasting). I agree that there are many other wineries that produce delicious ice wines at a more reasonable price – we liked Riverview and Pondview.

We stopped for a glass of wine and a bite at Inniskillen – they used to serve delicious small plates on their patio, but instead of sitting down and choosing from a printed menu, this time you decide what you want from a short menu written on a chalkboard. Then you buy tokens from one table and exchange those for your (pre-packaged) snack at the next. The food tasted great but the choices were limited, and it all seemed less “refined” as our plastic containers kept blowing away (lol). BTW if you order the fruit plate, you get an entire basket of fresh local fruit!

Caroline’s Cellars is a favourite of ours – the staff are very friendly and accommodating. We also enjoy the Plum wine (among many others), but their Gewurztraminer was my big winner this year. Had a(nother) snack at their new eating area and were very impressed with taste and quality of the food – it wound up being our dinner!

Tastings at Reif are fun because the staff are so personable. They are willing to take the time to find out what you like and make recommendations. Delicious Gamay Cabernet – Mennaz, and this from a white wine drinker.

We also had some very good tastings at Peller, Trius and Pilliteri but we really enjoyed some of the smaller places like Pondview, Palatine and Between the Lines.

Never made it to Hinterbrook or Konzelman – but there is always next year…

Thanks for the reviews - glad you had a good time!

Toronto, Canada
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for Family Travel, Honeymoons and Romance
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2. Re: Wineries review

geo54 and henbit............thanks to both of you for the excellent information you each posted..............this will come in handy, as hoping to do something similar myself................appreciate all the current pricing information as well geo54................

Buffalo, New York
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3. Re: Wineries review

I am going to NOTL next Friday and I am SO glad you posted this! Thank you!!

Virginia
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4. Re: Wineries review

If just goes to show you that wine is subjective - thank goodness. If we all liked the same things I wouldn't be able to afford them!

We loved the lunch at Inniskillin, the wines were OK.

Between the Lines was a rare find - we liked almost every wine there and chatted with the winemaker for a bit. One of the best (and cheapest) ice wines we tasted. Several bottles were purchased.

Pilleterri was the only winery where our group walked out empty handed. We didn't care for any of their wines.

Chateau des Charmes was a favorite, wonderful staff and good wines.

Colaneri is a gorgeous setting and their wines were tasty.

Frogpond Farm was an excellent small organic winery. Great Cab Franc, and we even bought Cab Franc grape juice.

Joseph's was fair, we only bought a few bottles.

Stonechurch was our favorite winery, their Pinot Noir was fabulous. The other wines were good, too. They had sliders on the grill and live music while we were there. The owner was very pleasant.

We only did a few of the larger wineries, we prefer the smaller mom & pop wineries for sure.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Wineries review

Great string for wine tasters, good input for sure!

St. Catharines, ON
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6. Re: Wineries review

I also liked my experience at Caroline Cellars... it was busy when I've been but it's family run and has a great fun atmosphere, and their tastings were free.

It's nice to do some of the larger wineries (Peller, Jackson Triggs, Hillebrand as well as hitting up some of the boutique wineries like Caroline Cellars)

7. Re: Wineries review

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