Even though we had been told the previous day in Jordan that it may not be worth the time to visit some of the larger wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we felt like we would be missing out on part of the experience if we skipped it. So we started the morning off before big crowds hit at Trius and Jackson-Triggs.
At Trius, we found it similar to some of our experiences at Napa Valley, with a large tasting room and quick, less personal service. We found ourselves liking the barrel fermented chardonnay and 2011 red blend. It was here and in Jordan that we started hearing how wonderful the 2012 red vintages were in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and we started paying attention to any that were getting released that we could try. 2012 had a long growing season, apparently, and most of the wines from this year in Niagara-on-the-Lake were superior to years past and post.
Jackson-Triggs was very appealing visually, and we did enjoy our tour despite the large size of the winery. We definitely felt like our stop here was worth the time, though after the tour, we (I) didn’t have the patience to wait in line at their tasting room.
Our tour at Jackson-Triggs began out in their vineyard and ended in the cellars. I do love barrels full of wine! Our guide was very knowledgeable and also declared 2012 to be a good year! While in Napa Valley, I determined that my favorite wine was Cabernet Sauvignon, that was not the case in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Instead, we were really enjoying the peppery flavors of a good syrah and blends. Rather attributing this to any changing tastes, the Cabernet Sauvignon in Niagara-on-the-Lake is just not as smooth.
After Jackson-Triggs, we drove through the downtown area which was just as picturesque as it had been described to us by Brian’s mom. We were going to stop for a moment, but found it too crowded to find a spot close to the main street. Instead, we found one closer to the waterfront and spent some time looking out on the water.
Then we visited Lailey and Pondview. We enjoyed (of course) their 2012 Syrah at Lailey. Unfortanately, there was a large bike tour as well as a bachelorette party, and Lailey was simply swamped. While we both agreed that it actually might be fun to do a bike tour another visit, we decided to try and get off the main drag a bit after that and went to Pondview.
At Pondview, we enjoyed an appetizer sampler with their 2012 White Blend aka Meritage. Pondview wines are actually made by Di Profio (near our B&B) as well.
Brian wanted to make sure we visited the couple microbreweries in town, so we stopped at both Silversmith and Oast House after that nice break. Brian didn’t find the variety of beers to his liking quite as much at Silversmith, but we were glad we made the stop.
I loved the hops growing up the sides of the building!
Oast House only had 3 varieties of beer to try. We could tell, with both of these breweries, that they were catering more toward the winery crowd, but particularly so at Oast House. There just a couple beers and a large tasting bar.
Our next winery stop on our full day here was at Colaneri, a beautiful Italian-style building and vineyard. They are known for making wine with the appassimento style, a method of drying the grapes.
Then we stopped at Between the Lines, and were thankful to be out of the brief deluge of rain that came down while we were tasting. We enjoyed their Meritage and Cab Franc.
And, determined to pack in a full day of wines, we made one final stop to the Ice House, known for their ice wines (of course!). We did bring home a bottle of ice wine, though the one we wanted at first was too expensive! They offer ice wine slushies too!
Then we returned to the B&B for a break and change clothes before our dinner that evening at Treadwell, a “Farm to Table” restaurant. We arrived in town late enough that there was parking available on the main streets, and early enough that we were able to walk around prior to dinner.
The flowers growing all along are simply beautiful. And speaking of beautiful, our dinner was as well! I had an heirloom tomato salad that I am pretty sure I dreamed about that night and after. It was divine!
Everything about our experience at Treadwell was excellent, from the wine to the food. Except the dessert we got was truly a little bizarre for me taste, though Brian loved it (it was spicey!). I would return here in a heartbeat.
And that concluded our day in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a wonderful experience within just a few hours drive for us! I could definitely see why Brian’s parents return again and again.