It’s the time of year when Ontario’s VQA wines are in focus at the LCBO, when the Grape and Wine Festival is taking place in the Niagara region and the late summer weather is perfect for a tranquil stroll through the vineyard followed by a tasting of some truly unheralded wines. So when is the best time of year to visit Niagara Wineries you ask? And how do I plan my self-guided Wine Tour?
Ontario’s wine industry has come a long way in a short time,” says Rae Gibson, General Manager of The Foreign Affair Winery. “We have some amazing winemakers working in Niagara, and they are producing some world-class wines that stand up against wines from anywhere in the world. “Now is the best time of year to get out and explore what Niagara’s wineries have to offer.”
Self- Guided Wine Tours Tips and Tricks
But when heading out on a self-guided wine tour, it is good idea to do a little prep and planning before heading out the door.
- Pace Yourself – On the global scale, Ontario’s wine industry is young, but it is not that small, particularly in the Niagara Appellation. There is lot to see and a lot to try, so do some homework and know what you are headed into. If you are participating in a passport-style event or a special event, have an idea of what wines are being poured. Also check on the food they are pairing with it. Be strategic about what wineries you want to hit. If you try to hit them all at once you just won’t have a great experience.
- Discover – While you should pick and choose the wineries you want to visit remember variety is key. It is always a good idea to have a diverse range of wineries on your agenda. This is the best way to discover new wineries. Big Tip: try some wines that may not be available at the LCBO.
- Take Notes – You have to expect to be tasting a lot of wines and food. You can tell yourself you will remember what worked well and what you liked. Remember what you liked about it and what you didn’t. Chances are it will all get lost in the shuffle without notes. You will want to take some pictures on your phone and some notes on a piece of paper. You’ll want to remember the wines you enjoyed and the recipes you liked. Your notes will give you an idea of the wineries you want to return to visit.
- Share – We are living in the digital age. Don’t be afraid to share your experience either online through social or talking to people. Let them know the wines you tried, the pairings that worked … and invite them along for the next wine tour you plan.
Best Time to Visit Niagara Wineries
In addition to the Grape and Wine Festival scheduled, Foreign Affairs Winery has some cool events planned. During the harvest season, Foreign Affair will be staging several special events to celebrate this year’s crop and vintage.
The 6th annual Foreign Affair Vertical Dinner will be held September 21st. The $250 ticket price includes all food and wine, live music and a vertical tasting of premium wines in the Foreign Affair portfolio.
The official Foreign Affair Harvest Celebration will be held September 28th. with an on-site chef. They will be serving serving fresh pasta with wines served by the glass.