Last weekend I visited Niagara On The Lake to get out of the city and learn more about Ontario’s Wines. Driving in, I was instantly captured by the endless rows of grape vines. Ontario’s geographic location brews up the perfect climate for vintners to produce North America’s top wines.
We chose to venture around Peller Estates because of their workshop selection. We signed up for “The Art of Food & Wine” and the “Winemaking Excellence Tour”. The estate’s exterior and interiors are European inspired; from the fountain in the garden to the paintings on the walls, I almost felt like I was back in France. We were invited to sit in one of the dining rooms upstairs for the food and wine tasting. The menu included a white, red and ice wine along with three hors d’oeuvres. We learned a lot about the importance of wine colour, smell and how to treat it when tasting. Then we proceeded to learn about food and wine pairing. My favourite was their Cabernet Franc Ice Wine that we paired with a plum and goat cheese dessert. It was a burst of peaches and sweet berries once you let the flavours sit in your mouth.
After the very educational experience, we went outside to experience the Winemaking Excellence Tour. They allowed us to eat the grapes off the vines as we walked around the estate’s outdoors. We learned about Peller’s history and how their grapes are harvested. Then we proceeded into the wine cellar where we were able to sip on some more wine. The second half was a repeat of what we learned in the “Art of Food and Wine”. Although there was a bit of an overlap, we couldn’t complain about drinking more wine!
The property is a sister brand of Trius, Hillerbrand and Thirty Bench Wine Makers. Aside from the tours and tastings, visitors are invited to enjoy their beautiful garden patio, hit up the wine bar to samples all of Peller’s wines and eat at the winery’s restaurants led by chef Jason Parsons.