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2011 The Nightingale's Oddessy Our exchange year in Canada.

Niagara Falls Wineries Tour Nov 2011

CANADA | Wednesday, 23 November 2011 | Views [321]

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Twenty Two Wineries in Two Days

The weekend of 12th – 13th November and the Australians were on a mission. It had been discussed once or twice during the year about meeting up and touring the Niagara wine region.  All of us at one time or another have been to Niagara Falls and areas nearby, but not necessarily the wineries. So thanks to some investigating by Laureen, a wine tour was organised. The system they have over here is that you pay for each sample you have at a winery or as we did you buy a ticket for $50 dollars and get it stamped each time. I reckon it’s not a bad idea as it stops the drunken winery tours you sometimes see back home.

To promote the local wineries and wines, packages are available that entitles you to a paired wine tasting and a sample cuisine at a number of different wineries around Niagara on the Lake. Not being ones to pass up a chance to get together and tour around, a large group of us met up Saturday morning. Dragging the kids along we hit our first winery, not that the kids need much prodding they were all happy to be together and kept themselves entertained. Not being a wine drinker I hung back with the kids and Chelle kept me fed with tasty morsals from each location. By early afternoon we had made our way through five venues and the kids were starting to get hungry. So Mick hit upon the plan to take the kids back to their place at St Catherines while the rest carried on. Mick, Ed and I piled all the kids into the car and headed back via the largest book warehouse in Canada, this place was huge, it’s in an abandoned factory and I think I spent at least 10 minutes going through the History section alone. I could have quite easily stayed there all day. Anyway back at Mick and Laureen’s, the kids were fed and watered and wandered off to do their own things; dress ups for the big girls, DS and bike riding for the boys and watching the Little Mermaid for the youngsters and the Dads. At one stage it was the Dads alone watching the movie.

Late afternoon and the others arrived back after knocking off 2/3 of the wineries on the list, all seemed to be in high spirits and very sober (!!!) the general consensus was that no one much liked the Canadian reds but the local whites were alright. The speciality of Niagara is its ice wines. These are wines made from grapes that are left on the vine until winter and then picked at a precise time and temperature, this produces a syrupy wine much like a Muscat or Port in flavour, now these wines I do like, but they are expensive for the little amount you get.

For our evening meal Laureen had us booked into a local Italian restaurant and had ordered pizza etc. The place must have known what to expect as they put us out the back in a room on our own that featured a dance floor, which the girls promptly took over and went running and sliding across. This was great as we could make all the noise we wanted without disturbing anyone else. Knowing the size of pizzas over here and the number of people, Laureen had ordered 5 large plus salads and finger food. So what we got was 5 huge trays plus extra, so even with 14 adults and ten kids including 4 teenage boys we still had 60 pieces of pizza left at the end of the night. Later in the evening, the place took on the atmosphere of a gambling hall with the four boys sat in the corner heads down in a serious game of cards. They claimed it was Blackjack, but I’m not sure anyone was up on the rules of betting with matchsticks.

Sunday, with a couple of exceptions most of us headed back down to take up where we had finished, the intention was to make it only a short day but once again like all good intentions that changed as everyone settled in and had another relaxing time touring around. It is late fall over here and most of the leaves have fallen, but once again the place has undergone another change in hue. Late afternoon it was all over after another busy and pleasant weekend with friends and a chance to visit another region unexplored.

Addendum from Michelle:  Despite visiting 22 wineries in 2 days, none of us were really worse for wear!  This must have something to do with all the practice we have been doing this year – see hard work DOES pay off!! LOL xxx

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