Niagara Wine Weekend – Part III

The third stop on our Ultimate food, beer and wine tour was Rancourt Winery.  This winery is located in Niagara Lakeshore and has 25 acres of vineyard.  They specialize in grapes for merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, riesling and chardonnay.

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View from the outside

Each of us had a tray of food waiting.

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Talking about Riesling

The food pairing included a garlic cheese stick, broccoli, beet and barley salad and a Stilton and beef pie.

I really enjoyed the salad paired with their Reisling.  The Stilton was very strong in the meat pie but paired with the Cabernet Franc, was quite nice.

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Niagara soil is some of the most fertile in all the world.  The unique mineral compositions and great weather help to produce some of the most flavourful grapes that eventually turn into some of the best wines to drink.

Come back and check out Part IV of my Niagara Wine Weekend Series.  Next up is Southbrook Vineyards.  =)

Niagara Wine Weekend – Part I

A week ago I had a great weekend away at Niagara Falls with a couple of my good peeps.  We made it a shopping, eating and wine drinking weekend with some cheesecake thrown in.

The main event of the weekend was The Ultimate Food, Beer and Wine Tour that was run by a company called Niagara Vintage Wine Tours.  This tour included visits to 4 wineries and 1 brewery where our group of 14 learned to pair different wine with food.

This was a guided tour and we were picked up at our hotel Saturday morning by Tom, our Sensory Analyst.  Yes, Sensory Analyst.

Here’s Tom at our first stop giving us some history about the Niagara region and what is needed to grow good grapes (hot and dry).  Tom is a retired teacher turned wine tour guide.  He was awesome.  Very knowledgeable, personable, friendly and funny.

Our first stop was at Pondview Winery , a family owned winery with roots from Sicily.  It was here that we met Keith.  We walked in and were taken to the back where an intimate wine tasting area was set up among the oak barrels of wine.

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Tasting Area


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Tables set up with wine glasses and our charcuterie plate

HDBD2351Keith going over how  to”open up” a wine.  Hold your glass in your right hand and swirl counter clockwise, let the wine air out, smell it.  Take a sip, take a bite, take a sip again. Sniff, Sip, Bite, Sip

Keith was a terrific wine guide.  So approachable and full of good tips about wine.  In case you were wondering and find yourself at the LCBO,  2011 was a great year for Niagara Whites and 2015 for Niagara Reds.

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These were the wines we tasted.  The 2nd – Cabernet Franc – was AMAZING with Oka and Parmesan cheese.  I had a super out-of-body taste experience with this wine and parmesan.

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My Pondview Winery purchases

Stay tuned for part II when I talk about our 2nd stop Silversmith Brewery.