Niagara Wine Route – Grimsby & Beamsville
A day trip that my wife and I take a few times each year is a tour of the Niagara Wine Route. The Niagara region of Ontario produces some of the best wines from Canada and I am lucky enough to be only minutes from these vineyards.
The Niagara Wine Route is made of three different sections:
Grimsby & Beamsville
Jordan & Vineland
Grimsby is the northern most part of the region and the start of the Niagara Wine Route.
The two most popular wineries, because of marketing, in this area are Kittling Ridge and Magnotta, who also produce Festa Brew from their brewery. I’m not really a fan of either of these wineries. They seem to mass produce wine just to get it on the shelves and in front of customers faces rather then concern themselves with quality.
Peninsula Ridge Estates on the other hand is a fantastic winery producing vintages a little more expensive then the other two mentioned, but produce some excellent Cabernet Francs and Cabernet Sauvignon. The restaurant on the property is an old Victorian home over 100 years old that was recently restored and is the branding image for all their wines.
A little further along HWY 81 (King St.) you will come to Thirty Bench Wines. This is a nice little winery for someone just starting to drink wine. In general you will find the wines here are sweet and relatively cheap. It is also a good place to ask questions. Thirty bench is a casual place where nobody will feel out of place.
Moving into Beamsville you will come across De Sousa Wine Cellars. This is a Portugese family run winery that sells port and other red wines common to the region. The wine wasn’t the greatest, but the lady behind the tasting bar was a true salesman and very entertaining. She sold us on some clay bowls to drink a Marechal Foch. We were told the unfinished clay would absorb the tannins in the wine producing a different taste and prevent headaches. It did produce a different taste and we bought the bowls.
Finally at the end of this region you will come to Thomas & Vaughan. I enjoy the wines here and always make a point to stop in. They often have season ending sales where you can pick up a $12 bottle for $6. They also have a very nice patio out front with a fountain so that you can enjoy lunch with a bottle of their wine outdoors.
In the next article I will discuss some of the wineries in the Jordan & Vineland area of the Niagara Wine Route.