Niagara wine events

By Monica Kosior

It is hard to believe, but here we are on the cusp of another winter behind us. As the season starts to change we have much to look forward to in Niagara wine country.

Spring is the beginning of new crops, new wines and more wine-inspired events to explore. From getting your hands dirty in the vineyard to dressing up and attending some of region’s most iconic events — Niagara is ready for you to come visit!

Niagara Wine Events: Spring Edition

Cuvée Grand Tasting

Wine events Niagara

This annual fundraiser, organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), celebrates the wine and grape industry. Proceeds from the events will support student scholarships and CCOVI research. A total of 48 participating wineries will be pouring two winemaker selections (revealed at the event) and 12 culinary partners will be serving up their signature dishes. Dress to impress and enjoy one of the most esteemed events in Niagara celebrating VQA wines and education. Included in the ticket price is entry into the Apres Cuvée Party (same building) and a Cuvée en Route passport.

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Date: Friday March 24 from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Scotiabank Convention Centre, 6815 Stanley Ave, Niagara Falls
Cost: $200 per person (plus taxes) purchase online here

Cuvée en Route

If you are already attending the Grand Tasting, your Cuvée en Route passport is included in your purchased ticket. Or if you prefer to just participate in the passport program, you are able to visit wineries in Niagara and sample their themed flight. You will also have the chance to purchase any favourites from the Grand Tasting!

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Date: March 24-26
Location: Participating wineries NOTL and Beamsville
Cost: $30 per person (plus taxes) purchase passport online here

Niagara-on-the-Lake Spring Wine Events

Pruning 101 Seminar
— Spring Vineyard Techniques

The arrival of spring means getting back into the vineyard to prune and prep for the season ahead. Learn the techniques, maintenance and training of vines in a VQA vineyard. Included in the seminar is a structured tasting of the same wines made from the onsite vines.

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Date: Sunday March 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Niagara College Teaching Winery, 135 Taylor Road, NOTL
Cost: $10.00 per person (plus taxes) Register online here, or free for Wine Club Members

Tide & Vine Winemaker’s Dinner
featuring Thirty Bench

Any meal that starts with oysters and sparkling wine is bound to be spectacular. Tide & Vine along with Emma Garner present a five course dinner paired with Thirty Bench wines. Enjoy an exclusive evening celebrating local wine, local food and an opportunity to converse with the winemaker herself.

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Date: Wednesday March 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Location: Eagle Valley Golf Club, 2334 St. Paul Ave, Niagara Falls
Cost: $85.00 (plus taxes) purchase tickets with Kylie here

Sip & Sizzle

Niagara wine

For every weekend in May enjoy a selected wine and grilled food pairing from participating NOTL wineries. This touring tasting pass includes access to over 20 wineries. Whether you choose to visit all in one weekend or all throughout the month, this event kicks off the soon to be BBQ season. Designated driver passes are available (non-wine options are given for these passes).

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Date: May 5-7, May 12-14, May 19-21, May 26-28
Location: Participating wineries here
Cost: $45 (plus taxes) Tour Pass or $25 (plus taxes) Designated Driver Tour Pass purchase online here

Winemakers’ Selections Tasting Pass

Take your time with this pass, in fact take the entire year to sample your way through Niagara. Any day of the week you can redeem your winery specific token for one two-ounce tasting of the winemaker’s terroir driven choice.

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Date: Any day throughout the year!
Location: Participating wineries available here
Cost: $25 per person (plus taxes) purchase online here

Niagara Escarpment/Twenty Valley
Spring Wine Events

The Luck of the Irish

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the GreenLane team. Staff will take attendees on a complimentary tour of the winery while tasting estate wines paired with different Irish cheeses. Space is limited, call or email for your reservation. Leprechauns not included.

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Date: Friday March 17 to Sunday March 19
Location: GreenLane Winery, 3751 King Street, Vineland
Cost: $12 per person (plus taxes), Limited availability, Reservations are required here

March Break Madness

Creekside invites families to join them for their March Break Madness. Kids will enjoy an interactive scavenger hunt in the vineyard, while the grown ups will savour a wine and cheese pairing in the barrel cellar. Refreshments will be provided, limited spots available for either the 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. session, reservations required.

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Date: Saturday March 18 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Location: Creekside Estate Winery, 2170 Fourth Ave, Jordan
Cost: $20 per adult, $5 per child (plus taxes), Free for Creek Freeks, Reservations required with Alicia here

Good Girth Supper Club — Calypso Beat

The latest theme from the Good Earth kitchens — “Calypso Beat”. The Caribbean inspired pre-fixed menu takes you on a delicious culinary trip. From dry curry shrimp, to jerk chicken, to island bread pudding, this menu will make you wish you were on a beach far, far, far away.

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Date: Saturday March 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Location: The Good Earth, 4556 Lincoln Ave, Lincoln
Cost: $60 per person (plus taxes, gratuity beverages) Reservations required 905-563-6333

March Break Saturdays with Raclette

Raclette — a traditional Swiss dish of melted cheese scraped onto bread or boiled potatoes. Prepared by the Cheesy Guys, raclette will be served fresh for two Saturdays paired along with a flight of Maliviore wine. Yes it is stinky, and yes it is delicious.

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Date: Saturday March 11 and March 18 at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Malivoire Wine, 4260 King Street E, Beamsville
Cost: $15 per person (includes wine) Reservations recommended 1-866-644-2244

Blinded by the Flight

Test your Ontario VQA Wine taste buds. Cave Spring will be pouring four wines blind for attendees. Guided by the staff you will go through the steps of sight, smell and taste. Can you guess the correct grape variety?

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Date: Every Saturday and Sunday in April between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Cave Spring Cellars, 3836 Main Street, Jordan
Cost: $6 per person, purchase in person

Get Fresh in the Valley

Ontario wine

23 Twenty Valley participating wineries will showcase their newest vintages paired with a fresh spring inspired dish. Collect your favourite recipes along the way to create your Get Fresh cookbook. Shuttle services are available.

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Date: April 8-9, April 22-23, April 29-30
Location: Participating wineries here
Cost: Varying prices, purchase online here

Murder Mystery Feast

Vineland Estates presents the Game of Thrones inspired murder mystery event. Role playing, a family feast and most importantly solving the murder(s). Costumes and character embracing is a must! Which house will reign supreme?

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Date: Friday May 5 at 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Location: Vineland Estates Winery, 3620 Moyer Road, Vineland
Cost: $151.10 per person, purchase online here

F’ing Wine Tour

Niagara events

One of my favourite named events — the F’ing Wine Tour is a collaboration between Featherstone, Fielding and Flatrock. The three wineries will offer food and wine sampling for each passport holder. You’ll have a f’ing good time!

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Date: May 6-7, May 12-14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Featherstone Estate Winery, Fielding Estate Winery, Flat Rock Cellars, Beamsville
Cost: $12 per person (plus taxes) Purchase passports via Flat Rock Cellars at 905-562-8994, Fielding Estate Winery at 905-563-0668, Featherstone Estate Winery at 905-562-1949