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Peller Estates, enjoying its 50th year in Canada, releases some fine top tier Niagara wines

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Peller Estates’ winemaker Lawrence Buhler is always beaming with a smile from ear to ear, just like in the picture above. With good reason. He presides over a dynamic portfolio of wines and works at one of Niagara’s most established and beautiful wineries. It is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a Canadian wine company this month in both Niagara and British Columbia, where the company first established itself as Andres Wines. Continue reading

Taste the Season in Niagara-on-the-Lake touring passes now on sale

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NOTE: The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake Taste the Season touring passes are on sale for the 11th annual fall event that takes place on weekends in November. Here are the details as sent in a press release:

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON (SEPTEMBER 13, 2011) Niagara-on-the-Lake wine country’s “must-do” event of the fall season has returned for the 11th year.

The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Taste the Season touring pass event returns the weekends of November 5/6, 12/13, 19/20 and 26/27.  From 11 am to 5 pm Taste the Season touring pass holders will be treated to seasonally inspired VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wine and food pairings.

Twenty-six wineries are participating in 2011.

homebig-graphics_tts“Taste the Season is our most popular touring pass event, celebrating the winding down of the busy harvest season,” said Roselyn Dyck-Cieszkowski, Taste the Season committee chair, “It is an ideal time for visitors to sample delicious and unique pairings, as well as explore wine and gift selections at each winery.”

Taste the Season touring passes are $44.25 per person (plus HST).  Each touring pass entitles the holder to a VQA wine and food pairing at each of the 26 member wineries and is valid for one of the featured weekends.

There are a limited number of touring passes available each weekend and typically sell out fast, so guests are encouraged to purchase early.

Touring passes can be purchased online here or by phoning the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce at 905.468.1950.

The 26 Taste the Season VQA wine and food pairings are seasonally inspired and made from mainly locally sourced ingredients.

Ravine Vineyard is pairing a 2010 Sand and Gravel Cabernet Franc alongside Lamb Confit with Caramalized Onions and Shropshire Blue.

The Ice House Winery is matching the 2009 Jamie’s New Signature Series Big Red Icewine with, “Poire Passion,” which is a creation of sliced pair rounds, crisp pancetta, Niagara Gold cheese and a Riesling Icewine reduction.

Stonechurch Vineyards is showcasing Smoked Salmon Bisque with a 2009 Riesling Reserve.

For a complete list of VQA wine and food pairings, visit the website here.

The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are donating a portion of the Taste the Season touring pass proceeds to two local charities.  The Red Roof Retreat provides quality recreational, educational and respite services to children, youth and young adults with special needs, as well as their families.  The YWCA Niagara Region Women in Crisis Shelter supported close to 1,000 women and children last year through housing and shelter programs.  It provides over 35,000 nutritious meals and safety to women and children in crisis.

Taste the Season kicks-off Winter in Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Country (Winter in Wine Country).  Winter in Wine Country spans over four months and each month features a unique event.  Taste the Season is offered in November and Stocking Days of Christmas is December’s featured event.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival takes place in January and the Days of Wine & Chocolate touring pass event rounds off the campaign in February.

Every day the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake welcome guests into Wine Country to savour the richness of the region and to experience the 26 distinct wineries, each with its own personality reflected in the wines they craft.  The members of Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are: Cattail Creek, Château des Charmes, Colaneri, Coyote’s Run, Hillebrand, Ice House, Inniskillin, Jackson Triggs, Joseph’s, Konzelmann, Lailey, Maleta, Marynissen, Niagara College, Palatine Hills, Peller Estates, Pillitteri, PondView, Ravine, Reif, Riverview, Southbrook, Stonechurch, Stratus, Strewn and Sunnybrook Farm.  Follow the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake on Twitter @NiagaraWine.

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The proliferation of Niagara ‘lifestyle’ wines. Sameness vs. somewhereness. Some thoughts

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It saddens me to walk into my local LCBO store here in St. Catharines and see the ever-growing rows of so-called “lifestyle” wines crowding the shelves and pushing core brands further and further to the sidelines. Continue reading

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Niagara Wine Harvest (Part III): Melissa Smits has a bird’s view as harvest begins at Henry of Pelham

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Note: We are following the 2011 grape harvest in Niagara through the writings of several Niagara insiders. This is the first post from Melissa Smits (seen in above photo in the vineyards), a cellar/winery technician at Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery. This is her first report. Continue reading

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The wine (and music) of Niagara’s Jackson-Triggs winery and winemaker Marco Piccoli

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It’s warm and muggy with the fresh smell of a recent downpour heavy in the air. As darkness closes in and Kathleen Edwards takes the stage at the Jackson-Triggs amphitheatre, tucked in among the vineyard, and starts into her repertoire of upbeat alternative country songs, one can only sit back and soak up the magic of a perfect evening in wine country. Continue reading