Things just a lot better on the showcase Niagara wine country drive into Niagara-on-the-Lake along Niagara Stone Road.
Two new tasting and retail facilities are now officially open to the public as of this week — the new Lakeview Wine Co. and Wayne Gretzky Winery and Distillery. Details are below.
Note: While additional information on the Gretzky opening is posted below, Wines In Niagara had a sneak peek inside the facility and that story is posted here
Diamond Estates opens its new flagship
wine retail store and tasting centre
The new LakeviewWine Co. — the flagship retail and tasting centre for Diamond Estates Wine and Spirits — is now ready to help wine lovers discover and enjoy Ontario’s exceptional VQA wines.
Officially opened Wednesday, the showcase for Diamond’s family of VQA wines, The Lakeview Wine Co. is a 3,000-square-foot tasting centre and retail shop with a unique architectural and interior design that creates a welcoming atmosphere.
“With The Lakeview Wine Co. we are ushering in an exciting new future for Diamond Estates while respecting a key piece of our history,” said Murray Souter, President and CEO of Diamond Estates.
“This showcase for all of Diamond’s brands is more than a wine store. It is a friendly, informative and welcoming space where we can share knowledge, passion and a love of wine.”
Inside the new Lakeview Wine Co. on Niagara Stone Road, the granite tasting bar runs along full-height windows that overlook the rows of the vineyard and the picturesque Niagara Escarpment. The exterior is clad in cedar using the unique Japanese technique of ‘Shou Sugi Ban’ that creates a charred look with natural wood accents.
Adjacent to Diamond’s 43,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art winemaking facility, The Lakeview Wine Co. provides visitors the opportunity to enjoy many of its most popular wines and then book a one-of-a-kind cellar floor experience in the winery. Set on the winery floor among a canyon of more than 800 wine barrels and massive two-storey wine tanks, this unique space provides a memorable, unmatched orientation to the winemaking process.
“We take great pride in ‘demystifying’ wine and making it accessible to all — regardless of their knowledge of wines,” said Souter. “The Lakeview Wine Co. provides a modern tasting and shopping environment where our team members provide good old-fashioned customer service and attention. As picky as we are about the grapes we choose to go into our wines, we are equally picky about the people we select to inform and serve customers.”
Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery
& Distillery Opens its Doors
Wayne Gretzky and Andrew Peller Limited have announced the opening of the new Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery.
“We are gearing up for our official Grand Opening weekend June 9 and 10 but want to provide our friends, families and neighbours an advance invite to our beautiful new Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery,” said Wayne Gretzky.
“We are still working on some finishing touches but invite everyone to come down and enjoy Niagara’s first combined winery and distillery.”
The modern barn-like structure, designed by award-winning architect Gren Weis, features stone, metal, and stained wood to reflect the surrounding landscape and immense glass walls to allow for uninterrupted views of the vineyards.
Constructed over two years, the 23,000-square-foot facility includes a winery, distillery, tasting areas, retail and hospitality spaces, fermentation facilities, offices and barrel storage areas.
“We are so excited to celebrate the legacy of Wayne Gretzky at the new winery and distillery. Guests will get to experience The Great Canadian Whisky Tour and Whisky Bartending: Cocktails 101 as well as enjoy family photos and defining hockey moments that celebrate Wayne’s incredible contribution to Canada. The Great One himself even placed a loonie at centre ice on our new hockey pond to celebrate our new home,” said John Peller, Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Peller Limited.
Introducing new exclusive
Ice Cask and Ninety Nine
Following the success of Wayne Gretzky No. 99 “Red Cask” Canadian Whisky launched in October last year, the distillery is now launching a new Ice Cask premium whisky and Ninety Nine Proof, a small batch premium whisky that are now available exclusively at the distillery for purchase.
According to master distiller Joshua Beach, Ice Cask is a golden bronze coloured whisky that has been finished in Wayne Gretzky Vidal Blanc Icewine barrels resulting in a long and lingering smooth texture with a hint of sweetness and flavours of toffee, caramelized apple, smoke and allspice. The Ninety Nine Proof is a deep amber bronze coloured whisky that has been finished in Wayne Gretzky Cabernet Sauvignon barrels adding rich oak and baked fruit notes, along with a more pronounced rye-forward spice to produce a refined and smooth whisky.
“We invite you to come in and try our new premium whiskies made the Canadian way with locally sourced grains that are individually distilled, matured and blended and then finished in Wayne Gretzky wine barrels — it’s our unique process that delivers a refined and smooth taste,” said Beach.
New artisanal spirited wine
In addition to the premium Wayne Gretzky wines available in the winery, award-winning winemaker Craig McDonald selected the finest Muscat and Vidal grapes from Niagara and worked with master distiller Beach to distill two artisanal spirited wines — Muscat Artisanal Spirited Wine and Vidal Artisanal Spirited Wine. Both can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or mixed with soda water or sparkling wine, with added mint or lime to create a refreshing seasonal cocktail.
Wayne Gretzky Estates
tours and experiences
Enjoy Wayne Gretzky Estates wines and whisky at the new winery tasting room and distillery whisky bar during these opening hours:
Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm
Sunday to Thursday: 10 am – 7 pm
1219 Niagara Stone Road
In addition, guests can experience 45-minute guided tours and interactive sessions with bartenders and hosts on the history of whisky making, insider tips on how to create the ultimate whisky cocktail and learn about Wayne’s dream of opening a world-class winery as well as wine and food pairing. Guests can pre-book the following experiences here or call 1.844.643.7799.
The Great Canadian Whisky Tour
Hourly from 11:30 am ($25)
The Whisky Bartender: Cocktails 101 – Held at 12 noon ($35)
The Canadian Winery Tour – Hourly from 11 am ($25)
The Red Line Wine & Food Pairing Experience – Held at 3 pm ($30)