From September 21st - 23rd, Shawn and I hit the road to visit the Twenty Valley. We've been to Niagara-on-the-Lake many times, but this was our first trip to Jordan, Beamsville, Lincoln and the many small towns that make up the Twenty Valley. We came for the wine, but we fell in love with the beauty of this area and we look forward to our next visit.
This post will be an overview of what we did and in the weeks to follow I'll write more detailed posts on the wineries we did in-depth visits with (Creekside, Vineland Estates, Di Profio and Chateau des Charmes). I look forward to hearing everyone's feedback and hopefully some of you will find this helpful for planning your own visits.
13th Street Winery - We were early for our appointment at Creekside, so we stopped at 13th Street Winery. They had a fantastic Artisan Market taking place and we did some shopping as well as tasting. I bought an adorable grape charm from Chapel Street Designs and then the lovely Eva took us through a tasting of 13th Street Winery's sparkling, Riesling and Rosé - all of which were quite good. It was our first stop, but it was also our first wine purchase.
Creekside Estate Winery - This is one that I'll do an in-depth review on, as Yvonne and Matt were kind enough to give us a full tour and tasting experience. This is a such a fun winery and they make exceptionally good wines. I'd love to come back on a weekend and spend some time enjoying a glass of wine on their lovely patio.
The Orchard Croft - Through Twitter, I learned about Among the Vines B&B (read Uncork Ontario's review here) and The Black Walnut (read Baguette and Butterscotch's review here), but they were both booked when I called in July. The Orchard Croft was suggested by The Black Walnut and they did not disappoint. I'm planning a more in-depth post on this charming Bed and Breakfast, but suffice to say that Ildiko has created a relaxing and positive space that was the perfect place for us to spend our evenings.
Vineland Estates - I was so thrilled to finally visit Vineland Estates and to meet Brian Schmidt, who has been a huge support to my wine writing. We had a wonderful tour and tasting experience, which I'll chronicle in a later post, and I fell madly in love with the Elevation Riesling (I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this wine). We had dinner at Vineland and it was an incredible meal - four courses and we finished every bite.
Di Profio - This is the new kid on the block in Jordan, but you can't tell that by tasting their wines. We were thrilled to visit with this lovely family who just opened their new wine shop and tasting room, The Zinc, a few months ago. Look for a detailed profile of our full tour and tasting soon.
The Irish Tea Room - We popped into Niagara-on-the-Lake so that I could visit Greaves and get some raisins at Reif Estate Winery (I really, really love those raisins), so we stopped at The Irish Tea Room for a quick bite to eat. They make great quiche here and the store out front is one of Shawn's favourite places in town - he always finds new Guiness stuff to covet.
Chateau des Charmes - It was so fabulous to finally meet Michelle Bosc, who has been a wonderful support and a great resource. We took the public tour here which was a much different experience than our other winery visits. Saturday afternoons during harvest are busy ones at this winery and we joined a group of 30+ to check out this amazing operation. I'll do a more in-depth profile soon.
Jordan House Tavern - We ran into the amazing Cellar Sisters at Di Profio and they suggested we try Jordan Tavern for dinner. What a great surprise! This is a pretty basic pub, but the staff are fantastic and the food was so good. I may have to get Shawn to take me back even sooner so that I can have their grown up mac and cheese again. Delicious.
Kacaba - We hadn't planned to visit Kacaba on this trip, but our B&B owner highly recommended them and had a tasting deal for us (free wineglasses - such a great idea), so we dropped in. The staff were fantastic and very attentive. They also let us take a quick look inside the open concept tanks and explained a lot about the unique process they use here. They are known for their reds, but I tried some whites and the rosé and was pleasantly surprised. We'll definitely be back to do a full tour and tasting in the future.
Good Earth - I loved the website and had heard good things on Twitter, so we made a quick stop here. It's a beautiful property and they have a restaurant and cooking school on site. Next trip we will definitely plan to eat here and I hope to do a full tour as well. I did a quick tasting and really enjoyed their wines - especially the medium dry Riesling. They also have homemade marshmallows - I'm so excited to open those.
Rosewood Estate Winery - This is a winery that specializes in mead and honey wine and they also make and sell honey on site. We didn't have time to do a tour or tasting here, but I had to pick up some of their honey and a bottle of honey wine to try later. It's an absolutely gorgeous property and I look forward to visiting in the future to get the full experience.
There are so many wineries to visit in this area that we couldn't even get to half of them, but that just means we'll have to plan another trip soon!
* Shawn was the designated driver on this trip, so I
made sure he had lots of beer waiting at the end of our visits to make up