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The Niagara Blog:     The Rites of Spring: Twenty Valley Wine-Tasting & Food Pairings

Spring in the Valley

Last weekend on Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13, we took advantage of Twenty Valley's "Get Fresh" wine pairings passports, visiting a total of 11 vineyards out of 24 available, 5 & 6 per day respectively, just the right number (they suggest no more than 8) to enjoy two successive sunny spring days while meandering through lovely rolling countryside, meeting other like-minded samplers from as far away as Port Dover, the GTA, Hamilton and some American folks from both New York State and Pennsylvania. One automobile from Colorado was clearly on an epic journey.

Although there were some sizeable spring potholes in the way, we were not dissuaded from our merriment, and there is one weekend left for you, this Saturday & Sunday to share in the fun.

Passport   Passport

On Saturday, we started out by exploring Twenty Valley East, visiting 5 wineries. From our base in NOTL, we took the QEW to Jordan Road to first Harbour Estates and next, Di Profio; then we took 4th Avenue east to get to Creekside, and south on 13th Street, west on Pelham Road to Sue-Ann Staff, finishing our tour by travelling east on Pelham Road to Henry of Pelham.

The Niagara Region

On Sunday, it was Twenty Valley West vineyards offering us another 6 wineries. We took the QEW to Ontario Street to Greenlane and then west to The Good Earth, our first choice in an attractive setting with patio; from there, we headed south on Lincoln Ave. to Mountainview and on to Angel's Gate and Rosewood; finally, we headed east on King Street to Malivoire, Greenlane and Kacaba.

All in all, we experienced a good smattering of food and wine. At Harbour Estates, we were unimpressed by the muddy, pot-holed narrow entranceway, but the Riesling was so tasty that we quickly purchased a bottle. Their food pairing was gourmet white pizza.

Angels Gate, photo by Mike Keenan  Angels Gate, photo by Mike Keenan  Di Profio, photo by Mike Keenan  Greenlane, photo by Mike Keenan   Kacaba, photo by Mike Keenan   Kacaba, photo by Mike Keenan

Di Profio's building was uniquely cube-shaped and wine-coloured, and here we sampled 2012 Kitchen Zinc along with miniature cheesecake with kiwi and chocolate while watching two hawks circling slowly in the sky.

At Creekside, outside on their spacious, comfortable deck, we enjoyed a pairing of 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc along with delicious Sauvignon Blanc steamed Blue Point mussels. Yum! This place we will surely return to for a summer meal!

On to the attractive setting of Sue-Ann Staff's old farm house, where we met both mom and wine-maker daughter and sampled 2010 Cabernet Merlot paired with the decadent Death by Chocolate with a Cabernet twist, containing, we were told, some pepper to help highlight the chocolate.

Malivoire, photo by Mike Keenan  Rosewood, photo by Mike Keenan  Sue-Ann Staff, Mrs. Staff photo by Mike Keenan  The Good Earth, photo by Mike Keenan   The Good Earth, photo by Mike Keenan

Henry of Pelham also offered quite an attractive setting from where they also stage their usual mix of Shakespeare and music in the summer. We enjoyed their combo Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut with delicious smoked salmon cheese bites, and at 5 pm we headed for home, not needing much to augment our ample intake for the day!

On Sunday, we repeated the process in Twenty Valley West. The Good Earth, our first stop, was one of our favourites, sampling their 2012 Rose along with Chilean Empanadas which were a tad dry.

Angel's Gate was next with a pairing of 2012 Pinot Gris along with cocoanut chicken fingers with mango chutney. They enjoyed a nice tasting room with a good view allowing one to discern Toronto across the Lake as did Rosewood just down the street where we sampled their 2011 Estate Riesling along with asparagus chevre tart with olive oil crust.

Malivoire has a large rock entrance as if one was entering a bunker, and here we purchased Delicious Monk's chocolate, Cheesy Guys Cheese and Provisions Marmalade Jel and sampled the 2011 Lady Bug Rose along with the not-so-delicious Monk's Marvelous Gelato.

Greenlane's setting was unpretentious as was their 2012 un-oaked Chardonnay along with the "gourmet" chicken slider with mango chutney. The atmosphere was somewhat cool, so we were soon on our way.

We finished at Kacaba, another nice spring setting where we were treated to 2013 Pinot Gris along with Tiger shrimp and mango-lime salad with glass noodles. Again, heading home, there was not much room for additional nutritional supplements.

The Twenty Valley passport is a neat idea to encourage people to discover some new Niagara vineyards, and we made careful note of those where we would likely return. Also, we collected recipe cards at each winery. Passports costs $40, and with the handy maps attached on the back, one can easily arrive at a strategic route to cover appropriate vineyards of one's liking.

Wine and cheese pairing: designing the Jordan Winery tasting cheese plate Pairing Wine with Food - Tips on How to Pair your Wine with your Food Wine 101: How to Pair Wine and Food

The Wineries Of Niagara - Support the participating wineries

Niagara Winery Name Address City Phone
13th Street Winery 1776 Fourth Avenue St. Catharines 905-984-8463
20 Bees 1067 Niagara Stone Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-641-1042
Alvento Winery 3048 2nd Ave. Vineland 905-562-1212
Angels Gate Winery 4260 Mountainview Beamsville 905-563-3942
Birchwood Estate Wines 4679 Cherry Ave. Vineland 905-562-8463
Calamus Estate Winery 3100 Glen Road Jordan 905-562-9303
Caroline Cellars 1029 Line 2 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-8814
Cattail Creek Estate Winery R.R. #4, 1156 Concession 6 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-988-9463
Cave Spring Cellars 3836 Main St. Jordan 905-562-3581
Chateau Des Charmes Wines 1025 York Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-262-4219
Cornerstone Estate Winery 4390 Tufford Rd. Beamsville 905-563-6758
Coyote's Run Estate Winery 485 Concession 5 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-682-8310
Creekside Estate Winery 2170 4th Ave. Vineland 905-562-0035
Crispino Wines & Crispino Estate Winery 4890 Victoria Ave. Vineland 905-562-9898
Crown Bench Estates Winery 3850 Aberdeen Rd. Beamsville 905-563-3959
Daniel Lenko Estate Winery 4246 King St. Beamsville 905-563-7756
De Sousa Wine Cellars 3753 Quarry Rd. Beamsville 905-563-7269
Di Profio Wines 4055 Nineteenth St. Jordan Station 905.562.7080
EastDell Estates Winery 4041 Locust Lane Beamsville 905-563-9463
Featherstone Winery & Vineyard 3678 Victoria Ave. Vineland 905-562-1949
Ferndale Vineyards 3026 8th Ave. Jordan 905-562-3494
Fielding Estate Winery 4020 Locust Lane Beamsville 905-563-0668
Flat Rock Cellars 2727 Seventh Ave. Jordan 905-562-8994
Foreign Affair Winery (The) 4890 Victoria Avenue North Vineland Station 905-562-9898
Frogpond Farm Organic Winery 1385 Larkin Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-1079
Good Earth Food and Wine Co 4556 Lincoln Avenue Beamsville 905-563-6333
Greenlane Estate Winery 4679 Cherry Avenue Beamsville 905-562-7207
Harbour Estates Winery 4362 Jordan Rd. Vineland 905-562-6279
Harvest Estate Wines 1179 Fourth Avenue St. Catharines 905-682-0080
Henry of Pelham Winery 1469 Pelham Rd. St. Catharines 905-684-8423
Hernder Estate Wines 1607 Eighth Ave. St. Catharines 905-684-3300
Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery 4152 Locust Lane Beamsville 905-563-8700
Hillebrand Estates Winery 1249 Niagara Stone Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-7123
Ice House (The) 14778 Niagara Parkway Road Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-262-6161
Inniskillin Wines 1499 Line 3 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-2187
Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery 2145 Niagara Stone Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-4637
Joseph's Estate Wines 1811 Niagara Stone Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-1259
Kacaba Vineyards 3550 King St. Jordan Station 905-562-5625
Kittling Ridge Estate Wines & Spirits 297 South Service Road Grimsby 905-945-9225
Konzelmann 1098 Lakeshore Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-935-2866
Lailey Vineyard Wines 15940 Niagara River Parkway Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-0503
Lakeview Cellars Estate Winery 4037 Cherry Ave. Vineland 905-562-5685
Legends Estates Winery 4888 Ontario St. North Beamsville 905-563-6500
Magnotta Winery 4701 Ontario St. Beamsville 905-563-5313
Maleta Winery 450 Queenston Rd., R.R. 4 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-685-8486
Malivoire Wine Co. 4260 King St. Beamsville 905-563-9253
Marynissen Estates Winery 1208 Line One Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-7270
Megalomaniac (John Howard Cellars of Distinction) 3930 Cherry Avenue Vineland 905-562-5155
Mike Weir Estate Winery Limited 963 Queenston Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-684-1483
Mountain Road Wine Company 4016 Mountain Rd. Beamsville 905-563-0745
Niagara College Teaching Winery 135 Taylor Road Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-641-2252 x 4070
Organized Crime Winery (The) 4043 Mountainview Road Beamsville 905-563-9802
Palatine Hills Estate 911 Lakeshore Rd., R.R. 3 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-646-9617
Peller Estates Winery 290 John Street East, R.R. #1 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-4678
Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery 5600 King St. Beamsville 905-563-0900
Pillitteri Estates Winery 1696 Niagara Stone Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-3147
PondView Estate Winery 925 Line 2 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-0777
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery 1366 York Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-262-8463
Reif Estate Winery 15608 Niagara River Parkway Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-7738
Ridgepoint Wines 3900 Cherry Ave. Vineland 905-562-8853
Riverview Cellars Estate Winery 15376 Niagara Parkway Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-262-0636
Rockway Glen Estate Winery Inc. 3290 Ninth St. St. Catharines 905-641-5771
Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery 4352 Mountainview Road Beamsville 905-563-4383
Royal DeMaria Wines 4551 Cherry Ave. Vineland 905-562-6767
Southbrook Vineyards 581 Niagara Stone Road Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-641-2548
Stonechurch Vineyards Inc. 1270 Irvine Rd., R.R. 5 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-935-3535
Stoney Ridge Estate Winery 3201 King St. Vineland 905-562-1324
Stratus Vineyards 2059 Niagara Stone Road Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-1806
Strewn Winery 1339 Lakeshore Road RR 3 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-1229
Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery 3210 Staff Avenue Jordan 905-562-1719
Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery 1425 Lakeshore Rd. Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-1122
Tawse Winery 3944 Cherry Ave. Vineland 905-562-9500
Thirty Bench Wines 4281 Mountainview Beamsville 905-563-1698
Thomas & Vaughan Estate Winery 4245 King St. Beamsville 905-563-7737
Vieni Estates Wine & Spirits 4553 Fly Rd Beamsville 905-563-6521
Vignoble Rancourt Winery 1829 Concession 4 Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-2882
Vincor Canada 4887 Dorchester Road Niagara Falls 905-358-7141
Vineland Estates Winery 3620 Moyer Road Vineland 905-562-7088
Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery 3751 King St. Vineland 905-562-4945

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