"Wine - Food - Art;" Karen Whitty's T-shirt says it all.
Karen is General Manager at 13th Street Winery, located at 1776 Fourth Ave., one of six wineries located throughout the Garden City, along with Hernder Estates, Rockway Glen Estates, Henry of Pelham and Harvest Estates, and King's Court. Each winery has its own appeal, but 13th Street is special.
Upon pulling into the driveway, one is immediately greeted by an impressive sculpture, just one of many scattered about on the property. Sauntering towards their tasting room and admiring more outdoor sculptures, I encounter an invigorating table of vividly coloured tomatoes, apples, prunes and gourds basking in the sunshine and strategically positioned in front of a tantalizing bakery offering more myriad morsels, tasty carbohydrate treats.
Across the path sits an antique bell directing one to the main building, and as I step inside, I'm reminded that presentation is highly valued here. Their stunning Gallery Room houses an exquisite half-ton Indonesian hardwood table, flanked by an impressive collection of colourful abstract art by Niagara on the Lake artist, Ronald Boaks. (The art is changed approximately four times a year featuring various Canadian artists.)
Add an adjacent inviting wrap-around verandah and large windows offer pleasant views of more sculptures, and you quickly realize that this is a unique experience that deliberately stimulates all of the senses.
On I move, armed with my Niagara Wine Festival Discovery Pass to yet another bright and convivial room to sample today's Gamay Noir matched perfectly with a pasta salad, augmented by gouda cheese and wild mushrooms. Yum! I could remain here for hours!
Founded in 1998, this distinctive winery occupies 25 acres of vineyards close to Jordan and it is mere minutes from the QEW. In contrast to the sleek, modernistic style of the main building, Jean-Pierre Colas, the wine maker from Chablis, France tends to focus on old vines - Gamay Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and traditional method sparkling wines.
On my way back to the parking lot, I encounter what looks like a pack of wolves, a new exhibit, and a 1939 black Fargo truck loaded with two large oak casks, playful touches that create smiles from passersby.
Sculptors featured here are Karoly Veress with his Madonna located at the entrance to the main building as well as Source, symbolizing our encounter with power, Encounter, a connection between two people, Wings, symbolizing freedom, The Necklace, representing phases of life, and Force which looks like a powerful magnet.
Floyd Elzinga's Pine Cone looks like an oversized prop suitable for this year's Shaw production of Alice... Ilan Averbuch's Endless March I remember from its former location at Brock University. Dan Solomon's Martha's Vineyard sits appropriately at the vineyard's entrance, entrancing viewers with its sharp geometric forms and bright colours.
This venue was a great start to a day of leisurely tastings. For more information, their website is:
13th Street Winery: A wonderful and unique Ontario wine country experience near Niagara
13th Street Winery: discover our Red wines from Ontario wine country near Niagara Canada