Taste the Season :: Part Four

92_03Pillitteri

With the end of November came the end of Taste the Season, and I finished it with a bang! Robin and I managed to visit the last 11 wineries in the program, and many of them are not to be missed. Despite Taste the Season being finished, all of the wineries have daily tasting and tour programs. This could be ideal as a last minute Christmas gift for the wine-o in your family! Since we hit so many wineries in the weekend, I’ll keep it short and sweet but I’m sure you’ll be able to find a winery or five that peaks your interest!

Diamond Estates
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 1914 Valour Red (blend of Merlot, Shiraz & Gamay Noir) paired with a bolognese pasta
• medium bodied with hints of fruit and spice
• in honour of our brave and noble Canadian forces, past and present
• Dan Aykroyd owns the winery so you’ll see his face and name on many of the products

Trius Winery at Hillebrand
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a mini beef pot pie
• wine was quite sharp tasting, bitter on the tongue
• beautiful building and show room with many tastings and wine-related trinkets available
• have vines in all four different wine appellations in the Niagara Region

Pillitteri Estates Winery
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2012 Merlot paired with their sweet potato ravoli in a corn broth
• medium-bodied with a sweet & fruity aroma but a light smokey taste on the tongue
• lovely staff that includes complimentary tastings with a large variety to sample
• they were recently crowned one of the Top 5 Wines of 2015 by Intervin Canada

Rancourt Winery
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2012 Noble Rouge paired with Harvest Barn Vidalia Onion BBQ Ribs
• lighter red that pairs nicely with lean meats
• makes a wonderful mulled or Glühwein with a bit of honey, cinnamon, cloves & star anise
• they’ve recently had a new winemaker join them who has earned over half a dozen awards in the past 5 years

Joseph’s Estate Wines
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2011 Chenin Blanc with a goat cheese canapé
• food pairing overwhelmed the wine, so strong tastes aren’t a good pairing for this
• very few locations in Niagara offer a Chenin Blanc, making this location unique

Jackson Triggs Winery
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2013 Reserve Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a Ontario Beef Barley Soup
• very easy going wine, paired well with the beef
• one of the most well-known names in Canadian wine, however not very old as they were established in 1993

Stratus Vineyards
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2013 Mosaic paired with a wood-oven baked Tarte Flambée with bacon and onion
• a blend of Viognier and Gewurztraminer, it has a similar sweetness to a late harvest ice wine
• one of the more modern-looking wineries around, the building and grounds are beautiful and worth exploring
• a number of local art pieces are also on display and available to for purchase

Palatine Hills Estate Winery
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2014 Pinot Gris paired with a Goat Cheese Truffle Trio (Lavender Lemon, Chocolate Chili and Toasted Pistachio)
• a lighter, more tart wine that would pair better with fish or chicken
• the 2014 Pinot Gris is their first harvest from their 4 year old Pinot Gris vines
• the winery’s current location was a pivotal place in the War of 1812, and this history is displayed and reflecting within the winery itself – including the display of old relics

Hinterbrook Estate Wine
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2014 Franc Blanc (ran out of their pairing, a bacon and potato corn chowder)
• personally found the Franc Blanc to be a little harsh for my liking
• only winery that had ran out of the food pairing and they almost made it seem like it was our fault for coming on the last day
• food pairing was replaced with a sample of their 2014 Riesling Special Select Late Harvest, which was very flavourful

Strewn Winery
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2013 Terrroir Gewurztraminer paired with a Mini Sausage Roll, Microgreens with OLiV Chili Balsamic and Aged Canadian Cheddar
• one of the driest Gewurztraminer I’ve had to date; good if that’s your style but I prefer sweeter
• winery also features the Oliv Tasting Room & Restaurant where you can try and purchase a variety of flavoured olive oils and balsamic vinegars like the one offered in their tasting (HIGHLY suggested!)
• the winery also offers a cooking school where you learn to make delicious meals paired nicely with various wines

Konzelmann Estate Winery
I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: Taste the Season Part Four

• 2012 Riesling paired with their Thai Chicken & Coconut Soup
• a must-stop if you’re ever doing some wine touring in NOTL as they have top-notch wines, staff, and the grounds are beautiful
• before being purchased by the Konzelmann family in the early 1980s, the area was home to a peach orchard (and you’ll still see some as their peach wine is spectacular)
• the winery has a number of tour options (both public and private) that range from cellar tastings to junk food pairings

With that, Taste the Season 2015 came to a close! I thoroughly enjoyed not just the value of the event but the variety of wineries included within the pass. This is the third year for Taste the Season, and I have a feeling it will be back again next year, so don’t worry if you missed it! It’s the perfect way to sample the many wineries Niagara-on-the-Lake has to offer at an affordable price, and with the freedom to do as many as you like on any of the weekends – it’s a perfect deal for many occasions! To read more about my previous weekends, please visit the links below.

Taste the Season: Part One
Taste the Season: Part Two
Taste the Season: Part Three

 

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