Summer is the perfect time to visit a vineyard near you. In Ontario, the Niagara-On-the-Lake region is bustling with vineyards that are open and ready to welcome their visitors. As you read on my previous post, my friends and I visited the Jackson Triggs vineyard in the Niagara region. It was a beautiful day, the staff was super sweet and charming (not to forget very knowledgeable). Below, I’m sharing more details of the actual tour as well as some tips for your future winery tour. Enjoy!
We started the tour with a tasting of their Entourage Grand Reserve Brut 2011 (my personal favourite). It was so delicious that many of us opted for a second glass (oops). Our tour guide Stuart was the sweetest. While we were enjoying our first few sips, he took the time to explain all the details of the tour and answered all the questions my rowdy group had. We then ventured outside where we learned more about Donald Triggs and Allan Jackson, the founders of many people’s favourite wine. They established the winery in 1993 and their brand has been flourishing ever since. He did warn us that the grapes (while edible) were very bitter. Being the rebellious child that I am, I tried it and it was in fact bitter (ouch). After that, we ventured inside. There we learned about what they do with the freshly picked grapes and their storing system. He quizzed us a little about how they get the strong red color on red wines (PS, it’s the skin on the grapes. The longer the skin stays on, the darker the color). I also noticed the large metal barrels of wine which I wanted to jump into. This was a much more informative tour than other wine tours I had been to. It was great to find out the full wine making process, I was already beginning to look forward to my next glass. Jodianne and I left the group for a little bit to snap some photos in the gorgeous wine cellar. It was set up for a dinner service they were hosting for their wine club members later that evening. We ended our tour with a wine and cheese picnic outside. It was the most delicious way to end our day at the winery. Before leaving, we stopped by the store where I purchased my favourite wine as well as smoked sea salt (which made the steaks I ate later that night taste so DELICIOUS). When you plan your own tour, make sure to interact with your tour guide as much as possible. Ask a lot of questions (where the grapes are grown, when harvest season begins…). Also, make sure you have a designated driver. I know, everyone wants to taste the wines and have a great time, but it’s important to be safe. Another big thing to remember is to keep your composure, you’re at a wine tasting, not a bar. If you follow my tips, you’ll definitely have a great time. A big thank you to the Jackson Triggs team, and to my new wine expert Stuart! I definitely recommend their tour to everyone!
Photographs by the amazing Jodianne. Check out her website here.