Dear The Wine Ladies,

We have guests visiting from London this summer and we were thinking about doing a one-day bicycle tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We’d love to show off a few of our wineries. Just wondering if you’ve done any of these tours and might have some thoughts to share on your experience.

– Alyssa

Dear Alyssa,

Yes, we have had the opportunity to enjoy a winery tour on wheels and would highly recommend it. Probably the best way to share our thoughts on this is by recounting our personal bicycle tour experience of last summer.

We booked through GRAPE ESCAPE WINE TOURS, who was kind enough to give us a personalized guided “ride”. Grape Escape Wine Tours has been awarded the TRIP ADVISOR’s Certificate of Excellence for 5 years running. They are family owned and operated and obviously do a fabulous job. They offer a great variety of guided wine tours for single participants, small groups, larger groups, either on foot, in a vehicle or on a bicycle – they cover all the ground.

HERE IS OUR STORY…

What a glorious day for a bike ride. The sun is shining brilliantly, there is a gentle cool breeze wafting through the trees and my shorts fit! Hallelujah! Niagara wine country here we come for our inaugural, abbreviated bicycle wine tour – we are excited!

It’s been a very hectic summer thus far and we are looking forward to experiencing a little relaxation, sunshine, stunning scenery, some wonderful wines, and just a tad of exercise. We are teaming up with Grape Escape Wine Tours for a private and privileged tour, on which we’ll visit three wineries, to sample a red wine, a white wine and an ice wine. The plan is to have a full facility tour at one of the wineries and enjoy a wine and cheese tasting to close off the afternoon. On this excursion, we will peddle close to 8kms at a leisurely pace, returning to our base camp in just buy generic cialis india under 2.5 hours.

For those who might like to consider a bicycle wine tour, the typical Grape Escape Wine Tour “afternoon bicycle tour” is lengthier – it is closer to 5 hours (12kms) and includes 4 wineries instead of our 3.

So we are off… rendezvous point is Kurtz Orchard Farm & Marketplace where we are to meet our guide, get fitted with our bikes and our helmets. It turns out Kurtz is the perfect place to meet. The grounds are beautiful with an abundance of lush greenery, towering trees, glorious wild flowers, a quaint bridge over looking a small pond… the setting is an inspiration and quite suitable for even Monat or perhaps Sisley! We are feeling relaxed and invigorated already. We meet Jacquie who will be our guide. We love her right from the start, she is full of zest, she suits us up, we test drive the bikes – it is all systems go.

We set off along the Niagara Parkway, full of enthusiasm. There is a sense of the local beauty and bounty NOTL has to offer, with vineyards in view and fruit orchards dotted along the way, with rows upon rows of pear trees running parallel to our path. After a relaxing and scenic several kilometer ride, we arrive at our first winery. Here is a snapshot of the 3 wineries we enjoyed on our tour. This may or may not be the itinerary for the next group, or individual’s tour, as Grape Escape Wine Tours has a broad roster of wineries that they mix and match accordingly. They also have introduced several new tours this year including their “Ultimate Wine, Beer & Foodie Bicycle Tour”, as well as their “Wine, Beer & Tapas Vehicle Tour”.

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Next month we will report on the 3 wineries we visited – Inniskillin Wines Inc., Pondview Estate Winery and FrogPond Farm Organic Winery. Stay Tuned!

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