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,

As promised, here is part 2 of the details of our one-day bicycle tour through Grape Escape Wine Tours, who was kind enough to give us a personalized guided “ride”.

First stop…

INNISKILLIN WINES INC.

A fabulous choice winery to visit, as one of the pioneers in the Canadian wine industry, founded in 1975 by Karl Kaiser and Donald Ziraldo, Inniskillin is largely credited with putting Canadian wines on the world wide wine map. An award that proved to be a turning point not only for Inniskillin, but also the Canadian wine industry. It was 1991 and in this competition, Inniskillin’s 1989 Vidal icewine won the Gold Medal at the ultra prestigious Grand Prix d’Honneur Awards at Vinexpo in Bordeaux France. Inniskillin also produces award winning table wines and is a must see, particularly for your out of town visitors!

Our second stop… in contrast to Inniskillin Wines, Pondview Estate Winery

PONDVIEW ESTATE WINERY

Although Pondview Estate Winery opened its doors in 2010… that is not to say that this family owned winery is not steeped in old world traditions, going back three generations of grape growers with family roots in Sicily. Owned by 3rd generation grape grower Lou Puglisi, who was awarded the prestigious Grape King Award in 2008, Lou and his wife/co-owner Adriana, celebrate old world traditions and make you feel at home, while enjoying their fine wines made with their own grapes, often paired with artisan cheeses. We enjoyed a selection of local cheeses, one of which was paired with Pondview’s Harmony Red.

On our final stop, we got to go to what is trending and something we do! Not only trending, but good for you and our environment!

FROGPOND FARM ORGANIC WINERY

It was a true pleasure to be greeted here at Ontario’s first organic winery, by the very hospitable and passionate owner and winemaker Jens, as well as the sheep, the bull frogs, chickens and hens, and of course the guinea fowl, all of which play an important role on this organic farm and organic winery. The animals and the various plants help create a balanced ecosystem, creating harmony in nature, which Jens believes is “the prerequisite for a truly authentic wine”. This is a charming, small winery that produces a range of wines including a Cabernet Merlot, which we enjoyed at the picnic table with our local cheese and yummy crackers!

So we are in the final stretch now of our wine tour on wheels, feeling very relaxed, satisfied and well oxygenated with the clean, pure air and beautiful surroundings we have experienced over the last couple of hours. Our cups runneth over and our baskets do too, with purchases we have made along the way, truth be told Jacquie has taken care of our precious parcels with delivery back to Kurtz’s.

Full circle, we are back now at Kurtz’s Orchard Farm and Marketplace… but wait, one final stop, a quick visit into the marketplace where alas… we find all is local, even the stupendous, handmade, Turkish delight! Eureka! Life just doesn’t get any better!

We sincerely hope you share with your visitors a little of what we have to offer here in our Niagara-on-the-Lake wine country. We promise it will be a delightful and a delicious day!

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