Adventures in North American Wine Touring – Part 3

What could be more romantic for a couple than a stunning summer eve beneath the gorgeous beauty of an illuminated Niagara Falls?

I certainly scored brownie points for doing exactly that with my wife a few years back on our anniversary, but the next day scored just as high.

Following our evening at the Falls we explored the less spectacular but oh-so-quaint town, Niagara on the Lake. Home of the renowned Shaw Festival, charming B&Bs dot the central area and flower-filled baskets decorate every lamp post.

But we were out for adventure!

A cycling wine tour, complete with picnic-basket lunch turned out to be an idyllic afternoon. Niagara on the Lake’s flat terrain and sensible drivers makes for a manageable and safe tour for couples of all ages. Three wineries were our limit though; by the fourth or fifth winery, we were at risk of becoming the road hazard.

First, we stopped at Stratus, a high-tech state-of-the-art winery led by a winemaker from the Loire that crafts absolute magic into his wines. After pedalling back to town for a picnic lunch at Simcoe Park, we visited classic Inniskillin to sample ice wines from Canada’s most famous producer. This winery was established in 1974 and the first to push Canadian growers towards European varietals. Our final stop was at the boutique winery Five Rows. Wes Lowery makes the wines on site. You can see his press and other equipment in a rustic barn that doubles as the tasting room. His mother is the most charming host and a shrewd salesperson! Their wines are featured in some of Toronto’s top restaurants when they can get any.

The bike rental company returned to the wineries to collect our purchases, freeing us for one last toast of sparkling with a beautiful view of the lake!