The second and last day of my birthday trip to Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada was spent wining the day away. Like the previous day, we headed into the restaurant at the hotel to grab breakfast before getting in the car and driving along the Niagara River all the way to Niagara on the Lake. This town was filled with cute shops and restaurants where we got to sample ice wine coffee, and buy ourselves some ice wine chocolate truffles. At the end of our walk, we ventured into the Prince of Wales Hotel. This hotel has a stunning English vintage decor, and we were happy to learn that we got there just in time for tea time. Our lunch/tea time consisted of two pots of tea, plus a pastry and tea sandwich tower to share. My favorites were the egg salad sandwiches and sugar cookies.
While enjoying tea, the staff was kind enough to give us a local vineyard map and give us suggestions on which ones to check out. So, right after enjoying our last cookie, we started winery hopping. Take a look below to discover my top Niagara on the Lake wine finds. (In no specific order.)
1) Inniskillin Niagara Estate Winery – 2008 Vidal Ice Wine. Vidal is a hybrid (Ugni Blanc and Seibel) that has a thick skin suitable for harvesting late in the season. It is the grape grown most for Ice Wine in Ontario. It’s good natural acidity gives great structure to the lusciousness of its tropical aromas and flavors of mango and lychee. Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine is made in two distinct styles; without oak aging for fresh fruit emphasis and with oak aging for added complexity. $49.95
2) Marynissen Estates – 2011 White Merlot. This is a golden, aromatic wine described as strawberries with a lime squeezed on top. I remember even tasting a hint of honey in it. Even though it’s white, is made with the same red grape as your favorite red Merlot.
3) Pilliteri Estates Winery – 2011 Twenty Three Dolce Rosso. This red wine is sweet with berry characteristics of cherry, raspberry and black currant. $13.20
4) Riverview Cellars – 2011 Fontana Dolce. They know some people “only drink white wines,” but this one should be an exception. The refreshing blend recalls juicy plums, ripe raspberries, cherries and candied apples. Terrific with pizza or made into Sangria. The Dolce converts many to red wine; enough for a cult following. $14.95