Good morning, and happy Friday once again! Where were you when the thunderstorms rolled through last night, ushering in this glorious relief from the heatwave we’ve been having? The weather people had been promising all week that storms would bring an end to the extreme heat and humidity we had been experiencing, and it looks like they delivered! As with all summer storms, they tend to be highly isolated, so one part of the city may have received a totally different version of the storm than others, but the effect, overall, was positive. Welcome back to cool mornings and (hopefully) cooled down evenings too – just in time for the weekend!
And speaking of weekends, last weekend Kim and I embarked on another Willow Blog Team Adventure! If you’re keeping track, this is our second such adventure, and we braved the heat and humidity on the holiday Monday to experience Niagara’s wine country!
If you’ll remember, our first adventure was with the lovely people of Toast Wine Bar at their Rosé All Day event, so you may notice a bit of a theme developing here…and why not?! We are fortunate to live minutes away from some of the best wines in the country, and summer is the perfect time to take advantage of that proximity and make a fun day of it.
Our first stop was at the lovely Angels Gate in Beamsville. If you’ve never been, you owe it to yourself to pay them a visit! The winery is situated on a slight hill, so the views are spectacular. Inside, the space is airy and bright and in the warm weather extends to a patio where you can enjoy a glass of wine and a pizza from their outdoor wood-fired oven. On Monday we decided to stay in the beautifully cool tasting room, but there were several people on the patio while we were there, and the pizzas smelled so good! Definitely a must-try next time. And oh there will certainly be a next time!
We began our sampling with a couple of bubblies (as one does) and absolutely adored Shine, the winery’s sparkling Moscato. Talk about a perfect summer wine! Needless to say a bottle of Shine came home with us, as well as a couple of others. The Riesling and the Pinot Gris were also delightful, and may have wound up in our shopping bags as well…
Our next stop was at The Good Earth Food and Wine Co. and within minutes of arriving, had become our new favourite place for lunch and wine tasting!
We had a few minutes before our lunch reservation, so we made our way into the tasting room to sample a couple of wines. We had to know what to pair with our lunch, of course! The tasting room is small but welcoming, and we were not disappointed with our wine choices! We began our tasting adventure with the Aria Sparkling Rosé, a beautiful blush-coloured bubbly that set the tone for the rest of our visit. We also became immediate fans of both the Unoaked Chardonnay (scroll down to read about it, the link seems to take you to a different wine just now) and Betty’s Blend, and guess what? They both accompanied us at lunch. Fancy that!
The Bistro at The Good Earth is stunning, with a large covered patio and a good sized dining room. We sat inside, but again, the patio was being enjoyed by a large number of people, and the setting is just lovely.
Lunch was delicious – The Good Earth also does wood-fired pizzas – as well as a range of other options, and, as we said at the outset, this has become our new favourite “lunch on The Bench” spot. Highly recommended if you’re heading towards Niagara for wine tasting.
Finally, we rounded off the day at Kew Vineyards, because it just feels wrong to not visit this lovely spot when we’re in the area!
If you don’t know Kew, this is another winery that we can’t recommend highly enough! Known for their sparkling wines – they have FIVE – Kew offers a wide range of sparkling, white, and red wines, all available to taste in their gorgeous tasting room. Take your time while you’re there, grab a table and order a cheese plate to make the most out of your visit, and to bring out the best in the wines you’re tasting. Kew also has a lovely garden patio that was being well used while we were there. It’s a great place to go in the summer, but consider it too when the weather is cold and damp and you need a little bit of sunshine in your life. That’s what bubbly is for, after all! It can brighten the dullest of days, honestly!
Three wineries in about three hours, and that wrapped up our Willow Blog Team Adventure for the July 1st holiday weekend!
Thanks for following along, everyone! Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday. Cheers!