10 Feb Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Niagara Wine Tour
If you haven’t been to Niagara Falls in years, you can be forgiven for thinking of tacky arcades and horrifying wax museums; while the landmark tourist town definitely has its seedier side, fine dining and luxury shopping has also found its way into the city surrounding one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Yet for wine lovers, Niagara Falls proper may not be the most exciting destination; far better to explore the region’s artisanal wineries and enjoy what they have to offer. It doesn’t matter that summer is only a distant memory; you and your special someone can enjoy a Valentine’s Day wine tour that is sure to be memorable for years to come.
The delights of Niagara Wine Country
In case you’re unaware, Niagara wine country is barely more than an hour’s drive from Toronto, making a wine tour getaway both an exciting and practical retreat that’s sure to keep the romance going – and if you don’t want to drive (understandable), Via Rail is a popular transportation option (naturally, wine tours include complimentary pick up and return to your hotel in Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake area accommodations). When visiting wineries in the Niagara Region, you can expect fine dining at top rated wineries or local restaurants who source their wine from adjacent vintners. Tours generally fall into one of several categories:
Afternoon wine tour: Visit up to 4 wineries, touring and tasting and observing the wine making process in its entirety. Speak with winemakers onsite and enjoy shopping at winery boutiques. Learn to educate your palate and sample fine local cheeses and charcuterie.
Afternoon wine and chocolate tour: Few things are as Valentine’s-y as chocolates; pair with wine and you’ve got a recipe for romantic success. This afternoon wine tour includes wine tasting at several wineries plus a chocolate factory tour where visitors can dip and decorate their own strawberries. The perfect creative and fun activity for tipsy love birds!
Lunch time wine tour: Spend the better part of the day traveling through picturesque wine country, experiencing four wineries with a lengthy break for a gourmet lunch at a fine dining establishment.
Dinner wine tour: Perhaps the least-known type of wine tour, this tour allows for more variety as it typically features 3-4 wineries of different sizes to allow guests to experience the differences in wine production between large corporate wineries and small, rustic family owned operations. Taste a variety of award winning whites, reds and ice wines before enjoying a decadent dinner. While often enjoyed by festive parties and groups of 8 or more, a dinner wine tour also makes an excellent romantic option à deux.
Wine tour tips
Because some popular Niagara wine tours are only available Friday through Sunday as opposed to weekdays, plan accordingly. The weekend of February 18th, 2017 is also Family Day weekend, so if you prefer to be in romantic seclusion with your sweetheart, try for the weekend before or after. If you have time for a weekday adventure, there are wine tour packages available through select hotels which allow for tours on the big day itself, February 14th. Or, if you have more time to go off the beaten track, try a fun and frugal weekend wine brunch in Prince Edward County.
Happy Valentine’s Day from PAPRO Wine Cellars & Consulting!