Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wine Country Tour Day 2

This is a continuation from Wine Country Tour Day 1.

Day 2 brought an early rise and roll call for boarding the bus on a Saturday morning.  We had places to go and wines to taste.

Our first stop was to be the Niagara College Canada winery and teaching school.  Since we were a bit early, our tour guide decided we could take a drive to the Welland Canal Centre, St. Catharines.

We saw no ships coming through the locks.  Sigh...

Since we only had 15 minutes to walk around and take pictures, I did not have time to defy the instructions on this sign.

I only had enough time to snap a photo of this historical plaque.

I did not have time to enter the visitor centre or gift shop.

Here's a tip:  When taking part in organized tours, it is important to know the rules and customs.  If one is late reaching the bus AND is the last one boarding, one will experience the "applause of shame". It only happened to me once.  

Finally, it was time to drive back to Niagara College Canada winery and teaching school.  

Notice the selection of cheese boards in the gift shop!

V is for Vidal.

Netting is for protecting the red grapes.  Little birds find them ever so tasty.

Thank goodness for natural pest control.

In the cellars we encountered barrels and vats of recent years' projects.

We were eventually led to the special room which had been set up for our wine tasting session.

I found the NCC to be one of the best tours of the entire weekend.  It was interesting to see the students taking part in conducting the tours and wine tasting events.  It was encouraging to hear that one of the requirements to qualify for the program was to have a passion for wine. 

I really enjoyed their white, red and icewine.  I am acquiring a taste for icewine.

Did you know that no wine may use the term “Icewine” on its label unless it is certified by VQA Ontario?  Take that, Champagne.

I enjoyed the wines so much that I purchased two bottles of each.  I figured that it would be a good gesture to support the college and bring back gifts for friends.

Next, we drove to the quaint and picturesque Niagara on the Lake.  Our guide told us we had free time to walk around, shop and grab lunch.  She gave us a firm deadline for returning to the bus.  

Sorry, I have no pictures of NOTL.  I had a tasty lunch though then picked up chocolatey gifts for the kids.  It would have been a more enjoyable visit if there weren't so many tourists ;o^

Next, we boarded the bus and headed for a tour of the Trius Winery at Hillebrand.

This is the Red room. 

This is the sparkling white room where we were told not to touch any bottles.  This wall of bottles is stacked six deep. 

Another cellar with more barrels. 

I thought the cement egg shaped barrels were very interesting.

Only one person tripped while navigating the stone steps back to the surface.  We next were led to a special room for another wine tasting session.  All I can remember is that the wines were very tasty and that I was getting tired.

We soon wobbled back to the bus and returned to our St. Catharines hotel for a rest and time to freshen up for dinner.

It was a long day and was not yet over.  Next I will share pictures and memories from our visit to Niagara Falls.

Thanks for reading this far!  



  1. Ice-wine presents a light tingling sensation. I prefer Champagne in a cooled crystal glass. Some wines stored in my Wine Cellar are more than 50 years old. aloha

    1. But after 50 years, does the quality not degrade for some wines?

    2. I will have the Answer to your perceptive question when I open the treasured wine. I have postponed that experience several times. Sometime in the future I will boldly venture where few have gone before. aloha

  2. Our wine shed was built by a master carpenter. Sweet smelling wood frames, tables and benches. Original art along the walls. Classical music in the background. Young girls and boys dancing and singing and helping the vintner. aloha