This week finds us in Niagara Wine Country for a sampling of the latest fermentation from vines, a little bit of culture courtesy of the Shaw Festival and some great food. Our traditional celebration of our years together began yesterday, when we were treated to a structured tasting and pre-harvest lunch at Thirty Bench Wine Makers - a very civilized beginning to 5 days of absolute pleasure. In the evening it was off to see Our Betters (Somerset Maugham), the first of a quartet of plays on our list at the Shaw Festival.
Today the Shaw is 'dark', and so the entire day is dedicated to wine. We are not just tasters but serious buyers who love the smaller wineries. It is not unusual for us to truck home upwards of 70 bottles of reds and whites, all of which are only available at the wineries (ie. not produced in quantities to satisfy the demands of the LCBO). There are five vineyards on our list today, three are our faves - Vineland, Malivoire & Cave Spring - one we've not been to in a few years - Tawse - and one new one for us - Kew. I've got the list of wines currently in our cellar; I've got the tasting notes from all the wines to cross our palate; and, I've got a box of crackers for consumption between wineries. Now it's off to a good breakfast then out to the vineyards. I can smell the grapes and hear the cannon shots that keep the birds away. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!
So while my love and I are out among the vineyards today, enjoy some images of past adventures in the grape stomping grounds of Niagara: