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Curious About Craft Beverage? Take a Trip Along the Niagara Wine Trail

Did you know that the Niagara Wine Trail has been satisfying the craft beverage curiosity of both locals and tourists year-round for over a decade? This association of wineries first organized in 2002 making this their 15th Anniversary. Most people do not realize there’s more to the Niagara Wine Trail than just wine. If Mead is more your speed, check out 810 Meadworks in the quaint village of Medina. Or if hard cider tickles your fancy, fill a glass or a growler at Midnight Run Wine Cellars.

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If you haven’t visited your own area wineries recently, you are missing out on a remarkable variety of vintages that have impressed international wine judges year after year. We love the Niagara Wine Trail because it combines two things we are passionate about: supporting local businesses and wine. Whether you consider yourself to be an amateur sommelier, a novice wine drinker, or somewhere in between, visiting the Niagara Wine Trail is time well spent.

The 2017 harvest season has seen warmer temperatures than in years past, which has made for a fantastic “crush” in local vineyards. Like sports teams looking forward to playoffs, vineyard staff looks forward to crush - that delightful cycle from harvest, to pressing grapes, and finally putting the glorious juice into barrels. Why not bring your special someone to the winery and experience crush season with your crush? After all, wine can be very romantic. If you’re looking for a charming view to match your romantic brew, check out Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, which offers a panoramic view from their tasting rooms. Or enjoy a quiet dinner for two on November 10th before the mad rush of the holiday season starts at Chateau Niagara Winery for their exquisite wine pairing dinner.

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Winters in this region can be brutal but one silver lining of this blustery season is ice-wine. When it comes to wine, ice is nice! Why eat your dessert when you could drink it? When the temperature reaches just the right amount of frost, you can expect the vintners, their family, and friends to jump at a moment’s notice to hand-harvest frozen grapes. You could be a part of that exhilarating time in the vineyard; get to know your local winemaker, and you might just get invited along for the thrilling experience yourself. Speaking of fun experiences, bring a team of your friends or take on the room solo during trivia night at Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards. Whether it’s Star Wars trivia on November 17th or Christmas trivia on December 15th, use your knowledge to win a free tasting for twenty of your closest friends.

Area winemakers invite you to visit them to escape from the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season. At the wineries, you can easily find the perfect wines for your holiday dinners, and choose from a plethora of gifts for all the wine drinkers in your life. Looking for something romantic for that special someone? Check out Victorianbourg Wine Estate for their Chocolate Obsession Wine that tastes like chocolate-covered-strawberries. Oh la la! For those on your holiday shopping list that don’t drink, visit Black Willow Winery, which features artisan oils and vinegars. You might as well grab a little pick-me-up for yourself to sip after the family leaves and the holiday dinners are over or, to make wrapping the gifts for the kids a little less tedious. At A Gust Of Sun Winery you can gift a membership to their Solar Winds Wine Club, which includes, amongst other things, a free tasting for you and four guests every month of the year. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

The annual “Holiday Happening” will help you get your holiday shopping on the right track.  Wineries are offering “throwback” ticket prices to celebrate their anniversary with guests. Tickets include a souvenir glass, wine tasting at each winery and a collectible train ornament from a local woodworker. We know this time of year makes coordinating schedules difficult so this year’s tickets include all five weekends in December to give guests more flexibility when choosing a date. Single and couple’s tickets are available at niagarawinetrail.org. Don’t forget to eat amidst the day of drinking. We recommend stopping for a bite at Spring Lake Winery and enjoying their Nana’s Bruschetta Platter.

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If online shopping is more your style, you can easily purchase Vino Visa wine passports that include a tasting at all wineries, event tickets, or the 2018 Season Pass which includes all annual events along the Niagara Wine Trail. What’s better than getting that holiday shopping done from the comfort of your own couch? You could even enjoy a glass of wine while ordering wine for others. Call 716-622-1832 with questions about your local wineries.

For more local fun, check out our events page. We love promoting the 716 community, so if you have any events to share email us at info@welcome-magazine.com.

Don’t forget to follow @welcome716 for all the latest things to do in the Buffalo Niagara region!

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