This month my husband and I enjoyed a week-long motorcycle ride to Niagara Falls for our anniversary celebration. Our route took us up through the Upper Peninsula, down along the eastern shore of Michigan, and across the green belt of Ontario. We experienced all kinds of regional culinary wonders—from cudighi (a regional spicy Italian sausage) and fresh perch, to poutine (French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy) and juicy strawberries.
Among all the edibles that the trip had to offer, the one aspect of local cuisine that truly enchanted me was Ontario’s wine region, specifically Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Niagara Escarpment. I had read that there were “some wineries” in the area, and we had planned on checking them out, but the wine culture and appreciation that we experienced was more enthusiastic than I had anticipated.
As we motored across the highway toward the falls, between bridges and views of Lake Huron, vineyards neatly dotted the landscape. I learned that Niagara’s wine region lies at approximately 43°, and while it’s no Burgandy, France, the conditions are decent enough that about 70 wineries operate in the surrounding Niagara area.
Unlike Dara & Co’s own Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, I’m no wine expert, so I took recommendations from servers and/or sommeliers when I was ready to start tasting. The standouts included the famous Inniskillin ice wine, a Konzelmann Estate Gewurztraminer, a Creekside Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and a reasonably priced Trius Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.
You can catch a glimpse of a Niagara Peninsula winter while you watch a video about how ice wine is made here.
Ready to try some wine from the Niagara Peninsula? It’s not easy to find in the Twin Cities, but you can get your hands on a bottle of Inniskillin Riesling Ice Wine 2007 at France 44.