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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Niagara on the Lake - part 2

It's funny as we drove through Niagara on the Lake, Alex asked if all the Canadian towns were like this. If you've ever been, Niagara on the Lake is the quintessential tourist town, especially on the Friday before the long weekend in August because it's still not too busy! The streets are lined with bountiful flower baskets, the buildings are all turn of the century, horse drawn carriages wait patiently for their next rides. It's like something out of a movie. We assured them, this is exactly what's it like in every town right across Canada... Last year we had some other guests here from Europe and they had been up north at a cottage the week before the visited us. One of our guests commented on how in Germany they weren't nearly as worried about water and that they flushed their toilets after every use! We tried to persuade him that it was only up in cottage country that we did this, I'm not sure they bought it. Although neither of them have an accurate view of Canada hopefully our little fib evens the score a bit.

Now that we covered the bigger wineries in Niagara on the Lake (part one of the blog) we're off to some of the smaller ones.

First stop Daniel Lenko. Bruce found out about Daniel Lenko from
some fellow cork dorks at work and had visited the winery before. He loved it! You pull up to the most unassuming property on the outskirts of Beamsville. The wine tastings are held in the kitchen of the Lenko family home. The walls are covered with awards from over the years and the fridge holds not only the wines for tasting but all the stuff our fridges have got to!! Daniel Lenko sailed through the kitchen as we arrived and Thomas Laszlo, the winemaker did the wine tastings for us! He was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and had a million stories to tell. Some of them less appropriate than others!
If you like Chardonnay, this is your winery! They have oldest root stock in the Niagara region.

Next stop, Hidden Bench! We found about Hidden Bench from neighbourhood friends. They are a small start up winery that makes some fantastic wines. Hidden Bench is an artisanal wine maker that prides itself on their sustainable practices, the fruit that they use, and how they use a minimalist approach to wine making. They have a really good Riesling and a really good Meritage.

On to Tawes winery. The girl at Hidden Bench has suggested we try Tawes. They are famous (in wine circles, I guess) because their state of the art completely gravity-fed winery. They are very energy and eco-friendly, using geothermal heating and cooling. Their sparkling wines were great and we bought a Chardonnay too.

Now it's time to head back to the hotel and have a nap! Next post, dinner at Treadwell's

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