Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Stop And Smell The Rosé: Grape Escape Wine Tours.


GUYS, do you know what's more fun than getting drunk at beautiful wineries in Niagara with your favourite girlfriends?

...absolutely NOTHING.

Really, though. If you haven't been to Niagara-on-the-Lake and seen some of the amazing wineries we have, you're seriously missing out.

HOWEVER, I'm here to take you on a little journey of a wine tour I went on last week. If you were following on Snap/Insta, then you already know how much of a blast we had on this tour. 

If you weren't, no worries! I'm walking you through it now. 


What's that? -- Glad you asked. 

Basically, you rent bicycles, and ride from winery to winery, slowly getting more and more intoxicated as the day goes on. 

In other words...the MOST FUN EVER!



As Mother Nature had it, it didn't only just rain that day, it stormed like the muther f*cker. Like, thunder, lighting, maybe even some hail...who knows? It was NOT a day for a bike ride in the vines. 

Regardless, we were all booked and ready to go. Luckily, we didn't have to ride around in the rain. Thank God because my hair would've looked like Monica's when they were in Barbados. Not cute.

We had a lovely little shuttle bus that took us to each winery. Rich, our driver (English hottie, accent and all!) was so lovely, and more importantly patient, as we were seven, loud, drunk, and obnoxious girls. Margie, our ever-wonderful and sassy tour guide was hilarious, which made our shuttle rides the most fun ever. (I'm pretty sure I invited her back to our Airbnb for tequila shots later). I can't confirm if she actually came...

Margie, if you're reading this, maybe you want to confirm? HAHA.

Moving on.

First stop on the wine tour was Reif Estate Winery. This winery was small and intimate. Here we met Jason, a wine expert who walked us through three glasses of wine with cheese pairings. Every glass had a different cheese pairing. We tried a Merlot, a Riesling, and lastly an Icewine. He showed us how to sip each wine properly to get the most flavour out of it. Of course, I was too busy stuffing my face with all the cheese I possibly could. 

But that's besides the point. 

We we're given some time to walk around and shop if we wanted. I'm a huge fan of Riesling, so I immediately bought two bottles. I also picked up the chicest wine glasses, ever. 



Next up was Inniskillin Winery. This was where we spent a bit more time on an actual tour of the winery. The guide took us to where they make the wine, showed us the machinery used, walked us to the vines (so gorg) and explained the full process of wine-making. If you've never been on a wine tour before, this is really exciting stuff. I feel as though you appreciate wine more after knowing the details of how it's made. You know?

Anyway, after the tour, we of course did a tasting. This involved another 3 glasses of wine. Mind you, these aren't full glasses, they're tastings. But imagine if they were full glasses...? LOL. 

After the tastings, we headed back onto our shuttle for the next winery.



Our third stop was at Caroline Cellars

To be VERY honest, at this point things were getting a little blurry. I mean, I was 6 glasses deep, and I'm a total lightweight. 

But I do remember how charming this winery was. It was very farm-like. It had a rustic atmosphere and just seemed very intimate and cozy. Side note: I've always wanted to get married at a winery, and this spot was just SO beautiful for summer weddings. 

At this winery, we got to choose wines we wanted to taste. We each got a list of all their wines, and got to choose three off the menu. There was a blueberry wine that was to die for! SO GOOD. 

After the tastings, since we were ALL getting a bit blurry, we decided to have some food at this winery. They have a beautiful little patio spot to lounge out and grab some food. We ordered two massive poutines to share amongst the table (hello carbs!), and two pitchers of red and white sangria's. (Not that we needed anymore alcohol!) However, those sangrias were amazing and I highly recommend ordering them if you go. 

After this, we jumped back on the shuttle for the next and final winery.



The final winery we visited was, PondsView Estate Winery.

Yet another beautiful winery, but I can honestly say this about almost every winery I've ever visited in Niagara. You really can't go wrong when choosing which wineries you want to visit.

Here, we had another few glasses of wine. Our guide was very informative. She gave us a quick rundown of the wines they make here, and which ones were most popular. We took a little tour around the place before hoping back on our shuttle to end the wine tour.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the shuttle that Grape Escape provides, actually picks you up from whatever location you are at in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and drops you back there. I love this little touch, because they're obviously promoting no drinking and driving. And this way everyone can enjoy being...drunk.

Before heading back to our Airbnb, we obviously wanted photos on the bikes that we were supposed to ride on. So, Rich was kind enough to drive us back to the Grape Escape office, where we took a little bike ride and lots of photos. (see below).



Overall, I cannot say enough great things about the tour we got from Rich and Margie. If you guys book with Grape Escape Wine Tours, I would request the two of them. They were both such a pleasure to hang out with all day. When you are on a 3 hour wine tour, you want to make sure your driver and tour guide are the most fun. Which is exactly what they were!

A special thanks to Rich for organizing the whole thing.

Also, there are a variety of tours you can choose from! If biking isn't your thing, there are shuttle tours as well. So many options, too. And I also found that they were reasonably priced. Nothing too over the top. 

If you're planning a bachelorette party, birthday, or even a corporate event, these tours are great to get the party started.  

K, so who's visited Niagara-on-the-Lake? Share some wineries with me, because I'm obviously going back this summer, and need to visit some more. Check out this one I visited last year

Ps. I'm already looking to book my next bicycle tour with Grape Escape. 

Xx, kim



A special thanks to Rich & Margie at Grape Escape Wine Tours for making this experience amazing. This post was in collaboration with Grape Escape Wine Tours. As always, all opinions are my own.



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