The fall and winter is a quiet time in wine country which makes it a very good time for a visit. Cooler weather transforms the region below the Escarpment from exuberant summer splendor to a moodier hue. The wine growing region in Niagara County, NY is at its peak with fall colors in October and this time of year is one of the most popular times to visit with the fall foliage being some of the most gorgeous in the country.
Beat the back to work and school blues with weekends on the Niagara Wine Trail, the fastest growing wine trail in the country and home to award winning wineries.
Rolling hills with dotted rows of colorful vines, clusters of succulent grapes, and old barns in the area, make this region picturesque wine country. Vibrant red, amber and gold grape leaves shimmer on a sunny fall day, while Maple trees dot the landscape in the distance in their splendid fall glory. Days are warm, skies are blue and the floor in crunchy with leaves underfoot.
Sample award winning Niagara wines and tour charming wineries, meet the wine makers and visit their barrel rooms.
At a recent Niagara Wine Trail event, many came out in their Halloween glory to taste what the area has to offer. At Eveningside Vineyards it was a real treat to try their 2011 Pinot Noir, with aromas of dried flowers and cinnamon on the nose and black cherry on the palate; and leaving on a high note with their 2010 Claret, a blend a Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc. Savory notes of provincial herbs coupled with raspberry.
Victorianbourg Wine Estate has some sweet wine selections. Their Pechette is a delightful chardonnay infused with white peaches. This soft wine is enhanced with a touch of effervescence, making it a perfect cocktail or refresher on a warm fall afternoon. Get ready for the chilly months with their Vika Verzay, the perfect winter drink. Always served hot, this unusual white spiced wine traditionally warms vineyard workers or campers on chilly nights. To prepare, pour it in a cup and heat in a microwave for 25 to 30 seconds.
A day on the Niagara Wine Trail isn’t complete without stopping for a bite to eat. Mariner’s Landing (1540 Franklin Street Olcott, NY 14126, 716- 778-5535) is located in the Lake Region and serves delicious steaks, seafood and American fare. Enjoy a cup or bowl of their homemade French Onion soup as you sit in an appropriate nautical setting or on the deck overlooking Lake Ontario. They also serve local wines.
For more information about the Niagara Wine Trail visit www.niagarawinetrail.org.