The dramatic cloudy skies of Day 4 of our 2-week vacation (29 Oct 2014) certainly did not dampen our adventurous spirit. Bright and cheery after our Homewood Suites By Hilton Rochester/Greece (NY state) breakfast, we embarked on our Canadian adventure of a lifetime. If you’d followed our adventures thus far, you would have caught exhilarating glimpses of Rhode Island, Connecticut and the New York State. At this point we were suffering from a serious fall foliage and carved pumpkins overload! By 29 Oct, each home had at least 2 carved pumpkins proudly displayed on their doorsteps and lawns, if not more! No guessing what’s for dinner, there’s no prize for guessing pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie, ok? 😉 I had realised that there’s really no point in hankering for a sniff of summer as the nearest seaside indulgence had seemed so far away. However, I hope that you will trust me that waterfalls and wineries are an excellent combo! Are you ready? Let’s go!
At about 10.30 am, we were so excited to reach Inniskillin Winery at Niagara-on-the-lake. We were at Inniskillin’s Okanagan winery with our family friend in 2012, so we really couldn’t help but compare the two in our minds. We were greeted by rows upon rows of golden and orangey hues of vines heavily laden with grapes. There were also autumnal decorations of squash and pumpkins on top of wine barrels. I wasted no time in seizing these excellent photo opportunities! It’s certainly not harvest time yet at the Inniskillin winery. Inniskillin is famous for ice wines, pioneering the New World ice wine in 1984. If this is your first time at a winery, you may wish to book the Inniskillin tours. Be enchanted by the history, especially the Brae Burn Barn, circa 1920. If you enjoy food and wine pairing, do not miss Inniskillin’s Taste the Season event held annually each November.
Magic happens to frozen grapes left on the vines past its usual harvest time, hopefully spared by the hungry birds. At -8° Celsius, it takes tremendous dedication and teamwork to handpick these precious frozen grapes, especially when these delicate operations are usually performed in the darkness of midnight and had to be completed within a good few hours prior to sunrise. The sun’s strong rays may thaw these precious frozen commodities. The harsh Canadian winters are well known for its ability to concentrate the natural sugars in the grapes, resulting in a highly prized concentrated sweet wine when the frozen grapes are pressed. Now you’d understand why an authentic ice wine commands such a high price in the wine market! Savour and appreciate each sip, knowing that this work of art is made with love just for you! After wine tasting, we bought a couple of bottles home to commemorate our trip. I adore the elegant tropical and citrusy aroma of the Inniskillin’s Riesling ice wine. This winery is a must do!
Our next stop is at Jackson Trigg’s winery, also another winery covered during our Okanagan wine enthusiasts trip. Boasting an 11.5 acre winery, Jackson Triggs Winery can offer you a selection of red, white, sparkling and ice wines. If you are curious, be sure to check Jackson Triggs’s website out. I tasted the sparkling wines and ice wines in its impressive winery tasting room. We left having bought some Cabernet Franc ice wines. If you had the time, you may also wish to stop at 2 other wineries that we had visited on this trip, Pellers Estate and Pillitteri Estates Winery.
After driving about 22 mins, we had finally arrived at the breathtaking Niagara Falls Canada. I had to be persuaded to get out of the car. I was happy to just be driven past to catch a glimpse of the waterfalls! Dear hubby had been to Niagara Falls with his parents, and he’d even been on The Maid of the Mist when he was a little kid. I know! It was very silly of me! I’d come all this way to experience the beauty of Niagara Falls. Perhaps all these wine tastings in the last 4 wineries had sedated me a little, I was really happy to just rest in the car for a while 😉 After much persuasion of ‘Trust Me, You must see Niagara Falls!”, I gave in after finding out that it was fairly easy to secure a parking space. I remembered that it was also a particularly cold autumn’s day. Dragging myself begrudgingly out into the chilly cold air, I was muttering and grumbling to myself all the way, we held hands to keep them warm. My eyes were possibly twice as wide opened after resting on the Niagara Falls. Wow!!! I did not expect such a gigantic circular shaped waterfalls. Smiling sheepishly, we gave each other a knowing glance after witnessing the sheer power of the waters! The experience had totally blown my mind! The Maid of the Mist was courageously navigating the ferocious waters. I love the entire experience, especially where you can see the ends of the rainbows reaching into the depths of the waterfalls. Good luck to those looking for the pot of gold there! There were a good few seagulls hovering above the falls or do not mind being models for a photo shoot. Always love the sea but this is the first time a waterfall had truly captured my heart! Where does my heart beat now? I was totally in love with Niagara Falls after 1.5 hours 🙂 We’ve barely scratched the surface of all that Niagara Falls had to offer. Do visit the Niagara Falls tourism website for further travel inspirations.
It was rather late in the afternoon when we’d decided to make our way back to Homewood Suites By Hilton Rochester/Greece just in time for our complimentary Evening Social. Hope you will understand but I’d stay clear of the wines tonight 😉 Hmm… what’s for dinner? Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading about our simply unforgettable adventures and feel sufficiently inspired to create your own bespoke Canadian adventures to seek the wonders of Niagara Falls and its glorious wineries. You have to share with me about your exciting travel stories too! Till we meet again on our Lake Placid (NY State) adventures, happy autumn and take care…
- Niagara Falls Official Tourism Website
- Inniskilin Niagara Winery
- Jackson Triggs Niagara Winery
- Pellers Estate Winery
- Pillitteri Estates Winery