Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake Passport Programs

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Great News!!! Just in time for Christmas tickets to all of our 2020 passport programs are on sale now!

If you are short on time and dreading the thought of venturing into a crowded mall to find the perfect gift for that hard to buy person on your list, there is no need to panic.

You can get your loved one the ultimate gift of a wonderful Niagara-on-the-Lake wine country experience in a few easy clicks without leaving the comfort of your own home. Take a look at the great options below. 

There is something for everyone, from the chocolate lover who embraces winter’s chill, to the sun seeker eagerly awaiting the return of grilling season, to the wine aficionado seeking terroir-driven wines hand selected by their winemakers.

Days of Wine & Chocolate

Explore the decadently sweet and savoury art of wine and chocolate pairing. Visit our wineries every weekend in February and taste over 20 VQA wines matched with delectable chocolate-infused dishes – from classically sweet flavour combinations to unexpected surprises. A romantic celebration for two or a great reason for a girls’ getaway weekend! PURCHASE TICKETS!

Sip & Sizzle

What could be better than a spring weekend afternoon with a few friends, a barbecue, and fine wine? Well how about if we do the hosting? Join us in Niagara-on-the-Lake every weekend in May and experience a unique grilled food item perfectly paired with a premium VQA wine at over 20 wineries. The perfect way to kick-off barbecue season! PURCHASE TICKETS!

Taste the Season

Taste the Season is Niagara-on-the-Lake’s must-do event in November! This is when our wineries celebrate the bountiful fall harvest by pairing premium VQA wines with locally-inspired culinary creations that highlight the flavours of the season. The pass entitles the holder one VQA wine tasting and food pairing at over 20  member wineries any weekend in November. PURCHASE TICKETS!

Winemakers’ Selections Tasting Pass

Our Winemakers’ Selections Tasting Pass is a great way to visit all of our member wineries year-round. So slow down, take your time and savour carefully selected terroir wines at over 20 member wineries for one convenient price. PURCHASE TICKETS!

Any don’t forget to book your stay at one of the world-class bed and breakfasts, country inns, vacation homes and cottage rentals.

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Taste the Season at Wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake

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Taste the Season at Wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Taste the Season, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s must-do event in November, is only a couple of weeks away!

Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake celebrate the bountiful fall harvest by pairing premium VQA wines with locally-inspired culinary creations that highlight the flavours of the season.

A $55 touring pass (taxes and fees not included) entitles you to one VQA wine tasting and food pairing at each of our 25 member wineries and is valid November 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, and 22-24 from 11am to 5pm.

Driver passes are also available at a cost of $30 (taxes and fees not included) and they include one non-alcoholic beverage and food pairing at each member winery.

One of the best features of this passport program is that the passes can be used any weekend in November, giving you plenty of time to make it out to our wineries and enjoy each unique pairing at a relaxed pace. We recommend a maximum of eight wineries per day to ensure an optimal experience.

Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake celebrate the bountiful fall harvest by pairing wines with locally-inspired culinary creations.

The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake encourage you to tour and taste responsibly. Please designate a driver who is not drinking and purchase one of our Designated Driver Passes or arrange transportation with one of our transportation partners.

If you are traveling with a group of 8 or more guests, please have your organizer call ahead a minimum of 48 hours in advance to the wineries you plan to visit to discuss appropriate timing so they can plan for your group’s arrival and serve you better.

Click here to download this year’s pairings list which includes a handy map to help you plan your itinerary. And while you’re visiting wineries for Taste the Season don’t forget to stock up on your favourite wines for all your Holiday celebrations!

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Christmas in July

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Don’t miss Christmas at the Shaw Festival.

The Shaw has not one, but two Christmas shows lined up this November and December! “A Christmas Carol” will be back for its third season at the Royal George Theatre and the Festival stage will be decking its halls in anticipation of the musical classic “Holiday Inn”.

Ticket sales have already been strong for both shows – so don’t miss out – we wouldn’t want anyone feeling they got a lump of coal in their stocking.

Holiday Inn will kick-start your holiday season in a joyful way.

The cherished Christmas classic features a host of hummable songs such as White Christmas, Cheek to Cheek and Easter Parade. It will be the perfect way to ring in the holiday season!

Michael Therriault returns as the miserly Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. It’s the perfect reminder of what Christmas is all about. Arrive feeling “Bah, humbug!” and leave full of warm, fuzzy Christmas spirit.

Book your stay at one of over 100 world-class bed and breakfasts, country inns, vacation homes and cottage rentals, courtesy of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Bed & Breakfast Association. World-class accommodations are just the beginning. Together, our association members and partners can help you create an endless variety of getaway experiences in Ontario’s historic Niagara-on-the-Lake region.

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A Beautiful Escape: Why You Must Explore and Visit Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake – One of the Prettiest Towns in Canada

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When it comes to the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls continues to intrigue. However, you don’t need to stay at a hotel in the busy tourist-filled area. Niagara-on-the-Lake is just a short drive from the Falls along the scenic Niagara River Parkway.

One of the best-kept secrets of Southern Ontario’s most popular and picturesque villages, Niagara-on-the-Lake, is an ideal home base for touring the Niagara region. And it is surrounded by renowned wineries, breweries and even distilleries. Not to mention the Shaw Festival and the many historical sites and scenic walks.

If you’re looking for a great place to escape for a quick weekend trip, Niagara-on-the-Lake is the best option. The area holds plenty of beautiful ways to spend your time. To know more, here’s a guide to look at as to why Niagara-on-the-Lake is worth visiting.

Explore the Town for Its Arts and Entertainment

Exploring the arts and entertainment scenes in the region of Niagara will always keep you on your toes with something to do. If you are someone who enjoys watching plays, the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake is a must see.

Without a doubt, Shaw is one of many reasons to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake. You should plan a trip during festival season from April through October. Once you visited and witnessed the Shaw Festival, you’ll be in awe with its top-notch actors, the world-class production and performance, and the look of its beautiful facilities is a plus too.

You could also listen to the enthralling music that the Niagara Symphony Orchestra provides, as well as perfromances from Bravo Niagara! and Music Niagara. You will find that the cultural hub in the area is warm and relaxing through the hospitality and music they offer.

Diverse Attraction, Limitless Fun!

In the Niagara Region, there are many indoors and outdoors attractions that you can explore.

There are lots of indoor activities that the region offers such as amusing art galleries and lovely historical sites and museums that provide fun-filled hours.

Moreover, if you want to go for something fun in the air, you can hop on a Niagara Helicopter and ride above the Falls or watch it from the Niagara Skywheel. If you are fond of challenging adventures, try zip lining and skydiving or have fun thrilling in a jet boat ride.

If you are one of those sporty and outdoorsy types of people, you can indulge yourself in a wide range of outdoor activities, games, and sports. There are many adventurous activities that you can try such as swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and other thrill activities.

Additionally, you can also indulge yourself in other water sports in the Niagara Region such as scuba diving which is a beautiful way to explore the waters that contain sunken ships and reefs.

Wine Tasting and Wineries

Away from the Falls, the other thing that the Niagara area is popular for is its wine. One look at the expansive, lush hills and valleys of Niagara and you’ll know. The climate in Niagara-on-the-Lake is ideal for grape growing. Not just the place is perfect, but it’s also warm enough in the summer to get red wine and cold enough in the winter season to make ice wine.

If you have never been to a tasting room or a winery tour, you’ll quickly become hooked. Also, if you have never tried ice wine, you are missing out. The ice wine is full of the tastes of tropical fruits which is sticky just like pudding in a glass. The process of making this wine involves allowing the grapes to freeze on the vines, and they are also hand-picked.

Furthermore, you can also explore the local wineries through biking. The area offers tours to suit every need of the tourists. Other than ice wines, there are also cheese and wine tasting, and chocolate and other different wine experiences.

Family Fun!

Spending time with your family such as going on vacation is an essential way of enjoying quality time. You might be thinking about how hard it would be to keep your kids entertained during a vacation. But you will never experience such a problem in the Niagara Region because they provide activities for kids of all ages, and parents as well.

Plenty of activity centers and game hubs can be found in the Niagara Region. Taking your kids for arcade-style games and rides can be exciting to them. You can also take them to experience indoor skydiving and go bowling. You can let them play darts and pool tables and have fun watching the birds and beautiful butterflies.

Takeaway

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a sanctuary of wine, history, culture, and food. The avenues of Niagara-on-the-Lake have served as a getaway destination for visitors and tourists for over a century. The guides as mentioned above are one way to make your free time more enjoyable and filled with fun. So, get your things and pack your bags and discover the great experiences that Niagara-on-the-Lake has to offer.

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Article contributed by Clarence Rivera. Clarence is an enthusiastic writer who loves writing about innovations and anything interesting. His interest also extends to engineering and architecture. He is also a part-time contributor to The Sleepy Owl. During his free time, Clarence enjoys watching movies and playing board games with friends.

Dig Our Roots – Events for Avid Wine Lovers


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Dig Our Roots is a weekend-long (April 12-14) celebration of the Niagara-on-the-Lake appellation. It will offer avid wine lovers an exclusive opportunity to discover the rich history and unique terroir of this one-of-a-kind wine growing region.

During the Dig Our Roots weekend our member wineries will open their doors and offer one-of-a-kind and unique experiences that showcase our wines, our winemakers and our terroir like never before.

Winery events will be held at various times on each of the 3 days offering wine lovers plenty of options and a variety of formats to suit everyone’s preference.

Details about these exclusive winery events will be available on the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake website.

Niagara-on-the-Lake is the birthplace of the modern Canadian wine industry and home to some of Canada’s most renowned winemakers and iconic wines.

Niagara-on-the-Lake is classified by VQA Ontario as a distinct area and our wineries share a climate moderated by the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario.

A unique set of geographical elements create a specialty crop area where tender vinifera grapes thrive and flourish best.

This expanse of land is comprised of 4 unique sub-appellations:

  1. Niagara River
  2. Niagara Lakeshore
  3. Four Mile Creek
  4. David’s Bench

Each sub-appellations has distinct elements of terroir (geology, soil, elevation, temperature, precipitation) that result in wines of exceptional quality and surprising diversity.

The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake span across these 4 distinct areas and produce wines that reflect the unique terroir of their vineyards.

Wineries in the Niagara-on-the-Lake appellation have been growing and producing world-class wines from premium vinifera varieties for nearly four decades. Grape growers have a deep knowledge of what grows best in different locations and winemakers understand how to treat the grapes in the winemaking process to capture the best expression of terroir in their wines.

During the Dig Our Roots weekend, participants will discover what makes this place and our wines so special from the renowned winemakers who have been instrumental in positioning Niagara-on-the-Lake as a premium wine growing region.

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Is there anything better than wine and chocolate?

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Indulge in decadence at Days of Wine & Chocolate this February

The only thing better than wine and chocolate is when they are expertly paired to deliver a harmonious balance of flavours.

This is what you can experience at Days of Wine & Chocolate.

So mark your calendars as this popular touring pass program is only a couple of weeks away!  Get ready to explore the decadently sweet and savoury art of wine and chocolate pairing at the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake every weekend in February.

Visit our member wineries and taste over 20 premium VQA wines perfectly paired with chocolate-infused dishes. There is something to satisfy everyone’s palate from classically sweet flavour combinations to unexpected surprises.

The Days of Wine & Chocolate pass entitles you to one VQA wine tasting and food pairing at each of our 26 member wineries and is valid February 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, and 22-24 from 11am to 5pm.

Driver passes are also available for purchase and they include one non-alcoholic beverage and food pairing at each member winery.

Take a look at this year’s pairings!

Explore the decadently sweet and savoury art of wine and chocolate pairing.

Our wineries have come up with some brilliant combinations that are sure to impress. From rich and indulgent sweet treats to inspired savoury creations – these mouth-watering delights are enhanced by the exceptional VQA wines that accompany them.

The Days of Wine & Chocolate touring pass program offers exceptional value and it’s a great way to embrace the winter season in the heart of wine country.

We encourage you to plan your winery visits over a few weekends so you can savour the decadent pairings at a relaxed pace and make the most of the experience. If you are travelling with a group of eight or more we recommend calling ahead to wineries you plan to visit with an approximate arrival time so hosts can plan for your group’s arrival.

Whether you are interested in a romantic celebration for two or a fun girls’ getaway weekend, Days of Wine & Chocolate is the must-do event of the season in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

PURCHASE YOUR PASS today and download the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake map to plan your personalized route.

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Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival Announces 2019 Lineup

Oscar Peterson Jazz Festival

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The 2nd annual Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival, with artistic director Renee Rosnes at the helm, will feature top jazz artists from both Canada and the United States in collaborative, once-in-a-lifetime performances.

The festival runs from Friday, February 15, 2019 through Sunday, February 17, 2019.

Friday, February 15, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra featuring Ingrid Jensen

Venue: Niagara United Mennonite Church, 1775 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

The Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival opens with the JUNO Award-winning Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra, featuring trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.

A highlight of the evening is sure to be the world premiere of Christine Jensen’s composition in tribute to Oscar Peterson, Something In His Smile, commissioned by the Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival.

Saturday, February 16, 2019 – 1:00p.m
Lecture & Performance by Bill Charlap – George Gershwin: The Blues and the American Soul

Venue: Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, Ontario

“Jazz is the voice of the American soul,” declared George Gershwin in 1926. Acclaimed GRAMMY award-winning pianist Bill Charlap is not only recognized as one of the world’s greatest jazz pianists, he is also a renowned educator and enchanting story-teller. Charlap will discuss and demonstrate the important influence of jazz and the blues in George Gershwin’s music during this free afternoon event.

Saturday, February 16, 2019 – 8:00 p.m.
Singin’ & Swingin’: A Jazz Summit
Joe Lovano, Jeremy Pelt, Niki Haris, Renee Rosnes, Russell Malone, Peter Washington, Lewis Nash

Venue: Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, Ontario

Sunday February 17, 2019 – 1:00 p.m.
Music with No Borders

Kenny Barron, Kirk MacDonald, Reg Schwager, Neil Swainson, Lewis Nash

Venue: Stratus Vineyards, 2059 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Music with No Borders features an incredible once-in-a-lifetime concert showcasing the exquisite pianism of NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron with top echelon players from both Canada and the United States.

Sunday, February 17, 2019 – 6:30 p.m.
Canadian Jazz Master Awards Gala Dinner

Venue: Stratus Vineyards, 2059 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Under the auspices of the Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival, the annual Canadian Jazz Master Awards (CJMA) was founded to celebrate and honour Canadian jazz musicians of the highest artistic excellence who are deserving of national recognition. Each year two awards are presented, to one living and one past legend of Canadian jazz.

This year’s honourees are two jazz legends. The 2019 Canadian Jazz Master Awards will be presented to clarinetist, composer, and educator Phil Nimmons and to the family of influential trumpeter and composer, Kenny Wheeler.

Ticket Information

Single tickets range from $55-$100. “Under 30” ticket discounts available. Prices exclude HST and service fees. Save up to 20% on tickets with a 3-Day Festival Pass.

Tickets and 3-Day Festival Passes will be available at https://www.opjazzfest.org/tickets/.

About the Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival

The Oscar Peterson International Jazz Festival (OPIJF), one of Canada’s most anticipated winter music events, is named for the internationally renowned Canadian jazz giant. It was created to present the essence of jazz and the sound of swing.

Under the expert guidance of Artistic Director Renee Rosnes and Artistic Producer Kelly Peterson, this annual festival provides a unique opportunity to hear rare combinations of musicians and individual stars, in performance.

The OPIJF is produced by Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts in partnership with The Estate of Oscar Peterson. Celebrate the past, the present, and the future — all at the same time.

Learn more at https://www.opjazzfest.org/

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Voices of Freedom Park Official Opening

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Voices of Freedom Park officially opens November 2, 2018, 2 pm at 244 Regent Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Voices of Freedom Park gives expression to the silenced and forgotten stories of people of African descent, enslaved, freed, and free, whose sacrifices, labour, skills, and talents contributed to the development of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

This significant art installation in the heart of Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake permanently inscribes these Black men and women on the historical and cultural landscape of the Town.

Curated by Bravo Niagara!, the official opening performances will feature acclaimed vocalist Alana Bridgewater, JUNO-winning pianist Robi Botos, and Shaw Festival actor Allan Louis.

For more information, visit www.vofpark.org

Voices of Freedom Concert

Bravo Niagara! Presents Voices of Freedom Concert November 3, 2018

On November 3rd, Bravo Niagara! presents the Voices of Freedom Concert at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines.

The concert comes one day after the official opening of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Voices of Freedom Park, dedicated to commemorating Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Black history and the 225th Anniversary of the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada.

November 3, 2018, 7:30pm
FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines

Curated by Céline Peterson, daughter of legendary Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, the Voices of Freedom Concert will bring together some of the best in Canadian jazz and soulful music to highlight inclusiveness, empowerment, and the importance of freedom.

“The entire Voices of Freedom concept excited me from the moment I first heard about the project. The park, the concert – it’s all such a beautiful and meaningful celebration,” says Céline Peterson, Artistic Producer and host of the Voices of Freedom Concert.

“Some of our nation’s greatest musical storytellers will be gathered in one place performing music that is bound to resonate with every audience member. As a lover of music and a proud Canadian, I can say with complete certainty that this will be an unforgettable and mesmerizing event.”

The evening will feature performances by Officer of the Order of Canada, singer/songwriter and philanthropist Molly Johnson.

The concert will also feature NAACP Image Award, Gemini, Dora, and JUNO Award-winning singer/actress Jackie Richardson, as well as performances by Grammy Award winner Larnell Lewis on drums (Snarky Puppy), multi-JUNO Award winners Robi Botos on piano and Mike Downes on bass, and up and coming saxophonist from Barbados, Joseph Callender.

These all-star Canadian artists will be joined by 80 students from the Laura Secord Secondary School Concert Choir.

For tickets and more information, visit www.bravoniagara.org/vofconcert.

Don’t miss this moving, inspirational event! Book your stay!

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Taste the Season this November

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Visit the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake for Taste the Season – the Holiday-inspired wine and food tasting event held every weekend in November.

This is when we celebrate the season’s bounty with exceptional VQA wines and locally inspired food pairings.

The Taste the Season pass entitles you to one VQA wine tasting and food pairing at each of our 26 member wineries and is valid November 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, and 23-25 from 11am to 5pm. Driver passes are also available for purchase and they include one non-alcoholic beverage and food pairing at each member winery.

This touring pass program offers exceptional value and it will give you a reason to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake during this lovely time of year.

As an added bonus, you just might get some inspiration for your Holiday celebrations and dazzle your guests with some creative wine and food pairings. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone you got the recipe from us, we’ll just say it’s a family secret!

So take a look at this year’s delicious pairings! They are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Our wineries have come up with some truly inspired combinations and there is something to please everyone’s taste. You will undoubtedly discover some new favourite VQA wines to take home with you and share with family and friends at your next Holiday party.

Don’t miss Niagara-on-the-Lake’s must-do event of the season! Book your stay!

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Harvest Season is Here!

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Perfect time to visit Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Country

Fall is a very exciting time of year in Niagara when harvest is underway and wine country is buzzing with activity.

This year has been an amazing year for grape growing and the local wineries are busy picking the fruits of their labour to transform the bounty of this year’s crop into exceptional wines.

There is really no better time to visit the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Many of the wineries produce estate grown and bottled wines so all the harvest activity happens on premise.

You can immerse yourself in wine country and appreciate up close the intricate work that goes on behind the scenes to make the wines you love.

Guests often ask their hosts what is their favourite winery, but there are so many to choose from…

Book your stay a one of our many and diverse bed and breakfasts and while you are visiting, stop at a few wineries where many of the staff at each would be delighted to answer any questions you have about this year’s harvest and the outlook for the 2018 vintage.

Harvest can be quite fascinating and winery staff love to share their knowledge.

For example, did you know that Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes destined for sparkling wines are typically the first grapes to be picked? These grapes are harvested early at a slightly unripe point to help maintain acidity in the finished wine so that your glass of bubbly is zesty and refreshing.

With so much to see and do, one day isn’t enough! Niagara-on-the-Lake has lots of great experiences for you to discover, book your stay today at one of our beautiful bed and breakfast’s, inns or vacation rentals.

Download the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake printable map to help you better explore wine country and make the most of your visit.

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