Need an idea for a bachelorette party? Here’s one that allows everyone to enjoy as much wine as they want, take in the scenery and not worry about driving or directions! Sound to good to be true? Well, I just spent a weekend in Niagara with seven of my girlfriends and we had a blast (and stocked our wine cellars).
We all met up on Saturday morning at the Ridley Gate Manor Bed & Breakfast that we would be staying at that evening. Our tour guide for the day, the lovely Roger from Crush on Niagara Wine Tours was already waiting for us when we arrived. The eight of us hopped into the very nice Crush Tours van and off we went for a day of wine tasting! My friend Raye, the bride, had no idea what was in store for her (which must have been tough because she is ever the organizer).
Our first stop was Penisula Ridge Estates Winery. While I generally have a rule about drinking before noon, I decided that in the spirit of the day, I would let that slide. The winery is beautiful and our Crush package included all of the tastings for the day, so we sampled quite a few wines. My favorite was the 2008 Viognier. I bought two bottles, one to drink and one to cellar (though who am I kidding, I don’t have a wine cellar). Also part of our tour, was lunch at the Penisula Ridge Kitchen House Restaurant. We were treated to a lovely meal on the patio (we lucked out with perfect sunny weather that day).
The next stop was Malivoire – one of my absolutely favorite wineries. They went all out for us and not only gave us a private tour, but set up a tasting room for us where our guide, Eric, spent an hour telling us about the wine we were drinking, how they are made, and even shared some funny stories about where the names came from. I’m not typically a Rosé drinker, but I make an exception for their 2010 Ladybug Rosé. Two more bottles were added to my collection.
The best part of this wine tour was getting exposed to a new (to me) winery that I’d never heard of – Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery. Sue-Ann is one of Canada’s top wine makers and has won over 450 national and international wine awards. While she wasn’t at the winery that day, we had the pleasure of meeting her mother who was hosting the wine tastings. I fell in love with the 2008 Baco Noir and 2008 Pinot Grigio and added four more bottles to my collection.
Our last stop before heading back to the B&B was Vineland Estates Winery. This winery holds a special place in my heart because it is where my husband proposed to me. This is a very popular winery, and it was packed. Being very familiar with the Vineland wines, I didn’t feel the need to stock up, but I did buy a bottle of their vodka & ice wine martini called “VICE”. I’m looking forward to sampling it at our next party!
After a long day of wine tasting, we were ready to head back to the B&B to relax and enjoy our purchases. I can’t say enough good things about the Ridley Gate Manor B&B. Our host, Peter, was lovely, and went out of his way for us. The B&B is beautiful, with modern bathrooms and comfortable rooms. For me, the best part was the gardens and the patio, which is where we spent most of our time. And while I’m not typically a breakfast person, Peter spoiled us with one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever tasted. After experiencing Niagara this way, I doubt I’ll ever go back to trying to navigate it on my own. Taking a tour and staying at a top notch B&B is the way to go!
Looking for other ideas for things to do in Niagara? Check out what our other TravelingMoms have to say!