Friday, 25 July 2014

Niagara Falls Wine and Beer Tour

The first time I went to Niagara Falls was kind of a disaster. My sister came to visit me in Toronto one summer, before she moved here herself, and we drove up to Niagara Falls together that weekend. I had never been there before but heard it was a short drive away, only about an hour and a half. You can imagine my surprise when, 6 hours after leaving Toronto, we were just arriving. I knew it was a long weekend but was not prepared for that to make such a huge difference! We talked about turning back a few times during the drive but figured the traffic had to go away eventually. So we kept on driving, just praying to find a stretch where we could go faster than 20 km/h. By the time we got there we were miserable. We could not believe it had taken us so long to get there. Seeing the falls after that drive, rather than appreciating how beautiful it was, we were more like "this is what we drove over 6 hours for?!". It kind of put a bad taste in our mouth and ruined the experience for us. We ended up having an okay time but I was not excited to ever do that drive again. 

About a month ago I finally did it and it was really not bad at all! It was actually pretty enjoyable and we passed some pretty sights which I guess I was too angry to pay attention to the first time. My husband and I drove up there for a weekend. I booked us a wine and beer tour with Niagara Fun Tours. We got to the hotel on Thursday evening and just took a quick walk around to check out all the weird tourist traps that, once again, I never saw on my first trip there. 

My husband warned me that it was pretty stupid and tacky and, after seeing it for myself, I agreed completely. I don't get the point of wax museums, they don't interest me in the slightest, and there was 3 or 4 of them in one little area! It was ridiculous. There was also a million haunted houses and just weird places that are designed all colourful and flashy and loud so children cry and beg their parents to go spend money. The one kind of cool thing was the Ferris wheel which goes high enough that you look down on the falls but it was really overpriced so we didn't even go on it. After wandering a bit we went down to the falls just to look at them quickly before heading to our hotel for the night.

The next morning was our wine and beer tour. We walked over to Starbucks for some quick breakfast snacks (which were way more expensive than usual) and waited for the bus at the tour pickup spot. My husband and I were the last two people on the bus and, apparently, I had filled in the tour booking thing wrong on the website so the bus had one too many people. The driver announced that anyone who sat up front on the floor would get a free bottle of wine so I obviously jumped at the chance, I will do many things for wine, haha. 

The tour was really fun, we stopped at a brewery first. It had a restaurant inside as well which was all farm to table. Everything is fresh. We didn't get a chance to eat there but next time I'm back I would love to go there for lunch or dinner. I believe it was called Taps. We did eat lunch at the second brewery and it was really good! It was the Syndicate Brewery. Next up were the wineries!! 

Our first winery was Diamond Estates. This is where I got my delicious free bottle of wine for sitting on the floor, haha. We tried a few wines, I was hoping this tour would get me more into red wines but it didn't. The Niagara region is famous for it's ice wines so we tried a few of those. I'm not a huge fan of those either since they are so sweet but they taught us how to taste them properly and it made them a bit nicer, but still too sweet for me. 

The next winery was konzelmann winery. It was I think the 4th winery to start in the region, now there are hundreds (I think...don't quote me on that). It was beautiful, right on Lake Ontario. I liked the white wine here a bit better than the one we tried at diamond but this winery didn't have real ice wine, they had dessert wine. We tried a Shiraz here, I've never tried it before, it was weird. It was so peppery! My favorite part about this winery was the land. 

I forget the name of the third winery, it was my least favorite. Kind of boring. We ended the tour by stopping at a peanut shop that had all different flavours of peanuts and some chocolate and ice cream. It was a nice end to the tour. 

We got dropped off back at our hotel and went out for dinner at Outback Steakhouse because I love that place and we don't have many of them in Canada so I get excited when I see them... That night there were fireworks over the falls. We could see them from our hotel room and we kind of wanted to just hang out in the jacuzzi and have some of my free wine that night, haha. The fireworks looked really cool, even just from our window! They even had fireworks that looked like the falls! It was really cool! 

The next day we walked a bit by the falls and ended up driving back kind of early. 

It was a really nice weekend! Even my husband really liked it and said we should do more things like that and he hates doing things, haha. I'd consider that a success!

No comments:

Post a Comment