We had the perfect day to take the tour. The weather was sunny and bright and warm. We went outside in the vineyard to see how grapes grow and we had lunch at a winery. I am very particular about my food but I have to say that this lunch was just like they advertised with a Top Chef using all fresh ingredients. That was all true! The food paired so well with the wine that they presented to us. And I am a real foodie so that is saying a lot. I would recommend this lunch tour just for the gourmet food alone but you would not want to miss our on all the great wines. Looking forward to trying something different again some time when I return to the area. This company was so professional and yet knowledgeable and fun! Uncork Niagara Wine Tours
5 / 5
Took a trip with our company and really enjoyed it! I usually drink beer but now that I tried a few different kinds of wines I am hooked. Very friendly special event planners planned this for us. Our visits to the wineries were exceptional. Really enjoyed the lunch overlooking the vineyards! I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who wants a fun relaxing day to distress! Uncork Niagara Wine Tours
5 / 5
Our company took a wine tour with Uncork Niagara Wine Tours and words are going to be difficult to describe the experience we had –everything from the shuttle ride around beautiful Wine County to a very animated and knowledgeable driver to meeting a wine maker and tasting wines that I had never tried before. The tour of the winery was fun and I learned a lot about how grapes are grown and how wine is made. It was anything but boring. The staff was very pleasant from the first contact through the entire trip. Just want to say thanks to the special event team. We have lots of great picture to remember this tour for many years to come. Uncork Niagara Wine Tours
5 / 5

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It’s always a good time to drive through Niagara’s Wine Countryside

Best Time to Tour Niagara Wine Country!

Category : Wine

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Springtime in Niagara Wine Country:

It’s always a good time to drive through Niagara Wine Country, but springtime is especially nice because of the springtime blossoms that seem to come alive with fleeting delicate pale and pastel colours that will dazzle you.  It’s also a great time to visit Niagara  Falls and see the Floral Clock and the beautiful botanical gardens in their prime located just 20 minutes from Wine Country. You can smell spring in the air with hectares of beautiful lilacs and spring time tulips that are aromatic and so very colourful on your way to Wine Country. When your tour guide picks you up at your hotel you will truly enjoy  visiting wineries this time of year as that are much less crowded and you will be welcomed at the tasting bars with enthusiasm and open arms by the wine experts who are just waiting to greet you and boast about some of their new award winning wines they are serving. You will taste wines relax and enjoy, we will be sure to escort you back to your hotel.

Summertime Wine Touring

This is a very beautiful time of year to visit as summer temperatures are sunny and warm, the vineyards are lush and green. You can stop by roadside stands or market and purchase fresh fruit and vegetables from a local grower! On tour you may enjoy lunch or dinner at a winery with spectacular vineyard-covered views of the grapevines. Chefs are preparing sumptuous dishes paired perfectly with their favourite wines. You can relax and enjoy a picnic outside at a vineyard with wine and delectable picnic items. Enjoy a tour in the vineyard to see how grapes grow and hear about our famous micro-climate. to celebrate the intersection of art, food, music, and culture. BottleRock Napa Valley

Fall Time Wine Touring

Niagara is known for its breath taking fall foliage, you can’t help but smile when you see the awe inspiring coloured leaves traveling along the Niagara River on your way to Wine Country! It’s great fun to visit a winery during the harvest.  Busiest time of the year for the wineries as the Winemakers are up early to ensure their grapes are picked just at the prime time when sugar levels are just right. There are many festivals and celebrations this time of year accompanies with all freshly grown fruit and vegetables. There are many kicks off craft shows with local artists and chefs!

Winter Time Tours:

We embrace the cold with and being outdoors, that’s what makes us so unique and Canadian. With our famous Winter Festival of Lights, Ice Sculpturing at the Falls and of course we need to mention our world famous Icewine! Our grapes are handpicked this time of year frozen and pressed immediately to released single drop of thick, rich yellow golden nectar that is highly concentrated to make a sumptuous sweet desert wine. We also showcase our top Niagara Chef’s with the most prestigious cooking competitions locally. There is nothing like sipping a premium VQA Sparking wine overlooking a cozy fire place this time of year. This is a great time to visit all of our wines!

Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter!  If you want to destress, relax and Wine Down! Any time is great for that!


Gift Advice for Wine Lovers – Jordan Cowe Friends and family members start to wonder how to decipher the secret language of wine and get the perfect gift, while wine lovers brace in anticipation for all the well-meaning but truly awful gifts they will receive. Well let’s put that to rest with an easy to use guide to understanding the wine lover in your life.

Gift Advice for Wine Lovers – Jordan Cowe

Category : Wine

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Friends and family members start to wonder how to decipher the secret language of wine and get the perfect gift, while wine lovers brace in anticipation for all the well-meaning but truly awful gifts they will receive. Well let’s put that to rest with an easy to use guide to understanding the wine lover in your life.

1) Avoid Wine Knick-Knacks and Accessories

For the most part it is best for everyone involved if you just avoid these altogether. They are a minefield and with few exceptions are just going to take up space in a drawer somewhere. Some of the most common offenders here are Bottle Stoppers, Fancy pour spouts, Aerators, Corkscrews, Wine Charms and many other similar items. Most of these are accessories that are sold but nobody ever really uses or that are so common a wine lover probably already has several. Corkscrews are a separate entity where there are exceptions but for the most part it’s probably safer to avoid these items altogether.

2) Wine

This would seem like a very logical item, but so many people get it wrong or stress unnecessarily about it. If you are buying wine as a gift for a wine lover don’t just walk in and grab the first bottle that you see or that looks cool in a big display. This is about the equivalent to showing up with a gift card, it’s not that you can’t do it, it’s more that it says “I had no clue and didn’t try.”. Almost every Liquor store or major wine boutique will have knowledgeable staff who are more than happy to help you find something unique. In Ontario the product consultants in the vintages section at the LCBO are always more than happy to help you find something cool and unusual. The step of asking for help makes it much less stressful and can make your gift truly stand out and say “I tried.”. Even if it’s not a wine they’re a huge fan of, the effort will stand out and most will appreciate it.

3) Wine Glasses and Decanters

Good glassware isn’t cheap and cheap glassware isn’t good. In general for wine lovers glassware is a highly personal item that they like to pick out, if it’s for a newer wine lover though or a wine lover who has just never bought themselves decent glassware it can be a great gift if you’re prepared to spend a little more. If you know someone likes a particular type of glass then absolutely go for it. If you want to get them their first set of decent wine glasses go with something relatively plain looking but made from thin, high quality materials. The major producers such as Riedel, Spiegelau, and Schott Zwiesel can often be found on special for decent prices if you look around and are truly great glasses. As for decanters you are best to use your judgement of the person, if they already have a ton, it’s probably best to take a miss, if they don’t have one go for it. Decanters are less specific, they come in all shapes and sizes, but unless the person really likes the style, it’s probably best to choose something not overly ornate.


Team building

Tips for Cellaring Niagara Wines

Category : Events News Wine

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So you’ve just gotten back from wine country and you’re looking over your haul and thinking “How long can I keep these?” Or maybe you’re about to head to wine country and you’re thinking of stocking up your cellar with some interesting wines for down the road. The question in both of these cases could be an honest “When will these wines taste their best?” or it could be a “How long will these wines survive?”. You will hear all sorts of answers to this question and to be frank as a region we are extremely pessimistic about the longevity of our own wines, in most cases they will quite easily stand the test of time as easily as many of their international analogues. So let’s take a look at a few tips for getting the most out of your wine cellaring endeavours.

General Wine Cellaring Tips

Cellaring wine isn’t a particularly complicated process but it’s also quite easy to mess up if you don’t pay attention. The better you treat the wines while you’re cellaring them, the longer they will last and the better they will evolve. Cellaring is more about avoiding what wines don’t like.

Wines don’t like heat so a hot kitchen, un-airconditioned apartment, etc. will not do your wines any favours and will greatly shorten their life. Wine also doesn’t handle temperature changes well which makes these situations even worse. Sunlight is also bad because it has many long-term negative effects on wine, in addition to often being hot itself. Finally constant vibration or shaking are undesirable but aside from appliances this isn’t a particularly common problem.

Realistically if you want to keep wines long-term you’re going to want to be looking at a wine cellar in a basement, or a dedicated powered wine cellar. Being underground keeps basements typically cooler and stable in temperature, and well-powered wine cellars do as they say they will. Past this, a dark cool closet in a climate controlled house or apartment can also do the trick.

This isn’t to say other situations will hurt the wine you bought short term, even within say 1-2 years everything aside from a super hot apartment or a kitchen near the stove will probably be fine. But if you truly want to build a cellar for ageing there are considerations. If you want to see how suitable your area is for ageing you can pick up a cheap combination hygrometer/thermometer from Walmart to check the humidity and temperature where you plan to store your wine. Ideal humidity is as close to the 70-80% range as possible. The ideal temperature is as close to 50-60* F as possible, but even up to 70* won’t be detrimental to wine, it might shorten lifespan but it won’t ruin it either.
How long can I age THIS specific wine?

In general, if you are visiting wine country you have experts at your fingertips, simply asking at the winery should in theory get you a decent estimate of how long a wine will age. The reason this works is each winery has their own style, some make very easy drinking wines meant for rapid consumption, other gear their style more toward structure and ageing and some if not most wineries have a mix of both styles. Because of consumer expectations, it tends to work out that the premium wines are more structured and intense and handle age better while the entry level wines are softer and lighter and don’t handle age as well. There are many wines and wineries that prove this wrong however so it’s always best to ask.

Outside of this you can take a look at the wine itself. In a red if it is intense and flavourful, has a bit of fruit and a bit of oak showing, has strong tannins and a good richness it’s probably a good sign that it will age fairly well for some time in the future, maybe 3-5 years, maybe 5-10 years or in much rarer cases maybe even 10 years plus. For whites wine, you want to look at flavour intensity, richness, complexity and acidity. Oaked Chardonnay can often age quite well in the 3-5 year range from purchase, some even longer depending on the winery. On the other hand, things like unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and a few of the other dry, fruit driven or neutral white wines are probably best drank much sooner. There are also the wines that age quite well but require a distinct preference such as Riesling, if you’ve never had aged Riesling don’t assume it will necessarily taste better with age.

One of the common questions asked in Niagara is related to ageing icewine, and it is one of the areas where I have seen some silly answers from well-meaning but misinformed winery staff. Icewine has everything you could want from an ageable wine, it has flavour intensity, it has decent acidity and it also a healthy amount of sugar which at the levels really boosts age ability. Now while some basic Vidal icewines won’t stand the test of time, many premium icewines, especially from Riesling or Cabernet Franc will more than stand the test of time. If cellared properly, a well-made icewine will age extremely well over time, it will change but it will still be delicious even 15, 20, 25+ years down the road. Some of Niagara’s earliest icewines from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s are still tasting amazing, and equivalent wines from elsewhere in the world are tasting great from even earlier times.

Does a screwcap or a cork make a difference?

In some parts of the world where screwcaps are the norm, I would say that it means nothing. In other parts where corks are the norm, I’d say it means everything. In Niagara, it varies from producer to producer. If you have a producer like Coyotes run who bottle everything under screwcap as a rule, it means absolutely nothing, some of their wines are absolutely phenomenal and will certainly age under screwcap. If however you look at some of the producers who do a bit of both, you will find that in Niagara many producers use one of two systems screwcaps on low-end bottlings or wines meant to be young, fresh and fruity and cork on high-end bottlings or wines meant to age. This is just producers catering to consumers preference and prejudice more than anything and you will really have to judge the individual wines. In the end, it really truly does all comes down to style and producer, if I look at the section of my cellar with rieslings in it almost every single one is under screwcap, if I look at the section with m chardonnays they’re almost all under cork, yet almost every single one of those rieslings will still taste great well after most of the chardonnays are past their prime.

So while there are no hard and fast rules to how long a wine will age it doesn’t have to be scary. Start out asking the staff at the winery for some advice and go from there. Most well-structured reds will easily go 3-5 years if not longer, and to be honest most well-made wines white or red will taste fine out to 3 years. The real questions start to be which wines will survive past the 3-5 year mark and for that it comes down to experimentation and bravery. That super intense, tannic, flagship wine that you spotted? Yeah it was probably built to go the length. That light and fruity Nouveau you grabbed in November? Not so much. Be realistic, treat your wines well and you may be in for some surprises, even wines you thought would never hold up may turn out great down the road. I recently had a basic 2004 Trius Merlot that still tasted great 11 years out, it was on the edge, but it tasted delicious, on the other hand I’ve had big full 2010 Reds that are already at the end of their life. My best suggestion is if you love a wine and want to age it, but a couple bottles and open one every so often, if you notice that’s it’s starting to lack, well then just make the rest a priority to drink soon.