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A Food Sisterhood’s kind of Mother’s Day – Wining and Dining

The kitchen’s full of gadgets that have never seen the light of day, the closet’s full of clothes even our grandmothers won’t wear and the number of flower bouquets purchased could be enough to decorate a wedding. 

We’ve finally ran out of mother’s day gift ideas after 27 years of brainstorming. Luckily for us, LifeExperiences came along and we were filled with hope again. Let’s be real, as great as physical gifts are, they often end up in a box somewhere in the basement until it’s time for spring cleaning. 

LifeExperiences offer more than just a gift, they offer memories and unique ideas for the loved ones in our lives that last longer than those boxed gifts ever will. 

There is a ton of options to choose from like fine dining, spa retreats, sports for the more adventurous and of course wine tours. It’s easy to use, you simply go on their website, choose the package that you want and check out! It’s also a great option if you’re far from home and can’t give a physical gift. 

We decided to take our moms to the full day wine tour with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours. Inducted into the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame, Niagara Vintage Wine Tours are known for their knowledgeable and friendly guides. 

If you’re staying in the Niagara area, they’ll arrange for a pick up and drop off so everyone has peace of mind that they aren’t drinking and driving. 

The first winery we visited was Konzelmann Estate WineryEach winery has something different to offer and we were able to learn so much.

Here is a selection of the wine that we sampled. Keep in mind that you’re trying 4-5 different types of wine at each winery so pace yourself! 

Our favourite was definitely the Vidal Icewine which meant we had to pick up a bottle to bring home 🙂

Our next step was at Pilliterri Estates Winery. The story behind how Pilliterri’s came to be will warm your heart but we don’t want to ruin it so you’ll have to take a tour there and learn for yourselves! 

They’re well known for their ice wines and have won several international awards! That definitely made us re-think the quality of Ontario wine compared to some of the more well known wine producing countries. 

As part of the tour, we were taken down to the cellar which was a collaboration of old and new. The classic wooden wine barrels stocked in a modern cellar made us feel like we were on the set of an Italian movie. 

After the tour was over, we were taken inside to sample a selection of their wines. The tour guide was kind enough to ask us if there was anything specific that we wanted to try and obviously ice wine was one of them! This was the first time I’ve ever sampled red ice wine and it was delightful and would be the perfect end to any meal. 

Starting to drink at 10am on a Saturday is not easy…which means lunch would probably end up being the most important meal of the day for us. 

If you’ve ever been to Niagara on the Lake you’ll know that’s filled with many beautiful boutique hotels and B&B’s. The Charles Inn  is no exception, built in 1832 and refurbished. 

Soup of the day – curried cauliflower soup 

Parmesan & Truffle “Mac & Cheese”  – Niagara gold & parmesan mornay, baby spinach, caramelized onions, double smoked bacon, panko bread crumbs, white truffle oil

Crisp skin Atalantic Salmon

Honey, thyme & vanilla scented creme brulee served with fresh berries 

The lunch at HobNob was delicious as we had anticipated and we would definitely love to come back and try some of the other items on the menu. 

Our third stop after lunch was at PondView Estate WineryTheir story is just as interesting as the others. They started out as grape growers and when they realized that they were growing some of the best grapes available, they decided to make their own wine which have countless awards. 

Last but not least, we made a visit to Southbrook VineyardsAs soon as we saw the building, we knew there was something different about Southbrook. When we think vineyards we have this image of a rustic vineyard with people stomping grapes but Southbrook was very modern. It turned out they are one of few organic vineyards in Ontario. 

As much as we would love to go into full details about everything we learned, it’s really something you have to experience for yourself! You’ll find that wine making is a very intense process which takes a lot of time and care to do! 

Just a sneak peak of what you can look forward to learning about:

– How ice wine is made and how important Canada is to the ice wine industry

– The temperatures and areas that are ideal for wine making

-the extensive variety of grapes used for making wine

– ….and so much more!

Our guide Jeremy was amazing and extremely knowledgeable but you can’t go wrong with Niagara Vintage Tours as all of their professional guides have worked in the industry. There weren’t any questions that he wasn’t able to answer and being a Niagara local he gave us a lot of “insider information”.

They’re celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year and we would highly recommend them! There’s no time like the present to become educated in wine!

With less than two weeks left to Mother’s Day, it’s not too late to treat that special lady in your life! The half day wine tour is currently 20% until May 5th! Click here for more details!  LifeExperiences gift cards can be picked up at a Shopper’s Drug Mart gift card mall so what are you waiting for??

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