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Cheers from Niagara Wine Trail by Sia Huff

IMG_20130920_115827_401Last weekend hubby and I attended my cousin’s wedding in Buffalo. Flying in a day early, we had some time to explore. The weather cooperated at a balmy eighty-three degrees in September. We put the top down on the Camero SS Convertible we rented and the wind whipped my hair until I laughed. The further we got away from the city, the more beautiful the scenery. With gas prices so high, it’s been a while since we just got in the car to discover new places. We had a fabulous time.

Niagara Wine Trail lies between Niagara Falls and Lake Ontario in western New York. Eighteen winery’s are a part of the wine trail, but since weIMG_20130920_121620_637had a limited time, we visted three in Lockport: Arrowhead Springs Vineyards, Eveningside Vineyards and Freedon Run Winery. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. Tastings fees were minimal. Pinor Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Riesling, Chardonnay are some of the wines they offer. The wineries are especially proud of a blend of Cabernet and Merlot called Meritage that has won some awards.

IMG_20130920_115228_385We enjoyed several wines but the one I found most interesting was the Ice Wine. The grapes are pressed only after they have been frosted three times. This makes a thick, sweet dessert wine.  To find out more, please visit www.NiagaraWineTrail.org or www.newyorkwines.org.IMG_20130920_121716_731

Also, during the fall a Winery Train will act as your designated driver. Just board the train from Medina Railroad and sit back, relax and enjoy. For more information visit www.railroadmuseum.net.

What a wonderful day to start fun and relaxing weekend. Here’s to your health.

Anyone a wine drinker? Red or wine? Dry or sweet? Favorite wine?

Marilyn Baron - October 1, 2013 - 12:28 am

I’m not a big wine drinker but I prefer white sweet wine. My favorite is Moscato di Asti. The ice wine you mentioned sounds like something I would like. When we go to a restaurant, my husband says “She wants something that tastes like Kool-Aid.” I like Riesling too, if it’s sweet.

Mary Preston - October 1, 2013 - 4:17 am

I do enjoy a glass of wine now & then. Like Marilyn I like sweet white wine best.

Susan Carlisle - October 1, 2013 - 7:43 am

Sia,
It sounds like you had a great time. A convertiable ride on a warm day can be nothing but heaven.

Pam Asberry - October 1, 2013 - 8:54 am

I have been in that part of the world before but didn’t visit any wineries. Next time! I adore wine, nothing too sweet (I have to cut my Moscato with sparkling water) but I too am a big fan of Meritage. It sounds like you had a great trip, Sia; thank you for sharing it with us!

Sandra Elzie - October 1, 2013 - 10:59 am

Great article and pictures. I’ve been to the area, but not the winery…guess I gotta go back! :)

I like a nice chilled white wine…White Zin or Cabernet or, like Marilyn, a Moscato.

Viki S. - October 1, 2013 - 12:04 pm

Excellent post. I grew up there and remember how tying grapes was an after school job :). But back then all the grapes were pretty much concord and went to making jam and jelly. Nice to hear that the wine has really taken off.

Gabriella Albanese - October 1, 2013 - 3:45 pm

Thanks for the great comments about the wine trail. There are many really good wines on the trail and I like that the wineries are small family run affairs. In the past 7-10 years the wine trail has really grown and the Gov. has just ok’d the expansion of the wine trail so that it can run through Orleans and Western Monroe county.

Sia Huff - October 1, 2013 - 4:14 pm

Too funny, Marilyn. Moscato is too sweet for me. I prefer a Chadonnary or White Zif. You might very well like Ice Wine. It was fun to try something so different.

Sia Huff - October 1, 2013 - 4:16 pm

Hi Mary,
Two votes for sweet white wine. Add friends and there’s nothing better. Thanks for commenting.

Sia Huff - October 1, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Hi Susan,
Yes we had a fabulous time. The convertible ride felt freeing. And the beautiful rolling green fields – just gorgeous. This isn’t my last ride with the top down. Too much fun.

Sia Huff - October 1, 2013 - 4:26 pm

Hi Pam,
I think the wineries are fairly new (compared to Napa). When you go you’ll enjoy it. I wish I’d known about the wine train early. Someone had to drive and hubby volunteered since I’m the light weight. I love dry reds. By the third winery, I call Meritage – Mirage – getting a laugh from my hubby and the guy behind the counter. Told you I’m a light weight.

Sia Huff - October 1, 2013 - 4:30 pm

Thanks, Sandy. Glad you enjoyed the pics. Yes, you should go back, you’ll have fun. Another vote for white wine. Like you, I enjoy White Zif.

Sia Huff - October 1, 2013 - 4:33 pm

High praise, thanks, Viki. Tying grapes – how cool and a nice way for a kid to earn some money. I remember Concord grapes. I think Welch’s make their juice from that regions grapes. I’m glad they expanded into other grapes too. They really have done a nice job.

Sia Huff - October 1, 2013 - 4:40 pm

Hi Gabriella,
Your welcome. You’re right, there are a lot of good wines that I tasted and we only sampled three wineries. Something to look forward to when we come back. And yes, after you said it, it makes total sense that the wineries are family run. Everyone was supportive of other wineries around them. Very refreshing.
How wonderful that your gov ok’ed expansion of the trail. More good things to look forward to.
And thanks for sharing more information. Hopefully it will bring more business their way.
Thanks for taking you time to comment.

Connie Gillam - October 1, 2013 - 5:40 pm

Sia-

It’s nice that you had the winery train as your designated driver. LOL

My husband and I took a tour of the Napa Valley wineries in Northern California. We laughed later about all those drunk tasters traveling up and down the one lane road between wineries.

Sia Huff - October 1, 2013 - 9:14 pm

Actually, we didn’t get to ride the train. I didn’t find out about it until later. Hubby drove and stopped tasting after the first stop.
I love to go to Napa too. I need to check out if they have a train beforehand. LOL.

Carol Burnside - October 1, 2013 - 9:55 pm

I’m mostly a white wine drinker, more on the sweet side than dry. I’ve been known to enjoy a Chianti or two as well.

The trip sounds fun.

hildie McQueen - October 2, 2013 - 10:54 am

I love wineries, this one looks very pretty. It’s fun to find new wines to love is it not?

Maxine Davis - October 2, 2013 - 7:22 pm

Sia, I apologize for being late. I’m so glad you go to take some time for you and hubby amid all the celebration going up.

Sia Huff - October 3, 2013 - 9:21 am

Another sweet, white wine drinker. I’m glad I asked. Now I know what kind of wine to bring to a party. Thanks, Carol.

Sia Huff - October 3, 2013 - 9:24 am

Hi Hildie,
I’m finding that I love wineries too. The atmosphere is wonderful. And you’re right, it’s fun to find a new wine. All three of the wineries were lovely, pretty scenery, relaxed. I enjoyed! Thanks for commenting.

Sia Huff - October 3, 2013 - 9:26 am

No worries, Maxine. Yes, hubby and I needed that time. Of course, we came back to chaos. LOL. How did October get to be so busy?

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