Niagara-on-the-lake is known as possibily the prettiest towns in Canada and I can definitely see why. The scenery on the way driving there is breathtaking, lots of trees, beautiful hertiage Victorian houses, wineries, grand mansion...so different from the dried-up palm tree beachy west coast! It's definitely an escape from the mainstream commercial tourisy Niagara Fall area (which is about 20 min away). It's also a historic landmark where the famous bloody battle in which the Canadian + British fends off the American invaders (so this area has lots of British flags and buisnesses ^^;;).
The weather there is ideal for grape growing so there are lots of Vineyard and famous wineries. We did end up spending an afternoon hopping different wineries for wine tasting and bought lots of ice wines, they taste so heavenly~~ In fact this area is considered the most respected producer of Ice wine in the world, so I heard. I also visit one ice wine winery when I went to Rocky Mountain, but Niagara-on-the-Lake are way more beautiful and elaborate. You drove in the country road along the side of lake, and there's signs pointing to you make a turn into various wineries. The above pictures are from Inniskillin Winery, the largest and most commercial operation. There're buses of Japanese tourists here. We came here after told by other wineries that this is the only place that has Cherry Icewine (just as heavenly~ more grape flavor than regular kind~). A glass of wine tasting is usually $8. We also went to many smaller wineries, we bought boxes of wines here and there, one particularly made their own ice wine chocolates that I bought a few for coworker gifts. :D
Joan | June 5, 2005 12:09 PM
I see...let's have an extravagant trip this time! ^^;;
I can't believe back then the first time I went to Japan it was a budget trip as well (saving $ for the certain goods ^^;;), duh...now I just want extravagant trip of nonstop eat shop eat shop drink...
Freda | June 11, 2005 11:13 AM
No no no good food when I went....like 10 years ago because it was a poor-budget-backpacking-trip. ^^;;;;
Anyway, I heard that food in the countryside of France is much cheaper and less-pretentious solid good tasting food!!
seat | June 10, 2005 07:56 PM
Let's start planning!! :D
Joan | June 10, 2005 07:52 AM
ouch, hope your finger'd be ok soon...
True true, it'd be a waste if my first visit to Paris is a rush, all-work-no-play business trip. Did you have lots of good food back when you went there?
Freda | June 10, 2005 06:58 AM
Oh I cut my finger with a knife and it is difficult to type without using that finger...so my blog is 「本日休業」,haha.
Yeah, let's go to France~~~~I don't mind the touristy places in Paris as long as we dine well in restaurants~~~~^^;;;
Wineries and castles trip would be fantastic!! I have been to Loire Valley already so let's go to Bordeaux or Burgundy or Provence or Brittany - all have wonderful wineries, gourmet, castles and medieval villages!!
Freda, going in a business trip won't allow you travel too much~~~can you imagine being in Paris and get stuck at work?? ^^;;;
seat | June 9, 2005 04:41 PM
argh we're working on a project for France's major TV network right now and my art director is going to Paris next Tuesday to present to the client, I wanna go too~~ but I'm just a designer, no space for me~~:(((((
Freda | June 9, 2005 07:58 AM
Yeah yeah Chateau wine and southern france/country gourmet trip~~ :DDDDD
Freda | June 9, 2005 07:57 AM
Oh my YES YES YES!!! Let's go to France together~~ gosh a castle/winery trip will be perfect. Even I do wanna go to Paris for the usual tourisy thing that you've done before as well (perhaps a day or two?) Let's start planning it!!
Joan | June 9, 2005 05:30 AM
Canada is great....but let's go for a wineries/castles trip in France together!! ^^;;;
seat | June 8, 2005 07:37 PM
Yeah let me do an entry on the Icewine we bought, I haven't start drinking them yet...can't wait hehe...
May be next time let's go on a winery trip at Canada together~~
sometimes during the fall so we can see beautiful maple leaves!
Joan | June 8, 2005 10:53 AM
I calculated wrong....US$400 *is* quite expensive...^^;;; Oh ice wine is also called dessert wine?? I tried some really sweet dessert wine that my friend brought from France...dunno if it is the same. You bought some wine for souvenirs? Can you take pics of them and show me?
Oh lunch or dinner in wineries would be so nice~~~~probably not restaurant-type of food but home-made country-side food? Well, next time you know!
seat | June 7, 2005 08:56 PM
Oh, and Icewine are white wine color, as it's made from white grape. Cherry Icewine are red.
Freda | June 7, 2005 05:08 PM
Oh I just found out from looking at broschure and website that, most of the wineries have lunch and dinner course that go with their wine. ARGH should have at least try one XO
Freda | June 7, 2005 04:52 PM
yeah $400-500 is rather expensive for North america? Our hotel which is right above the fall with fall view and that it's a suite room (so it's big with a living room and 2 bathrooms) is somewhere between $150-300 (weekends are more expensive, like $2xx, while weekdays was $175 or so). Remember that nice room we stay at Las Vegas? it was only somewhere between $90-$120! Well we reserved the room few months ahead, that's cheaper also.
Joan | June 7, 2005 11:45 AM
oh ice wine is a desert wine, and nono you're not suppose to served as chilled (---->Tina, that's the truth, really ^^;;;;). It's called Ice wine because they left the grapes on the vine till the winter months, till the grapes are near rotten (and frozen), in which the grapes became the most concentrated with sugar and the flavor is the most intense and sweet. So Icewine is very sweet and has intense flavor.
Joan | June 7, 2005 03:48 AM
Such a pretty town!!! *o*
What is ice wine?? Just iced cold wine?? Wine that is best served chilled?? I want to try~~~!!!!
$400-500 per night is expensive?? How much was your hotel?? In Japan standard it is actually okay~~~and you get to stay in such beautiful inns!
The wine bottles in armour are sooooooo cute~!
seat | June 6, 2005 04:40 PM