While the Niagara Peninsula’s first claim to fame has always been our eponymous waterfalls, our world-class viticulture runs a close second. Almost 15,000 acres of the region’s luscious and fertile farmland is planted in grapes for the express purpose of making wine. Whether the result is icewine, chardonnay, shiraz, or merlot, people come from all over the globe to experience it.
Because Niagara residents are so proud of the wine that’s made here, the area boasts a wealth of festivals dedicated to it. One of them, the Niagara New Vintage Festival, happens at the start of every summer, and it’s a celebration you won’t soon forget. If you’re undecided about whether or not to travel to the region during the month of June, let this post make up your mind. Here are four reasons to come to Niagara and take in the Niagara New Vintage Festival.
The Discovery Pass Program
The best way to experience the festival’s two weekends of fun is to take advantage of the Discovery Pass. On June 11th and 12th and then again on June 18th and 19th, you can purchase a pass for $40, effectively granting you passage to eight of the participating wineries — which ones is up to you. For half the cost of taking an a la carte route, you can tour vineyards and wineries, sip just-released wines, and enjoy the amazing food available to festival goers.
To survive as a winery and winemaker in Niagara, it’s almost taken for granted that you need to offer an exceptional product. All of the wineries participating in this year’s New Vintage Festival do just that and more, offering great experiences to guests, all while practicing sustainable farming. Here are a handful of the wineries you can experience as part of this year’s festival:
- Chateau Des Charmes
- Inniskinnin Wines
- Konzelmann Estate Winery
- Reif Estate Winery
- Magnotta Winery
- And many more!
One of the highlights of every Niagara New Vintage Festival is the TD Tailgate Party held in a picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard. Not only does the event allow guests access to plenty of delicious wine, but some of the region’s finest chefs whip up seasonal culinary delights plucked right from the area’s many farms and orchards. This year’s Tailgate Party will be held on June 18th from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. It will feature live music, a stunning landscape, and plenty of scrumptious wine and food. A perfect way to mark the solstice, it’s a must-attend yearly event for many people.
Food is held in almost as high of esteem as wine at the festival, and every winery will offer food alongside wine for festival attendees. The chefs chosen to participate create delightful dishes crafted from the freshest local food available. Not only does the food complement the wine wonderfully, but it’s also always presented in a way that makes for a truly unforgettable experience. So, bring your camera and your appetite, because what you’ll be eating is just as much a part of the festival fun as what you’ll be drinking.
Make some room in your schedule this June for the vacation you’ve always wanted to take, and enjoy one of the region’s best celebrations: The Niagara New Vintage Festival.