The Icewine Festival in Pictures – Part 2

I love driving through Twenty Valley.

The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, and there are some wonderful wineries out there.  So for our last bit of Icewine adventuring, Ken and I made the trip. Sadly, I was only able to visit two wineries that day, but the ones we selected made our day out even better – Mike Weir Winery and Kacaba Vineyards and Winery.

Mike Weir Winery opened to the public in June 2014. The facility is contemporary and beautiful, with large glass walls overlooking beautiful vineyard views. I can imagine the view would be stunning in warmer weather, but it was still impressive to me on a cold January day.

I have to admit, what first drew me to sample at Mike Weir was the promise of Thai Peanut Chicken nachos, paired with 2012 Vidal Icewine. That spicy thing again, you know? Gets me every time.

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After the yummy Nacho and Icewine pairing, I wandered around the beautiful, open space.

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(Well, I do yoga too, honest!!)

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After my roaming, I decided I had to give the Vinyasa wine a try. Vinyasa is Canada’s lowest calorie VQA wine. Low calorie wine? There is really such a thing? Normally I would be skeptical. But given that I am on a fitness mission this year, and still love wine with dinner, perhaps this is an option for me. I’m sure my trainer would approve.

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And then of course, I had to try the full calorie options.

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Purchases made, Ken and I headed out to our next destination, Kacaba Vineyards and Winery.

I really can’t say enough glorious things about Kacaba. This was my first visit there, and it definitely won’t be the last. Not only are the wines wonderful, but the staff makes it a very special place. Honestly, every single one I saw or spoke to was welcoming, helpful, and attentive with guests and fellow staff members. If you haven’t been you must go. This weekend. Now.

The place was jumping when we got there, but we were greeted and taken to the Icewine tasting area.

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Oh yes. Panini extravaganza. Panini is always an extravaganza in my book. But this one was extra-special. Prepared by Iron Chef Niagara 2010, Darren Stoute. This grilled panini was made with creamy Brie, arugula, red apple and pear and topped with a drizzle of honey and Icewine. I didn’t tell Ken about the Brie – his pickiness again – and what do you know? He liked it. I was not surprised at all.

As we were finishing up, another pleasant staff member came by and offered to take our picture.

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He asked us if we were enjoying ourselves, and if there was anything else we would like to taste. As we chatted further I discovered that he is their winemaker! A tasting with the winemaker himself? You bet! Meet John.

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This is an opportunity I don’t get very often.

Ken is fascinated by the winemaking process, and John patiently answered all of his questions.

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While they talked about wine, I sampled. Starting with the delicious 2013 Barrel fermented Chardonnay

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Then I moved on to the reds.

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Beautiful wines.

Since I drink more red wine in the winter, I came home with 2011 Terrace Vineyard Syrah, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2013 Merlot. I had to rein myself in, I tell you. I could have come home with many more bottles. I will just have to go back.

I had a wine instructor once who said that enjoyment of a wine involves much more than the actual taste of the beverage itself. He explained that the people you are with, the mood you are in, and where you are can greatly affect whether a wine pleases you or not.

Well, Kacaba has it all. Delicious wine combined with friendly, helpful, go-the-extra-mile people creates a recipe for truly enjoyable experience.

As I said, go there right now.