Wine Tours and Lunch in Beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake


Grape vines overlooking Lake Ontario at Konzelmann Estate Winery in Niagara Wine Country

At the beginning of fall, Ryan and I spent the day in Niagara-on-the-Lake as a short getaway in celebration of my new job. We both enjoy wine and it had been a couple of years since we had gone to beautiful Niagara Wine Country. We went on two wine tours and in between stopped for lunch in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Wine tasting is a great way to taste different types of wine. I’m a tried and true Pinot Grigio girl, so I almost always order it when I’m out at a restaurant. Being able to taste new wines and not have to commit to purchasing a glass or bottle when you may or may not end up liking it is a good idea for me. One of the most interesting wines we tasted on this trip (and subsequently bought) was a nice refreshing peach wine from Konzelmann Estate Winery. It is made with peaches instead of grapes, and it is the most beautiful peachy colour.


Konzelmann Estate Winery, a lakefront winery situated on the south shore of Lake Ontario

By far the highlight of most wine tastings in Niagara Wine Country is ice wine. Canada is the world’s largest producer of ice wine, and it is always a treat drinking it. Ice wine is an incredible, sweet dessert wine that is made from frozen grapes that are harvested in the middle of the night. We learned on our tours that you usually get only one drop of ice wine per grape. As a result ice wine is quite expensive. We even did a separate ice wine tasting of a few varieties at Trius Winery at Hillebrand.

We also tried late harvest wines at both wineries. These are dessert wines made from grapes that are harvested later than usual. While they aren’t as good as ice wine, they have a lovely sweet taste and are much more reasonable in price. A good compromise I’d say. We went home with three bottles, and I cannot wait to have them paired with a nice cheese plate.


Trius Winery at Hillebrand. The Trius Merlot 2010 is one of our favourite red wines, so we thought it fitting to have a tour at Hillebrand.


Cute Niagara-on-the-Lake

In between our wine tours, we walked around the cute town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. We had lunch at The Irish Tea Room, which offers a predominantly gluten free menu. It’s a great place to grab lunch. It was so convenient to be able to stop in for a quick lunch and not have to explain about cross contamination. I don’t know about you, but I have always found lunch the most difficult meal to eat out. Eating at The Irish Team Room was such a lovely change.


Gluten free quiche with broccoli salad, and tomato and cucumber salad

It offers a few Irish dishes, such as quiche, cottage pie, and boxty pancakes, each served with your choice of two salads that are naturally gluten free. I ordered the broccoli and cheese quiche, which is made with a rice crust to make it gluten free. I thought it was a really clever idea to have rice as a base and eliminate the need to use any flour at all. I chose the broccoli salad, and tomato and cucumber salad as the sides. Both were really good.


Gluten Free Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

For anyone with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance who has a sweet tooth, I recommend stopping by The Irish Tea Room if you are in Niagara on the Lake. It has an entirely gluten free dessert display. We’re talking 12-15 different types of desserts, everything gluten free! There were cakes, pies, sweet breads, squares, and more. I opted for the lemon cheesecake that was also soy free, and Ryan had the Banoffee pie. It was such a treat knowing that everything on display was gluten free.