The verdant and historic Niagara Peninsula has the same climate as Burgundy, and thus it’s no surprise that its rolling vineyards produce over 80% of Canada’s grapes. While the more well known sites of Niagara attract most of the tourists, the most exciting culinary and viniculture activity is taking place around the picturesque town of Jordan in the lush Twenty Valley. Located just an hour away from the manic energy of Toronto, the Twenty Valley is a veritable breadbasket of delicacies, from exotic fruits to local organic produce and spectacular wine. Explore the riches of Ontario’s rural food and wine culture. Stroll the quaint and historic high streets, indulge in lavish vineyard picnics, and amble along cultivated pathways besides majestic rivers. Enjoy the pristine wilderness of the Carolinian forests, sample the amenities of a stylish boutique hotel and relish the restorative pace of this culinary getaway.
You will be provided with a pre-departure package which will include all necessary information that you will need for your trip including materials such as vouchers, maps, train tickets (if relevant) etc.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer with vehicle and driver.
Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel or exploring some of Toronto’s attractions.
Since you are conveniently located in the Entertainment district, there are plenty of diversions available, from Broadway style song and dance shows to stylish lounges and exclusive clubs. Enjoy dinner at any one of the great restaurants in the city. The end of the day brings the crowning touch—plunge into a sea of soft down pillows and feathered comforters for a night of well-deserved relaxation.
Featured in the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2010 – as selected as one of The Best Places to Stay in the World, by the Readers of Condé Nast Traveler, the Hôtel Le Germain Dominion is located in the heart of the entertainment district in Toronto. Services include a Hotel Lounge which has an evening beverage service, a Library with open hearth fireplace featuring a complimentary cappuccino bar and internet access, Roof top terrace (seasonal) and putting green, 24 hour fitness facility with outdoor terrace (seasonal), Massage room and Victor Restaurant and Bar with a seasonal patio. The decor is urban - modern with neutral hues and natural materials in evidence.
Transfer to the charming bucolic town of Jordan by private vehicle. The distance is just over 100 km and takes approximately an hour and a half.
Upon arrival, check in to the Inn on the Twenty, housed in a former sugar warehouse. Afterwards, take a stroll along Jordan’s tree-lined Main Street, where you will discover a range of antique, craft and gift shops, the Jordan Historical Museum’s authentically restored pioneer settlement and an impressive array of 19th Century period homes.
This evening, walk across the street to Cave Spring Cellars, one of Niagara’s most mature vinifera vineyards (and the oldest functioning wine cellar in all of Ontario) for an unforgettable, private wine tasting experience. There are various options to choose from;
Strictly Riesling (45 minutes)
An introduction to how the winery's signature grape is grown - Riesling. Following a guided tour of the cellars, follow the path of the Riesling grape from its inception in the vineyards of the Niagara Escarpment to the finished wine in the bottle. Included will be a tasting of three Rieslings.
Looking Down a Barrel (45 minutes)
One of the great mysteries of the oenological universe is the effect of barrel aging on wine. Learn how Chardonnay and Cave Spring reds can be transformed by the use of oak.
Wine and Cheese Match-up (45 minutes)
Wine and cheese; sounds simple; but done just right, the match can be one of the most sublime and complex imaginable. Taste three cheeses - selected by Inn On the Twenty chef, Kevin Maniaci - with three Cave Spring wines and learn why some pairings harmonize, while others clash.
Cave Spring Uncorked (45 minutes)
An introduction to the basics of grape growing and wine making in the Niagara Peninsula, focusing on the unique climatic conditions of the Niagara Escarpment, and their imprint on our wines. Following a guided tour of the cellars, relax and enjoy a tasting of three Cave Spring wines.
Enjoy a gourmet, 3-course dinner this evening at On The Twenty, the restaurant which pioneered the concept of a regionally- focused and locally-sourced cuisine in Niagara. An example of the kind of cuisine is the signature Shorthills trout in Riesling-rhubarb butter, or partridge in hazelnut-chardonnay sauce.
The Inn at the Twenty is part of Leonard Pennachetti’s Cave Spring Cellars winery in the village of Jordan, a 30-minute drive from Niagara-on-the-Lake. The twenty-nine luxurious suites have elegant 1920s mahogany headboards, whirlpool baths, and fireplaces. The Vintage House offers an historic alternative and houses a suite with fireplace and bath as well as two more modest rooms with tub/shower combinations and a shared den space. In the adjoining garden, a gazebo under a spreading sycamore tree makes a pleasant spot to unwind.
A private driver and vehicle will transport you around the region today so that you can see all of the sights on your itinerary.
Head over to Hidden Bench to discover why this winery made it onto the Canadian 100 Best Vineyards list. This unique artisanal winery is dedicated to producing ultra premium wines solely from vineyards situated within the Beamsville Bench VQA sub-appellation. Their non-interventionist, quality-focused and terroir-driven wines are produced from three distinct vineyards totalling almost 100 acres. Enjoy a flight tasting of three current-release Estate Series wines under the guidance of one of the experts.
The Good Earth Cooking School is located in the heart of Niagara’s Twenty Valley region. The beautiful country setting, nestled in vineyards and fruit trees, will surely inspire you to get your hands dirty and cook up a storm. Nicolette Novak, owner and self-proclaimed ‘facilitator of fun’ will greet you with a fortifying glass of local wine before you begin your ‘hands on’ cooking class with executive chef Patrick Engel, resident chef Isa DiIorio or one of the other local culinary personalities. It’s impossible to predict in advance what you will be doing, since all menus are designed to showcase the region’s best seasonal produce. If it’s May, you might build an entire meal around honey, while if it’s July, cherries will provide the focus. Camaraderie is infectious as everyone sits down around a harvest table to share the fruits of their labour for a 4 to 5 course gourmet lunch. If the weather is nice (which it often is in this micro-climate), the beautiful alfresco kitchen will be set up overlooking the vineyards, fruit trees and herb beds.
Consider stopping off at Flat Rock Cellars (whose 2007 Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling was listed as the only Canadian wine in the Top Values of 2008 by Wine Spectator magazine) for an expert-led tasting before heading back to the hotel. Otherwise, head straight back for some pampering at the Spa On the Twenty, for some quiet time relaxing in the garden with a book, or to peruse the in house Inuit art gallery.
Spa-goers have flocked to this region of Ontario for over 125 years. In the 1880s, European immigrants discovered mineral springs nearby and two spa resorts opened shortly thereafter. Spa on the Twenty is housed in an 1840s house, adjacent to the Inn on the Twenty, and across the street from Niagara’s famous On the Twenty Restaurant. The names are derived from Twenty Mile Creek which runs through the village. Highly qualified, personable staff ensure that you receive services tailored to your personal needs. Signature treatments incorporate products of the wine industry.
Sit back and relax on your private transfer from Jordan to Toronto.
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