This past weekend I made my annual springtime pilgrimage to Niagara for Cuvée en Route, a passport style event with about 30 participating wineries each offering a tasting menu. This year I made the trip with my friend Andrew – a fellow wino, so it wasn’t very difficult to twist his arm and get him to join me.
I’m always interested in the chance to take a drive and experience wines in the place they’re made. There’s something special about tasting a wine while looking at the vines that gave it life.
Except for one stop this year’s Cuvée adventure consisted of wineries I’d never been to before. I apologize in advance if I’m a broken record about all the newness! My game plan going in was to use this year’s Cuvée as an excuse to finally get to some places I’ve been meaning to go for years.
It’s that time of year again – Cuvée en Route is back! It’s one of the many times each year that I get in the car and make a little pilgrimage to the region in my own backyard. It’s also a welcome way to further my wine knowledge and keep my palate up to snuff.
What is Cuvée en Route?
Let’s review. Created by the good folks at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Cuvée en Route is an annual showcase of the fantastic wines this region has to offer. On March 23, 24 and 25 wineries throughout the region will create tasting menus (usually 3-4 wines) for passport holders, often share wines you can’t get at a normal tasting. Case in point – my first Cuvée year I had wines from as long ago as 1998! Cuvée is a great opportunity to taste things you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere (or any time) else.
This past weekend was Cuvée en Route, one of my favourite Niagara wine events.
This past week I was actually quite sick with the worst cold I’ve had in years (I’ve since been diagnosed with bronchitis, ouch!). On reflection it was probably too ambitious to leave my couch and venture to Niagara, but after being cooped up for three days my impatience got the better of me and the foolhardy in me took over. This means that I didn’t make it to as many wineries as last year – only four as opposed to last year’s nine-winery marathon day.
In any event, my friend (and WSET 3 classmate) Wendy and I made the short drive to Niagara ready to taste some wine. We managed to make it to four wineries, all very different from each other, yet all very delicious.