Monday, October 4, 2010

Niagara Peninsula Ontario Winery Visit: Eastdell Estates Winery

Another in our series of Niagara Peninsula Ontario winery reports.
niagara 029 Eastdell Estates Winery looks unassuming from the outside but a rewarding experience lies within. The front of the winery has a “general store” look and its tasting bar (tasting boutique as they like to call them in the Niagara area) is rather compact. But one glance out the window of its restaurant lets you know that Eastdell has a scenic location second to none.

As I stepped past the tasting bar and into the restaurant, the view was spectacular. In fact The VIEW is the name of their restaurant, and with good reason. The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows provide a picturesque view of rolling vineyards and Lake Ontario shimmering in the distance. It has rustic wood and stone décor and in cooler weather, guests can enjoy the warmth of a roaring fire in the large stone fireplace.

After savoring the view, it was time to sample the wines. I started with a 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, which was crisp and fruity. The second tasting was the 2007 Black Cab. The Black Cab is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Baco Noir. This was smooth on the palate with flavors of cherry and blackberry. Baco Noir is a French-American hybrid that was first brought to the cooler regions of the U.S. and then into Canada in 1955. The grape flourishes in Ontario and we tasted some delicious examples during our trip.

niagara 028 The Black Cab is a rewarding, highly enjoyable wine. I was startled to see the wine priced at $19.95 and had to do a doubletake when seeing this was the price for a 1.5 liter magnum and not just a regular bottle. I snarfed up the bottle. I later discovered that this is their best selling wine at the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) liquor stores.

The tasting wrapped up with the ‘07 Pinot Noir Niagara Peninsula. This was light bodied with cranberry flavor notes and is very drinkable.

Eastdell is a great winery destination, especially if you have time to hike the 5 kilometers of trails that meander through their grounds or dine in their scenic restaurant. Of course, don’t forget about their Black Cab! Eastdell Estates is part of a family of wineries that operate under the umbrella of Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd.  (also includes Birchwood Estate, Lakeview Cellars, De Sousa Wine Cellars, 20 Bees Winery and Dan Aykroyd Wines).
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