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Hi all,

We're going to Niagara-On-The-Lake/Saint Catharines area next week for a couple of days. We haven't planned anything yet, but we're into wine, hiking, and visiting. A nice music store would be a plus obviously!

Any suggestion? (especially winery-wise)
 

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Most of the wineries offer decent whites. If you’re into reds, that’s a bit more of a challenge.
The “Wine Route” is lengthy. Almost as early as Stoney Creek.
But you’ll find cool little wineries all along Hwy-20. Twenty Valley is nice all year, but especially during the Fall.
In the heart of Niagara there’s ample choices. Hilebrand, Peller, Konzelman, inniskilin. All good. You can hit Gretzky’s too.
Best Niagara red is Rief. Black Oak. (Sometimes called Inglewas?? Ing-vaz)

Good luck.
 

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Highly recommend Rosewood Estates--Probably the most complex, full reds I have had in Ontario (their Pinot Noir would be the exception, didn't find that one to be too extraordinary). Rosewood are known for their whites (and mead), as well. Would also second Reif. I tend to stay away from the big guys just because I find the smaller places have more of an authentic and sometimes unique approach to vine cultivation and the harvesting / making process.
 

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Years ago we did a winery cycling tour. It was good fun. Took in 3 or 4 wineries and the cycling was easily manageable by the non-cyclists in the group. Seems to me they had a van that would tote your purchases back to the starting point or collect anyone who was done with cycling. Don't know if it still exists, but if it sounds like something you might like it would be worth investigating.
 

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if you like fruity wines (blueberry peach cherry etc...) there is an excellent fruit winery on Lakshore in Niagara on the Lake. Sunnybrook Farms.

My advice is take a bus tour so you can do the wine testing. Last time I went there I was glad to not be the DD
 

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A couple of our favourites:
Creekside - has a big tasting room, and a large patio for a sit down meal. Not sure that's open yet. Check ahead. Their viognier (a white) is unusual and very good. We order it by the case.

Tawse - very classy but brace yourself for the sticker shock. However their use of Reidel stems demonstrates they're serious.

For a really nice experience, see if you can sign up for a guided tasting or food pairing at any of the wineries. It's much better than waltzing in, and bellying up to the bar.
 

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If you like a nice drive, the Niagara Parkway from Ft Erie all the way to Niagara on the Lake is a nice drive. The sightseeing is mostly the river, flowers and trees, and the real estate.
 

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And the all-important unanswered question - guitar stores!

The only one I would recommend a stop at is Central Music in Welland (may be out of your way a little). It's worth a visit to their vintage room - especially if your wife has a couple glasses of vino and becomes more agreeable to purchases ;). We do have a Long & Mcquade (just like everybody else). Murphy's in the Falls used to be worth a visit but I think they've trimmed a lot of their stock to entry-level.

As for hiking, there's some great stuff along the Niagara River. I also like the Queenston start to the Bruce Trail. Walking in NOTL can be fun too.
 
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