"The VIP experience...without the VIP price!"
written by a wine tour attendee really sums up the day!

Vineland Estates Winery
We had an amazing start to the day at Vineland Estates. It began with Allan Schmidt (the owner) giving the royal VIP tour. Brian Schmidt (the winemaker and his brother), also made a quick appearance. The morning was just amazing. We sipped Riesling, overlooked gorgeous vineyards, and learned about the award winning wines of Vineland.

While we were in Vineland's exclusive new cellar, I told our group about the true importance of having a wine cellar. My story starts a few years ago, when Allan gave me a bottle of 1998 Meritage from Vineland - A great year for wine - as a gift. Through the last 3 years the bottle has stuck it out with me, moving 3 times, however it had no proper wine cellaring and was exposed to fluctuating temperatures and humidity (as I had no cellar and basically hoped the wine would make it through).

On my 25th birthday it seemed fitting to open the infamous bottle, knowing that I had not taking care of a fantastic bottle worth to date over $400. I was hopeful it would still be drinkable. However, to my demise it had gone bad and there was no one to blame but myself for not taking care of it over the past 3 years. It was a sad moment for me, but I knew right then and there if I were to ever be a true Wine Enthusiast I had to have a wine cellar - (and we found one right downtown Toronto, called the Fine Wine Reserve).

After telling my story to the group, Allan sadly confessed that the story I told was the saddest he had ever heard and handed me over ANOTHER bottle of 1998 Meritage to cellar and drink again! So, maybe on my 30th birthday or another special day, I can finally uncork and savour it!

Thanks to Allan, and the whole Vineland crew for exceeding our expectations!

Henry of Pelham
The Speck brothers at HOP always go out of there way to make sure our trips there are unforgettable!! In his cowboy hat and jeans, Daniel Speck (VP of Marketing for HOP) gave a super VIP tour and everyone got to enjoy a glass Cuvee Catharine in the vineyards. He gave us a real hands on approach to the family history and the vineyards and guided us through an awesome tasting of some fantastic Reserve HOP wines. Daniel made our day showing us the family heirloom stones in the back field and truly made our experience one for the memory books.

Flat Rock Cellars
Our last winery was Flat Rock Cellars, a relatively new winery in Ontario, especially compared to veterans like Vineland & Henry of Pelham. Ed Madronich (The Owner) inspired us all to really get to know what makes Niagara so different when it comes to wine production.The team at Flat Rock hand picks ALL their vines and really cleaned up at this years Ontario Wine Awards. Their style of wine production is unbelievable and unlike any other Niagara Vineyard. Ed's approach to wine is to make it amazing, from the winery experience (and a view you could look at all day long) to the wine labels to the maintenance of the vineyards. Everything is done in detail and as meticulously as possible. They produce unbelievable wines with the consumer in mind at all times. Ed's property was just stunning and a perfect end to a really awesome day in Niagara Wine Country.

While we were at Flat Rock we had the CBC and representatives from Brock University test everyone for what kind of taster they were. Paxton was a super taster and I was a taster (your options are supertaster, taster and non-taster). It has nothing to do with how good of a wine taster you are, but everything to do with genetics and what type of tastes your palate can experience or not experience. This allows every person to experience wine differently and is becoming a new tool in the consumer experience of wine.

Our group breakdown - a few non tasters, most were tasters, and few, like Paxton, were super tasters.

Overall, it was an amazing day, with our finale Icewine Wine tasting at Vineyards Estates Wines Retail Store on Queens Quay, Complimentary Icewine Chocolates & 25% off all accessories it ended perfectly.

We couldn't have asked for better weather, a more exclusive VIP day or better wine tour attendees. Everyone seemed like they had a great day, and bought wines to prove it! One person took advantage purchasing 8 bottles! We are looking forward to our next wine tour - Be sure to sign up today for the next VIP iYellow wine tour, without the VIP price!!

Enjoy the SLIDEshow below...be sure to turn on the music icon for some great tunes!


Ange & Pax