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Good & Fun in Niagara

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This is the time of year when you hear and see lots of promo for local wines. It’s Ontario month at the LCBO and naturally I’m going to do my part and tell you about some of my favourite local stuff. Wines and wineries to visit.

If you’re headed to Niagara this fall here’s two locations to put on your list.

ravineRavine Winery and Café/Food Shop for the quality of food and novel  rustic setting. It’s a bit like being at a cottage that had Jamie Kennedy cooking in the basement! Sit in the food shop or on the huge wrap-around porch with views of the pizza oven and vineyards. Take home some of the best bread in Ontario. You’ll find the winery next door in a handsome, tastefully restored Georgian house. A delightful contrast to the café. Excellent, French inspired reds. Ravine reminds me of the wonderful rustic-meets-upscale places you find in California. So great to have the experience closer to home. Bravo to the Harder family for this exciting enterprise. ravinevineyard.com

elgastroAnother Niagara GOOD + FUN experience is the Gastronomo Vegabundo food truck at Flat Rock winery. El Gastro serves up delicious gourmet tacos, tapas, southeast Asian dishes, salads and desserts which you can enjoy alongside Flat Rock wines in the picnic area. Gourmet food from a truck is all the rage in the US and is now in Niagara. (Wish El Gastro was in every city – including Prince Edward County!)

Flat Rock is one of the highest elevated wineries on the Beamsville Bench, with spectacular views of the vineyards and Lake Ontario. Check out the outstanding Nadja’s Riesling ($19.95) and Sparkling Brut ($35) with a beer cap. www.flatrockcellars.com

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