The main heart of the event is located in historic downtown Montebello Park, St. Catharines, where guests can enjoy the entire day in the sunshine.
Local vendors are situated around the perimeter, while tents, as well as a few tables and chairs are provided for your relaxing leisure. Should you plan to attend on the weekend, I would suggest bringing your own chairs and/or blanket, as seating maybe limited during the busier times.
General event admission is free, but attendees can purchase tokens near park entrances to be traded with vendors for food items or wines by the sample, glass or bottle. You can also purchase the The Discovery Pass providing access to the Niagara Wine Route and entry into winery visits, which include wine and culinary pairings throughout the festival.
All in all, it is a terrific event for people of all ages and an excellent idea if you are looking for a day trip, including various kid friendly areas providing tailored activities, to an outstanding array of tasty grapes for adults.
After spending much of the day sampling and exploring, I have come across some terrific local wines I would recommend you pick-up try:
Creekside Estate - Laura White (a blended wine with a little zest and crisp fruit flavours)
Flat Rock Cellars - Riesling (Fragrant smellwith noticeable flavours of lemon and lime)
Riverview – Fontana Dolce (Semi-sweet, with flavors of candied fruit)
Southbrook – Shiraz (Excellent dry taste with a full body of earthy flavour)
Wayne Gretzky – Cabernet-Merlot (Blend of mixed berries, black plums, smoky flavour and chocolate).
Upcoming local festivals to mark on your calendar!
Markham, Markham Fair - Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, 2011
Bowmanville, Apple Fest - Oct. 15, 2011
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Taste the Season - Nov. 5-27, 2011
Toronto, Gourmet Food & Wine Expo - Nov.17-20, 2011
Niagara, Niagara Icewine Festival – Jan. 13-29, 2012