When visiting Ontario’s famous wine region Niagara-on-the-Lake, a must-visit winery is the Wayne Gretzky Estates. Before my visit, I must admit I was relucent to go; as someone who isn’t big into hockey. I didn’t think this winery was targeted for me. Sure, I knew who the legendary hockey player was, but I wasn’t going to excited by seeing hockey paraphernalia.
So with that said, let me say it was one of my all-time favourite wineries to visit in the region. Unlike many other winery tours I’ve done, this one felt casual and inviting. The laid back atmosphere was somewhere you wanted to linger.
What is unique about Wayne Gretzky Estates is when you enter, there are two distinct sides, the beer and spirits are and the winery side (plus the outdoor area).
For my first visit, I decided to give the Sensory Lab tour a try. On this tour, the concept was to build your knowledge of wine through guided tastings. Some of the activities had you tasting wine blindfolded, or using different glasses to see how that might change your experience of the wine. While later in the tour, we got to experiment with wine paired with food.
Our guide was exceptional, truly one of the best I’ve ever had. As someone who has gone on wine tours in the top wine regions of the world like Bordeaux and Napa Valley, that is saying something! She kept the entire 45-minute session fun while allowing people of a broad spectrum of knowledge to enjoy the experience.
I took the class with a good friend, who was up for the challenge of her first wine tasting. While I’ve been doing wine tastings for years, but in the end, we both left joyful and feeling like we learned so much.
In fact, we loved the experience so much it sparked my friend to buy the book used in the class and plan a wine tasting party with my friends.
For me, the standout experience was at the end, we got to try whiskey. For me, it was eye-opening as I never drink whiskey unless it is mixed into cocktails (i.e., a whiskey sour), so I was surprised to discover how much I enjoy it.
Overall I thought the experience was of excellent value for $39 as you got to try so many different drinks. But if you are one of the Wine Club Members, it is a steal at only $19.50!
After my tour, I decided to explore to see what else was offered. So I headed to the more lively whiskey and beer side. Here the bartender recommendation I try their Canadian cream liqueur. The best way I can describe it, is Baileys but oh so much better. It tastes creamer, and you dangerously don’t taste the alcohol as much – even though it is there.
In addition to the interior spaces, there was also a large outdoor skating rink. While in the summer, I was told there are a spacious beer garden and areas where you can play games with friends.
Next time I visit, I certainly want to try some of the other tours like the cocktail mixing class.
Wine Tour At Wayne Gretzky Estates
Want to learn to learn more about the tours offered? You can visit their website for more details.