Niagara Ontario Canada especially along the shores of Lake Ontario is gaining international recognition as a wine region as it is home to over 50 wineries. About 25 vineyards are dotted within a landscape of 15 to 20 minutes outside of Niagara Falls. So, following the Wine Route of Ontario through the countryside became a ‘must see’ destination on the morning of our journey home.
Driving through the beautiful, quiet and charming countryside was uplifting. There were way-finding signs placed in strategic locations providing easy navigation to vineyards. These vineyards were quite close together which made our journey easy. We visited two wineries. Of particular interest, we discovered variations to Mead, Honey Wine. The “Apple Pie” was super sweet and the …. was different. I preferred the good old traditional Mead made of honey!
History of Mead
Honey Wine, or “Mead”, was the first fermented beverage, and is considered the ancestor of all alcoholic drinks. Its origins date back to 7,000 BC when first discovered in clay pots in Northern China. Mead was noted throughout history as an important ceremonial drink, often drank by Saxon Warriors in traditional “Mead-Halls”. Mead was also reserved for the Royals or Nobility of society.
Mead had an important role in the ceremony in Celtic traditions, where a newly married couple would be given enough Mead for their first month of marriage. The Mead was said to bring success, happiness and fertility. Today, we know this ancient tradition as the “Honeymoon”. Even today, traditional Irish weddings bestow Mead upon newlyweds. In the tradition, honey is also gifted for a “sweet” marriage.
The wineries had a great selection of both red and white wines with a good wine tasting options – selection of 5 for $10.
However, the highlight for me was walking through rows and rows of rapes in the vineyards and encountering the different fragrances in an absolutely stunning scenery.