Food & Wine
Niagara Winetasting: Ravine Vineyard & Restaurant
The Niagara trip report continues…The first stop on my day of Niagara wine tasting was Ravine Vineyard in St. Davids, just 15 minutes north of Niagara Falls and adjacent to several neighborhoods.
While not much has been written about the Niagara wine regions, Ravine Vineyard kept coming up in reviews of better wines and their history appealed to me. Like my favorite winery in Virginia, it had been a family farm for 100+ years, evolving into a vineyard as a means of keeping it in the family.
And it turns out St David’s is a great location for wine, a micro climate that gets more days of sun than the neighboring regions. It’s $5 to taste 3 wines, waived with the purchase of a bottle. With an eye to trying as many wines as possible, we shared tastings which gave me a chance to try 3 of their whites and 3 of their reds.
The Savignon Blanc was crisp and aromatic, unsurprisingly the off-dry Riesling was quite good, and the Cabernet Rose made of 100% Cab Franc was light and fresh.
But it was the reds I was most interested in as I’d heard the least about them. I was lucky enough to have BethAnne doing my tasting. Very knowledgeable about Ravine and as a somme, wine in general.
She first directed my attention to the 2013 Sand & Gravel Redcoat, a blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Cab Sav. At $17.95, a good value with a lot of flavor and structure for an “every day wine.”
Next was the 2013 Ravine Merlot, a lovely wine with lots of expression, and then my favorite, the 2015 Ravine Cabernet Franc. To be so young it is already a beautiful smooth wine with lots of smoke and berries.
And as a bonus, I also got to try the 2014 Cab Sav, also lovely and rich. But it was the Cabernet Franc that really caught my fancy.
Any time I get a great person pouring for me I like to ask their recommendations for other wineries. And I’m glad I did! Though my research had turned up some of the wineries BethAnne recommended, I would have missed out on some great ones and she was kind enough to give me an overview of the area.
The tasting was a little rushed at the end since we had made last minute reservations at the Ravine Restaurant for noon. If you’re interested in the restaurant, I highly recommend making advance reservations on the weekends!
So as soon as it finished, we headed to the adjacent building.
Our table was in the middle of a breezeway, shady and cool. With the low humidity, it felt like a perfect day in Napa wine country overlooking the vines.
The menu featured all local fare, reasonably priced. The wine menu had Ravine and other local wines by the glass or bottle. Decided to try the half bottle of Chardonnay Musque which was amazing – crisp tropical fruit and a little bit of effervescence which complimented the light sweetness and paired well with food.
I couldn’t resist trying the soup of the day – a creamy roasted zucchini paired with a chive muffin.
The bread and fresh butter sprinkled with chunks of salt was dangerously good!
The grilled pork tenderloin with cornbread, Niagara cherries, and sweet pea puree was good though a little on the dry side.
But I was blown away by the fresh Ontario trout fillet and caper, scallion, and dill potato salad which was massive in its portions, perfect for a day of wine tasting.
Great wines, great food, beautiful settings. I could have sat on their patio all day!
If you’re picking just one winery close to Niagara Falls to visit, I’d go here.
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Hotel Review: Four Points Fallsview Niagara Falls
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Hotel Review: Suite Upgrade at Sheraton on the Falls
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