Our next tour stop was Ravine Vineyard, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Although it opened to the public only two years ago, Ravine Vineyard has it all: a beautiful setting, great wines (all organic), a historic building for wine tastings, and a deli and bakery that has gained a well-deserved following for its wood-fired, stone oven breads.
We started our tour in the Woodruff House, an 1802 heritage home where the main tasting room is located (along with several tasting rooms that can be booked for private events). The assistant winemaker, Shauna White, gave us an overview of the winemaking process and answered many questions from the group. Although relatively young, Shauna is a very experienced winemaker, having grown up around a family vineyard in B.C., and then working at wineries in France, Australia, New Zealand, and Oregon (not to mention graduating from the Winery and Viticulture Technician program at Niagara College). Throughout her talk, we enjoyed several different wines from the winery.
After that, we headed next door to the Ravine Vineyard Deli and Bakery, located in a reconstructed version of the Lowrey Packing Shed (which burned down in 2006). We were seated at a long table on the porch, where we sampled more wine and had an incredible lunch prepared by the owners’ son Paul Harber and his culinary team. The Ravine Vineyard Deli and Bakery may be a casual restaurant, but the chefs behind the food are highly trained professionals who have worked under renowned chefs like Michael Stadtlander.
Before leaving, we all picked up some of Ravine Vineyard’s famous bread, and then headed to the bus a little tipsy and very, very full!