niagara’s sweet, sparkling vintages | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

niagara’s sweet, sparkling vintages

it's a winter wine fest celebration!

niagara’s sweet, sparkling vintages
scott rosts

Twenty Valley Tourism Association presents its Winter WineFest celebration January 9-11, with three days of food, wine and fun to help launch the opening weekend of the Niagara Icewine Festival.

There are three words to describe the Twenty Valley Tourism Association’s Winter WineFest celebration: Sweet. Sparkling. Sensational.

The first two refer to the wines that will be poured during the three-day event, which takes over the Main Street in Jordan Village from Jan. 9-11. Guests who make the trip can sip and savour more than 30 of Twenty Valley’s most celebrated wineries, including sweet icewine, festive sparkling wines and VQA red and white wines.

The final word, sensational, describes the entire package. From the award-winning wines, to the delicious culinary offerings courtesy of renowned local chefs, to the entertainment package, it’s all about serving up a memorable, and sensational, weekend in Jordan Village.
“We’ve got a great lineup this year, and it’s going to be another year with a great party atmosphere,” said Twenty Valley Tourism general manager J.D. Pachereva. “It’s going to be a sensational showcase of some of the best food and wine Niagara has to offer.”

To complement the Niagara flavour, celebrity chef Michael Smith will be joining the party. Smith, one of Canada’s best-known chefs, is host of Chef Michaels Kitchen, Chef Abroad and Chef at Home seen on Food Network Canada, Global and in more than 100 other countries. He’s a judge on Chopped Canada and traveled the world for his innovative new web series Lentil Hunter. The Prince Edward Island native, Canada’s best selling cookbook author, teacher, professional chef and home cook, will be conducting the Sweet, Sparkling, Sensational Dinner on Saturday night at On the Twenty Restaurant’s Windows Room, followed by brunch on Sunday morning and a cooking demo on Sunday afternoon in the kitchen stadium. He will also be doing book signings after all three events.

“We’re happy to have Michael Smith join us. He’s a renowned Canadian chef and we can’t wait to show him what the Twenty Valley has to offer,” said Pachereva.

The event will also celebrate the Twenty Valley’s own chefs, with an all-star cast ready to compete in a Culinary Street Fight — the popular black-box challenge the festival hosts. Shows will be hosted on Saturday and Sunday.

The lineup also features live stage entertainment. For the first time, organizers are going to a ticketed Friday night, with the headliner to be announced soon. They’ll be welcoming guests for what will be a country night. Tickets for the event will be $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

Saturday and Sunday’s lineup includes the annual winemakers challenge, where the winemakers test their barrel-rolling skills in a competition for the coveted golden blunnies, fashion shows and more musical acts. Saturday’s main act will be announced shortly, with organizers once again looking at bringing in a Canadian alternative indie band to help showcase the festival to a different demographic. The past two years have been a success with acts such as USS and Hollerado.

“We’re just finalizing the details for our headliners, but they’re going to be exciting. We should see some lively nights in the village,” said Pachereva, noting Saturday night will also feature the popular after-party in the wine cellar at Cave Springs Cellars. They are also hoping to have a musical headliner for that event.

Those looking to play backyard tourist and enjoy a winter weekend getaway can cozy up in one of the many inns and bed and breakfasts in the Twenty Valley for what is part of the opening weekend of the Niagara Icewine Festival. Pachereva said with unique shops, fabulous restaurants and 30 wineries to tour, there are plenty of reasons to ‘Take Twenty” and enjoy what the Twenty Valley area has to offer.

For more information, and for updates on the lineups and tickets for the Winter WineFest, you can visit or contact the Twenty Valley Tourism office at 905-562-3636.

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