A fresh crop of programming updates for this year’s Grape & Wine Festival are proving that harvest season in Niagara is always a cause for celebration, no matter what. In addition to the revamped parades and at-home concert experiences announced earlier this summer, Niagara Grape & Wine Festival has rolled out new options for socially distanced sipping and an all-new brunch event to kick off the festivities.
Fall Discovery Pass ushers in easier socially distanced sipping
Sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival brings together 20 different Niagara wineries and this year will reinvent the Grape & Wine Discovery Pass touring program. The new program offers visitors a safe, easy and interactive option for curating their September wine country adventures. With strict adherence to the use of personal protective equipment, enhanced disinfection processes, and an all-new reservation system available exclusively to Discovery Pass holders, guests can bypass lines and busy tasting rooms. Many of the 20 different Discovery Pass experiences, which include a wine tasting paired with world-class seasonal cuisine from Niagara’s talented chefs, will be held outside or in private tasting areas.
In addition, Discovery Pass holders will be able to access a collection of self-guided virtual winery tours. The online content, which can be accessed either at home or at the winery, includes winemaker tasting notes, vineyard updates, interesting stories about the wineries and more.
Discovery Passes, which are valid Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from September 11 through 27, are available for online purchase at www.niagarawinefestival.com now and are selling quickly. Passes are $49 +HST and include eight wine and culinary experiences that can be selected from 20 different wineries. A food-only Driver’s Pass option is available for $39 +HST. Due to the expected popularity of the program, Discovery Pass holders are encouraged to book their tastings well in advance.
RBC Brunch in Your Backyard event serves up wine, food and fun in all-new at-home experience
The two Niagara chefs who wowed guests at the 2019 RBC Brunch in the Vineyard are back at it this year with a creative take on the weekend’s most leisurely meal. Erik Peacock (Wellington Court) and Ray Sygeco (incoho) will each create a signature brunch basket for two. The baskets will include a bottle of VQA sparkling wine, prepared gourmet brunch goodies and featured ingredients so participants can create something delicious on their own while watching a chef-led Zoom cooking class. The baskets will be available for pickup on Saturday, August 29 and the cooking classes will take place on Sunday, August 30. Complete menus will be posted to www.niagarawinefestival.com later this week.
According to Niagara Grape & Wine Festival Executive Director, Dorian Anderson, “With RBC’s continued collaboration, we’re offering Niagara residents and Ontario wine lovers safe and interactive new ways to enjoy and support Niagara’s wineries and food service industry at a time when they really need us.”
“Supporting small and local businesses in our communities is key to Canada’s economic recovery during this challenging time,” said David Day, Vice-President, Commercial Financial Services, Niagara Market, RBC. “The many vibrant Niagara Region wineries are a vital part of Ontario’s local business landscape and we’re excited to be a part of this year’s reimagined Festival that’s sure to showcase the abundance of talent and passion that can be found here.”