The Canadian, VIA Rail’s cross-country route, will take passengers to sample Canadian red and white wines from Niagara Ontario, Okanagan Valley British Columbia, and Okanagan, British Columbia and enjoy local cuisine.
Niagara-on-the-Lake and the neighboring Twenty Valley region, both accessible by train from Toronto, offer wineries such as Lailey Vineyard. Travelers can also visit the wineries on their own, drive with local wine tour operators or join VIA Rail on a two-night Niagara tour from Toronto that features private tastings at a number wineries, a three-course gourmet lunch with wine pairings at the Peninsula Ridge Winery in Beamsville and a choice of accommodations.
Guests can eat fruit off the vine, then sample new wine straight from the barrel and compare it to the finished wine. Rosewood Estates Winery in Beamsville invites visitors to learn about bee-keeping and see how honey, meads (honey wines) and traditional wines are made. Visitors can sample their handcrafted wines and learn about organic wines at Tawse Winery in Vineland.
Niagara Wine Festival will also be held on Sept. 14-29, 2013, bringing two weeks of parades, races, entertainment and special culinary and wine tasting opportunities.
British Columbia is also winning awards for its quality wines. The VIA Rail station at Kamloops is VIA Rail’s gateway to the Okanagan Valley, where visitors can learn about the Osoyoos Indian people.
Painted Rock Estate Winery in Penticton is unveiling a new tasting lounge this summer. Nearby Elephant Island Orchard Wines offers free tastings of its wines made from various non-grape fruits. For breakfast or dinner, guest can make reservations with Road 13 Vineyards in Oliver, while the nearby Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate offers samplings of wines found only there.
Fall Okanagan Wine Festival will be held on Oct. 4-14, when the region celebrates the harvest with more than 165 events around the valley, from gourmet meals in the vineyards to wine-pairing with Okanagan chefs.