Niagara’s grape growers and winemakers are a resilient bunch. If late spring frosts threaten their vines, they’ll call in the helicopters to keep the cool air from settling. When flocks of birds try to eat their grapes, they break out their brigade of bangers to frighten them away.
While there’s no doubt that Grape & Wine Festival season looks a little different for 2020, following the lead of Niagara’s resilient grape growers and winemakers can inspire some creative workarounds for fall fun.
Bring The Party To Your Porch
Even though the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival Grande Parade won’t be taking over the streets of downtown St. Catharines this fall, celebrating the harvest with Niagara’s unmatched level of community pride is still very much a go!
The Meridian Porch Parade, on Saturday, September 26th , invites all of Niagara to show off their Grape & Wine spirit by decorating their porches, patios, or storefronts with streamers, flowers, balloons, sidewalk chalk… you name it! There are some amazing prizes to recognize the most spirited in the community, including the chance to win a mini parade down your street! You can take in Niagara’s impressive array of porch displays by tuning in to the Meridian Porch Parade livestream broadcast starting at 1pm on September 26th.
Turn Up The Volume On Live Local Music
The Grape & Wine soundtrack lives on this fall with Centre Stage Saturdays, a series of livestreamed concerts for you to enjoy safely at home and physically distanced gatherings at local wineries and restaurants on September 19 and 26. Niagara wineries are getting in on the fun by creating Grape & Wine packs that will include a selection of wine and themed goodies to help bring the fun of the festival to your own backyard.
Log Your Grape & Wine Miles
If running the annual Grape & Wine road race is a favourite fall tradition, simply switch up the route for your morning miles. Run Niagara is offering a free 5K series on Saturday mornings along the Welland Canal through October 25. Be sure to register in advance.
DIY A Picnic In The Park
We’ll all miss Montebello Park’s Grape & Wine festivities this year, but at the same time it presents a great opportunity to DIY your own fall picnic in the park. Take advantage of the PickUp St. Catharines directory to get the most up-to-date list of the city’s restaurants offering takeout. Order something delicious to snack on at a local park. In addition to the shady spaces at Montebello Park, Rotary Park, Burgoyne Woods, Jaycee Gardens Park, Lakeside Park and Charles Daley Park are all great venues for a leisurely fall afternoon.
The all-new St. Paul and James St. wine garden is another great option for a weekend picnic. Order some takeout, grab a picnic table, choose from a great selection of VQA wines and local craft beer and enjoy music and livestreamed concerts on Fridays and Saturdays in September from 5 pm – 10 pm.
Keep On Discovering Niagara Wineries All Fall
The Grape & Wine Discovery Pass is a fantastic way to explore Niagara’s wineries, but the touring fun doesn’t have to stop at the end of September. Borrow a little inspiration from the Grape & Wine’s Discovery Pass touring routes to create your own adventure in October, November and December:
The Grape & Wine Valley Venture Route showcases:
The Grape & Wine Views From The Twenty Route showcases:
Blend Some Other Beverages Into The Mix
This Grape and Wine season, share a little love with our region’s other libations. Make a visit out to Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers to pick up some of their newest product introductions. From a signature line of cocktail syrups to pre-mixed Negronis and Manhattans, Dillon’s always seems to be cooking up a fresh batch of something!
Niagara’s craft breweries and cideries also offer some fantastic fall sipping. Taste the newest autumn beer additions at Bench Brewing, Lock Street Brewing Company, Cold Break Brewing and Merchant Ale House. Stock up on crisp ciders at Fielding Craft Cider, Vieni, Tawse, Redstone and Rood Apples.
To help protect the health of yourself and others, please remember to bring and wear your face mask, wash and sanitize your hands regularly and practice physical distancing of at least 2 m/ 6 ft. Contacting the places you wish to visit in advance is recommended to check to see if reservations are required.