Trius Winery

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while, you probably know that I love wine. Not only do I love relaxing with a glass of wine at home or over dinner with friends, I love touring wineries and learning about the process of wine production. Here in Ontario, between Niagara and Prince Edward County, we’re lucky to have so many wineries at which we can do just that! In the summer, there’s nothing I love more than spending an afternoon touring different vineyards, but during the winter months, the options for us winery-hoppers are a bit more limited. Luckily, there are some wineries that offer year-round tours which can be enjoyed regardless of the temperatures outside. One of those happens to be Trius Winery.

Located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Trius is an internationally renowned winery that’s known for their award-winning restaurant, Instagram-worthy tours and acclaimed portfolio of wines, most notably their Trius Red. One of Canada’s most famous wines, Trius Red is a Bordeaux blend that was recognized as the Best Red Wine in the World in 1991 – the first Canadian vintage to ever receive the honour. Last fall, my company was planning their annual offsite: a two-day retreat where we meet to plan and strategize for the upcoming year, while also enjoying some fun socials and team-building activities. My boss was choosing between a few different wine tours and, knowing that I’m a local winery aficionado, asked for my recommendation. My vote was for Trius! Even though I hadn’t yet been, I’d seen photos of their tours all over Instagram and had always wanted to go. So, after a day of meetings, our team headed to Trius for some – pardon the pun – wine-down time.

Trius describes their wine tour as “the most Instagrammable winery tour on the planet” and, after taking part, I’d have to agree! The first stop on our tour was the Rosé Lookout: an open-air lookout tower boasting panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards. We all enjoyed a glass of Trius Rosé while our informative and humorous tour guide, Barry, told us about the history of the vineyard and its unique location on the Niagara Escarpment. (Note that this is the only part of the tour that takes place outdoors.) Before heading inside for the rest of the tour, we took a group photo with the “Rosé All Day” flower wall (you can see why this spot is so popular with bridal parties!)

Next, we headed down to The Sparkling Cellar, Canada’s largest underground sparkling wine cellar. Barry talked about the importance of aroma when it comes to wine tasting, and we tested our own olfactory capabilities by smelling scents from different atomizers and trying to guess each one. We then watched Barry saber a bottle of sparkling wine. Sabering is exactly what it sounds like: opening a bottle of bubbly with a saber! The technique dates back to Napoleon’s reign, when his armies would celebrate their victories with champagne. I have to say this is harder than it looks – I was once handed a bottle of champagne to saber at The Parlour and gave it my best shot – more than a few times – before giving up and handing it over to the server. But hey, if you can master it…it’s one heck of a party trick!

To finish up, we headed into what’s arguably the most photo-worthy spot of the Trius Tour: The Sparkling House. This space features a glamorous gold tasting bar, end tables shaped like wine corks, pink walls lined with mirrored signs, a gold swing big enough for two, and a balloon-covered clawfoot bathtub under a pink neon sign. Here, we enjoyed another glass of bubbly paired with an unexpected but delicious treat: cotton candy! And of course, my colleagues and I couldn’t resist piling into the bathtub for some silly photos. Our team works hard and we also play hard!

After our tour, we headed into a private dining room for a four-course dinner and a black glass wine tasting. This is where we teamed up to taste different wines in an opaque black glass, and had to guess which variety of grape we were sipping on. Though I was on the losing team (don’t rub it in!) getting to taste a variety of delicious wines sure sounds like a winning experience to me!

Our meal began with appetizers of chicken liver parfait and a fall greens salad, and was followed by a main course of locally sourced beef striploin served with confit duck fat potatoes, roasted carrots, icewine red cabbage, charred onions and labneh. For dessert, we enjoyed a gourmet, grown-up take on the PB&J: peanut butter cake topped with Concord grape jelly, grape mousse, peanut butter swiss cream and pieces of peanut brittle.

If you’re looking for a fun, educational and aesthetically pleasing wine tour, I definitely recommend checking out Trius! The Trius Tour is $45 per person ($22.50 if you’re a Wine Club member) and can be booked online. And if you’re in the mood for a gourmet meal, be sure to make a reservation at their restaurant as well – our dinner was delicious and everything was served so beautifully!

Do you have a favourite Ontario winery tour to recommend?

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