Dig Our Roots, a celebration of the birthplace of modern Canadian winemaking, is returning to Niagara-on-the-Lake after a four-year break.
Twenty-one wineries will be participating in a wine-tasting event over one weekend mid-October at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum, while several wineries will be offering specialized tastings and tours at their sites at the same time.
“Dig Our Roots is a celebration of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s history of grape growing and award-winning winemaking heritage,” said Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake chair Madison Vine. “Each bottle poured at the event carries the story of our terroir and the expertise of our winemakers.”
The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake is a self-funded marketing organization that, for more than 25 years, has existed to tell the story of their iconic wines. All members are committed to serving 100 per cent VQA wines in signature programs.
Grapes grown in Niagara-on-the-Lake are special, said Brianne Hawley, marketing manager of Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Appellation, the term that refers to the specific place a grape is grown, has been classified by VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario) as a distinct area. Within the larger appellation are sub appellations of the Niagara River, Niagara Lakeshore, Four Mile Creek and St. Davids Bench.
Geology, soil, elevations and variations in temperature and precipitation all have an effect on the wines being produced, but the main factors that influence Niagara-on-the-Lake wines in relation to other wine-growing regions are our proximity to water and the climate that creates for our grapes.
“Dig Our Roots is a reimagined event,” said Hawley. “The wineries really want to display and show everybody how important our appellation is, how important the land is where we grow our grapes, and how that comes out in our wine.”
“We’ve added an additional layer of history by hosting the event at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum,” said Vine. “As you indulge in the creations of our wineries, you’re surrounded by the echoes of the past, a reminder of the pioneering spirit that laid the foundation for our vibrant wine region.”
“You don’t often get 21 wineries in the same room,” said Hawley. “We’re all coming together into one room where you can really taste, and we’re going to have over 75 wines at the event.”
Wineries will also be hosting events at their sites throughout the weekend. Guests will be able to sip at Dig Our Roots at the museum, and could sign up for other events at other properties, said Hawley.
“Those will be specialized tastings along the same idea as premium VQA, or perhaps meeting with a winemaker, perhaps going into the vineyard during harvest.”
Tickets to Dig Our Roots at the Museum are $90, and include tastings, live music and light food fare. Three tasting sessions are available throughout Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13 and 14.
Tickets are available at wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com.
Information for Dig Our Roots site-specific winery experiences can also be found on the website.