So, where were we?
Think I'd just left off with a promise to share a restaurant find with you albeit reluctantly.
On the recommendation of a friend who is completely tuned in to the Niagara wine and food scene, we were directed to REST - Stone Road Grille. Located on Stone Road just a stone's throw from downtown NOTL there's a grubby little mall. In that grubby little mall there is a little restaurant that is a giant in terms of hospitality, service, ambience and food. They also have a very impressive and intriguing wine list completely dedicated to VQA. In fact the Wine Council of Ontario awarded REST the 2008 Gold Award of Excellence for Best VQA wine list. The proprietors, Heidi and Perry Johnson have created the closest duplicate of a Sonoma experience I've ever enjoyed in anyplace other than...well...Sonoma! I encourage you to visit the site www.stoneroadgrille.com for the full story (quite amusing history) and moreso, when you're next in Wine Country make sure you plan a lunch or dinner at REST. Just do it when I'm not in town. Hate to lose a seat.
It was at REST that we made a discovery. On the wine list I noticed under the Sauvignon Blanc/Fume Blanc heading a listing "Foreign Affair 2007 Amarone Style $52." Intrigued at the idea of an Amarone style white I asked Mr. Johnson about this and he offered a generous taste. Loved it. Ordered it. Drank it and next day placed a visit to the winery on our itinerary.
The Foreign Affair Winery (www.foreignaffairwine.com) is located at Vineland Station. Kind of a challenge to find it but nothing a good navigator can't overcome. Anyway, first stop Sunday morning and met the proprietor who shared an interesting and inspiring story of how he and his wife came to produce wines in this style in the challenging and unlikely Niagara location. I encourage you to visit and chat. I think the wines are terrific not just 'cause I'm a big Amarone fan but because Foreign Affair took on a tough challenge and have succeeded. Apparently, four of their wines will appear in Vintages this fall and that's quite an achievement.
So that's the end of the Wine Country weekend post. Can't recommend this destination more highly and promise that you'll not be disappointed by the welcome you receive.