After leaving the falls, I decided to take my time getting to Ottawa, so I followed some winery signs to a little town called Jordan, about 20 minutes from Niagara Falls.
On the first main road I came to, I discovered a cheese shop, The Upper Canada Cheese Co. I love cheese, so of course I couldn’t resist. I pulled into the parking lot and went in the store.
While I was there, I sampled two cheddars, a dry-ish goat cheese, and an OKA-like cheese called Niagara Gold. I definitely remember liking all of them, but I especially liked a wood-smoked cheddar and the Niagara Gold, which I bought some of for the road.
Afterwards, I asked the lady behind the counter which winery was the best to check out, and she handed me a map of the town and circled one a few miles away.
I of course got a little lost, did some loops, and finally arrived at Malivoire Winery about 30 minutes later. I passed Wayne Gretzky’s Estate winery on the way there (OK, so you’re a sports celebrity…next step: open a winery). I didn’t stop at Gretzky’s Estate because the woman at Upper Canada Cheese said that his winery is not as established as some of the others. I would also imagine that she’d rather I gave my business to a locally grown company instead of to a celebrity who makes millions of dollars a year.
I’m no wine expert, but I’m glad I had already sampled some wineries in Quebec. However, I have still come to the conclusion that Canada is just not the best place to have a winery. Quebec is known for its ice wines (very sweet dessert wines), but its normal wine tends to be more sour and acidic tasting (it’s almost impossible to find a decent tasting wine for under $25 in Montreal probably why Sangria became my drink of choice).
I’m not sure that Ontario is known for any kind of wine, but this particular estate was very clearly trying to come up with something different. Don’t get me wrong, I think its important to try new things, but it’s also nice to have the option to revert to a classic if need be.
I found Malivoire’s reds to be too sweet for me, almost syrupy. Of the two whites I tried, the only one I remember, a 2008 Mottiar Chardonnay, caught my attention because I couldn’t tell whether I loved it or hated it. It had a strong, dry, oaky taste to it that isn’t normal of whites (or at least not of the whites I’ve tried) with a honey aftertaste. It was so peculiar that I ended up buying a bottle (it was cheaper after purchasing the tasting anyway). Haven’t tried it yet, but we’ll see how it tastes when I finally do pop it open.
All-in-all, I don’t know that I’d return to this winery. Besides their wines being not entirely to my taste, the tasting was fairly expensive (I think it was $10 or $15…it does include a significant discount on one bottle of wine, but that’s assuming you like them enough to buy one). Here’s to whatever suits your fancy!