Snowshoeing, with a little vino

My husband and I have been talking, for AGES, about getting a small group of friends together for a day trip down to Niagara’s wine region. NOTHING has happened on that front. But a few weeks ago I was sitting with a group of women, all moms, when one of them asked if anyone would be interested in going on a snowshoeing winery tour. One Doodle poll and a few Pay pal exchanges later, 10 of us were sitting on a small rented bus at 9:30am yesterday morning, ready to go. Before we started off, our amazing organizer handed out a little champagne with OJ and a napkin to each of us. Why was it so easy to get a group of women to commit to a day-long trip when my couples friends and I couldn’t do more than lip service to the idea? The napkin I was handed explained it all. Sometimes “momma needs some wine”.

It’s the perfect day trip really. Niagara’s wine region is only a 1.5 hour drive from where we live and, once there, you have an abundance of wineries to choose from. Our trip had us heading to Thirty Bench Wine Makers to try our hand (well, feet really) at snowshoeing through their vineyard and tasting some of their wines.Thirty Bench Winery

Thirty Bench, located in the small appellation called the Beamsville Bench, specializes in ‘small lot’ winemaking. As soon as we arrived the tasting began. We warmed ourselves up for a few minutes inside and tried one of their signature Riesling’s before meeting our guide and heading outside to strap on our snowshoes. It was time to experience a little ‘Canadian winter and wine pairing’.

I hadn’t been snowshoeing before and was looking forward to trying IT even more than the wine. With 30 people crunching their way up the rows of vines, it wasn’t the quietest of tours but it was a lot of fun. I felt like I was working off each sip of wine as we headed down another section of the vineyard toward our next tasting.

After making tracks around much of the winery and tasting 3 more Rieslings, we headed back towards the main building to gather around the outdoor fire pits to warm ourselves. Mingling around the fire we tasted one final wine, enjoyed a hot bowl of soup and got to know each other just a little better. Wine has a way of getting women chatting.

Mingling around the fire with our final wine tasting.

Mingling around the fire with our final wine tasting.

Not ones to cut a day trip short, we decided to head to a neighbouring winery for a few more tastings before loading ourselves back onto our bus with our ‘souvenirs’. As we headed out of town the snacks started circulating and the chatter continued. We all reeked of ‘campfire’ smoke but it was all good, these mommas had their wine.

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