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This is part of our Niagara Local Profiles where we look at the wonderful wineries of the Niagara Region. This is taking a look at Legends Estates Winery.
Visiting the wineries in the Niagara Region is one of my favourite things to do. Yes, I know, I know, I’ve mentioned it so many times here before. I love wine but more than that, I love wineries. The landscape – both the beautifully designed gardens surrounding many wineries and the natural landscape where the vines grow. I love learning the different stories of how each winery came to be; how the wines were developed; and how the geographic conditions of the area determine what grapes grow best. Because the Niagara Region is one of my favourite areas and the spot I am happy to call home I am excited to continue to share Niagara Local Profiles here on the blog where I highlight wineries, restaurants, and places to stay. SO…here you have it! The stop on our Niagara winery tour today – Legends Winery.
A few weeks ago the folks at Legends Estates Winery reached out to me to see if I was interested in a visit. The timing could not have been more perfect as I was in the early brainstorming phase of how I could incorporate wineries into the blog. Better yet, this was a winery I had never been to…WHAT?! Needless to say, I was eager to try a new winery in the Bench area.
*Side Note: for those not familiar with the Niagara Region there are 2 main wine areas located about half an hour apart. The first are the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake which you have more likely heard of and the second area is called ‘The Bench’. These wineries are located in Beamsville, Vineland, Jordan and Grimsby.
It was a dreary day that Dan and I visited Legends Estates Winery but it was cozy inside. Legends is tucked away on the end of a dead end street, hence why I have never seen or been to it before. When we pulled up we were shocked that they were RIGHT on the lake. The natural landscape and backdrop sets the tone for the beautiful outdoor weddings that Legends hosts all summer long with a ceremony gazebo right on the lake. Since it was such a blah February day and so cold outside, we hurried in to try some wine. I am eager to come back in the summer though because I know out in the vineyard is where this place is the most magical.
We met with Serge Papineau, the winemaker at Legends Estates Winery. He kindly spent the entire afternoon with us trying many of their different wines. We started with all the whites and a sparkling followed by a tour of the barrels. Serge is the only winemaker at Legends and makes, tries, and perfects each of the wines himself. He prefers dry wines and the pride of Legends is their different varietals that aren’t offered everywhere in the region such as their white Semillion and red Petit Verdot. Due to the location right on the water, the soil is different from the rest of the region allowing them to grow some different grapes. All of their wines are made from grapes grown on site!
Every wine we tried was unique and delicious. Their chardonnay was a platinum winner last year. As a testament to that wine, Dan and I (both non-chardonnay fans), bought a bottle because we enjoyed it so much.
We took a walk through the impressive barrel room (like…LOOK at that barrel below!). You could tell Serge was in his element here. This is the area where he creates different wines and watches them while they age. When I asked him ‘How do you know when the wine is ready?’ he simply responded ‘It lets you know’. We even tried some Sauvignon Blanc (my favourite wine of the day) right from the barrel and some merlot straight from the huge barrel below too. The flavours of these not yet fully fermented wines were so interesting.
We finished off the day by trying the reds. I truly enjoyed tasting and learning about all the reds and I admit to not being a red wine drinker! If you are planning a wine tour in the Bench area I encourage you to venture toward the Lake in Beamsville and pop into Legends. Their vast offerings do not disspoint!
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