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Winery Tastings

Pittsburgh, PA
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61 posts
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Winery Tastings

Hello. My husband and I are spending the weekend at NOTL for our first anniversary. We frequent many wineries in our region (Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York) and very vew of them charge for tastings. From what I understand, many wineries in NOTL charge. Does anyone know of any that do not charge? Also, what is the average price for these tastings? Is it a charge to taste per winery or per serving?


London, Canada
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1. Re: Winery Tastings

Hi lilmnm~It varies from winery to winery. The charge is per tasting, unless you've paid for a tour and then the tasting is included.

The range is from small boutique wineries like Stratus~

"Stratus wines are sampled in comparative ‘flights’ of three wines and served in premium crystal stemware. Flights are $10."

To a much larger winery like Peller which normally does not charge. Often the tastings are $2.00 each if the winery charges. Some post the fee, but many will waive it if you are buying wine from them.

Have a look here for more specifics:



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2,504 posts
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2. Re: Winery Tastings

I think it has to do with our liquor laws. Can't give away alcoholic drinks for free, so some kind of minimal charge.

When I've gone, there's a fee for tour and few tastings. Often a small charge for premium drinks like Ice Wine.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Winery Tastings

Hi lilmnm,

Good advice so far... yes part of it is Ontario's archaic liquor laws. As I know it, the law states that you can only have 2 oz pours, and 3 per winery. As the Niagara Wine Region is smack dab in the middle of a major tourist centre... that means there is a huge number of tourists and college types coming thru for the tours therefore the Wineries generally charge... it is either built into the Tour Fee (with 3 Free Tasting) or else it is a FREE Tour with tastings extra.

As already said, if you are serious about purchasing (so many people are not) most places will waive the tasting fee. Something along the lines of a "credit" with purchase... or if it appears you have any serious wine knowlege, or interest in purchasing.

The exception is ice wine... because it is sooooo expensive and labour intensive to make, everyone charges for that expect to pay any where from $ 2 to $ 5 (and a $ 2 pour could very well be an ounce... ice wine is like cognac far more intense than table wine).

Then of course there is the occasional spot that will not waive any charges (even with purchase)... Strewn sadly was like that on my last visit.

All in all... no set rule... and in some cases it seems to be hit or miss depending on the day.

My partner and I like to share our tastings... this does two things, gives us more variety, and also makes the liquor go farther. So depending on our interests we'll either share the 3 or go with the 6 we are entitled to as a couple. Going with 3 is the usual... that way by the end of the day, we are not suffering from sensory overload (of course one can always spit... as spitoons are provided).

HaHaHa... Spit ya say, ya right.



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105 posts
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4. Re: Winery Tastings

We found samples from $1 to $2 to $7. There are coupons in the free tourist map for free samplings of icewine.

We also found that sharing a tasting sample was more than enough. And when we purchased wine, sometimes the samples were gratis.

Enjoy! They are really fine.

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5. Re: Winery Tastings

If you are interested in Ice Wine, the Ice House on Niagara Parkway Road (see the map on the Wines of Ontario official site: http://winesofontario.org) offers a free tasting of its 2005 Northern Ice Vidal Blanc daily in its tasting room. I am currently planning a trip myself and just confirmed this with them.

Toronto, Canada
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91 posts
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6. Re: Winery Tastings

If you want Ice Wine dont forget to visit Joseph's Estate winery on Niagara Stone Rd at East West Line, Dr Joseph Pohorly was the first to make ice wine in North America and still has the first press at the winery, he is one of the original 3 winery owners in the Niagara Region and a very nice man too! Also Pillitteri Estates is just down the street and they are the biggest Canadian Ice WIne producer these days.

Owen Sound, Canada
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7. Re: Winery Tastings

We found that the further away from NOTL you went, the more you found wineries that did not charge. Check out winesofontario.org/content/downloads/officia… to see a map of the wineries. Areas like Vineland and Beamsville have great winreries, and all were free when we tasted last summer.

Brampton, Canada
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8. Re: Winery Tastings

Another interesting stop would be Konzelmann Estates. They produce very nice icewines, including a yummy Cab ice. Tasting was complimentary with purchase. The Vidal is their best.


9. Re: Winery Tastings

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