Niagara-on-the-Lake … our last day
June 21, 2022

H & I went for breakfast at Sunset Grill – yes we saw the irony of the name. They were much more friendly than the diner we went to the previous day and they had a better range for breakfast. After breakfast, we did some last minute maple syrup shopping and then headed back to the hotel to do our final packing and check out.

We wanted to do some wine tasting before we headed back to the airport. There are numerous wine estates in the area but after some research (and a few recommendations that were made to us while in Toronto), we settled on visiting Wayne Gretzky Winery. It turned out to be a good choice. The servers were very friendly and knowledgeable. You can select four wines/beers/whiskeys out of around 20 that were available for tasting. We tried not to choose the same ones so that we could share and thereby try more of their range. We did all select the Ice Wine. 99% of the ice wine comes from the Niagara-on-the-lake region. They pick the grapes between Dec-Feb and only at night and only when the temperature is between -8 and -10 C. They take the grapes immediately to be pressed and basically get one drop of juice from each grape. The bottles are therefore all small and the wine is sweet. It is somewhere between sherry and port (in my view). We bought some back with us so be nice and I might let you taste it!

The server heard our accent and when she discovered we were from South Africa she asked how I thought their wines compared to South African wine. S said if you ask my opinion on something you should be prepared to get an honest answer and that answer was ‘I don’t think they come close to SA wines’. That resulted in our server saying I needed to taste more of their red wines and went off and brought us 3 more wines to taste at no cost. Admittedly they were better than the others we tried but they lack body against SA wines. H also loved their Salted Caramel Whiskey (who knew she would become a whiskey drinker). Admittedly it is very close in look to Amarula which most of the family love so that is probably why she likes it so much.

After doing some purchasing of their wines and whiskey, we started to make our way back up to Toronto and the airport. We stopped at a Wendy’s for lunch and then again to fill up the car and then onto the airport and arrived just before 4pm.

Our flight was only at 9:55pm but we were fortunately able to check in and then go to the lounge to kill the time and have some dinner before we got onto the plane. Our flight ended up being delayed by 30 minutes as the incoming flight was stuck for 40 minutes without being able to get a gate. It is such a short flight that we all tried to go straight to sleep. We landed in London at 10:30am and it took us until 1:30pm to get into our flat. We waited 30 minutes on the tarmac to get a gate (seems to be a familiar theme) and then passport control was being manned by trainees and they took forever with each person. There is also a train and tube strike today so the traffic was terrible in central London. A few hours to kill now in London – I am working – as our flight leaves at 10:25pm tonight for Cape Town.

I will do our trip summary tomorrow when we are back home.

P, H, S & K

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