The winemakers at Vin Bon, using juices from international harvests, invite customers into the winemaking process, helping them craft their own vintages without the time-consuming steps of squeezing, straining, and background-checking their own grapes. After helping guests select their juice, the winemakers monitor and blend ingredients in each batch on its journey through fermentation and filtration. In additional to their winemaking services and kits, Vin Bon sources premium juices and grapes, such as cabernet sauvignon and riesling.
When Colio Estate Winery opened in 1980, they were the first winery in the area to seek a license since prohibition was lifted. This is surprising, since these vineyards lie on the same latitude as famed wine regions in northern California and Tuscany, Italy, which indicates that the regions could have similar growing climates. The area also boasts lush, fertile soil and a growing season longer than most of Canada, making it a favorable place to ripen grapes.
Today, Colio Estate Winery produces more than 400,000 cases of wine per year, including big red wines and refreshing whites. Knowing collaboration is key in the winemaking process, winemaker Lawrence Buhler and vineyard manager Kevin Donohue work in tandem to produce high quality wines in varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests at the winery can learn about their process on tours, wander the vineyard, or recline in the outdoor pavilion to enjoy glasses of wine in the open air.
There are many reasons people choose to brew their own wine and beer: it's a great way to learn about what goes into your favourite drink, it can make you feel happy and proud when your creation turns out well, and at a very basic level, it's fun to try something new.
Haus Of Vine lets guests experience all of those things with its winemaking and beer-brewing experiences. It provides visitors with all the knowledge, gear, and ingredients needed for crafting the perfect dry or fruit wine or all-grain beer, whether it's a cream ale, IPA, stout, or light Canadian lager.
After learning how the process works, visitors get a chance to work with their wine or beer kit and create their own concoctions. Visitors return to Haus Of Vine after the fermentation process, at which point they can bottle and cork their creations or simply pour them into their pockets before taking them home.
Recently featured on Beerhogger, Cameron’s Brewing Company culls all-natural ingredients to brew premium ales and lagers while warmly welcoming the public to brewery tours and beer tastings. Bring a guest to explore Cameron’s 10,000-square-foot, 30 hectolitre brewing facility, mapping out two kilometres of ale-bustling pipes and challenging stainless steel vats to staring contests. Each tour provides a tasting of Cameron’s four signature potables: Cameron’s lager, Cameron’s cream ale, Cameron’s auburn ale, and Cameron’s dark 266, the Canadian Brewing Awards’ 2010 North American–style dark lager gold medal winner. At the conclusion of each tour, newly appointed sud-sophomores can stop into Cameron’s onsite retail store to select some expertly crafted brews to take home or perform a literal rendition of "99 Bottles of Beer."
Garnering the title of Best Wine Bar in Toronto from Now magazine, Fat Cat Wine Bar upholds its reputation with artful small plates and a carefully curated selection of wines. The bottle vault includes harvests from Europe, Australia, and America, all approved by wine-enthusiast owner Mathew Sutherland.
Outside on the sun-dappled patio, pots simmer with cheese fondue, beckoning slices of bread to succumb to a dripping, melty fate. Platters of escargot showcase accents of roasted mushrooms, leek, and speck, while the Fat Cat sausage is joined by a warm truffled potato salad. For dessert, apple cobbler arrives crowned with whipped cream, and Grand Marnier strawberries underscore the richness of a dense chocolate brownie. Fat Cat Wine Bar upholds modest elegance with wooden tables, a granite-top bar, and restroom signs recovered from the original court of Versailles.
Lists of seasonally inspired cheeses, meats, and garnishes are printed in chalk on a board titled "Picnic Platters," tempting guests to design their own charcuterie spreads or delegate control to a knowledgeable staff member. PicNic Wine Bar has something for everyone, earning it a spot on Vacay's 2012 list of Canada's top 50 restaurants. Flare magazine also deemed the eatery a Toronto hot spot, saying, "the combinations are endless."
PicNic's widespread appeal is due to more than just their picnic platters. Guests can select from more than 30 wines by the glass, as well as from a handful of bottled and draught beers. Chefs also craft more elaborate small and large plates of citrus-glazed pork belly and mackerel fillets with garlic and paprika, served at long, communal tables that add sophistication to picnic-style dining.