10.12.2006

tastings

The Niagara wine region is lovely. It reminded us both of upstate New York, which makes sense, since it's pretty much the same land mass. The foliage, the country roads, the farm stands, small towns and old churches - it was all very familiar, in a very good way. And so nearby! That's extra nice. We can pop down there to buy some wine any day, and I'm sure we will.

Yesterday it was gray and off-and-on drizzly, but not too prohibitive, and today it cleared up and got cold. The foliage was beautiful. This is my favourite time of year, and I love to be outside, drinking it in. (I guess that's another unconscious pun?)

On Wednesday we went to many wineries and sampled many wines, enough that my ordinarily great navigational skills took a nap and we got lost a few times. Nothing major, just a few missed turns and some extra back-and-forth driving. But enough that I was proving myself all day today with extra back-road short cuts.

Most of the wineries we visited were in the Grimsby/Beamsville/Vineland area (Hi, Vera!). By the time we got out to Niagara-On-The-Lake, we were three sheets to the wind and in need of a nap.

The inn was very nice, but the town itself, which everyone says is so great, is just too touristy for us. We prefer the towns no one talks about. We had dinner at Strewn, a winery with a good restaurant.

This morning we took in Fort George, complete with musket demonstration and tour. It's so different to hear history from a Canadian point of view! ("The Americans were preparing, and we could see them across the river...") As you know, I love history, and I generally find the interpretative guides fascinating. Imagine fighting with a weapon that takes 15 seconds to load, blackens your hands, can't be used in the rain, and has only a slim chance of hitting its target.

After the Fort, we drove on a beautiful stretch of the Wine Route right along the Niagara River. Passing an old stone building, I saw a sign: "Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum". Newspaper museum?? Screeech, one-eighty, where do we park. A newspaper museum other than the one Allan keeps in the basement! It's this place. Like most early newspapers, this one was used for political reform and rebellion, so we want to know more.

Unfortunately it was closed for the season, but we'll get there one day. Which means I've begun my list of little out-of-the-way historic places to visit, just as I always had in New York. Very cool.

After lunch in a converted fire hall, we did one last winery, then wound eastward on the country roads until hooking up with the QEW again.

At several wineries, we heard a lot of resentment, even anger, at the LCBO. Most Ontario wineries don't produce enough to meet LCBO minimums, so they can't get stocked there. The wines are only available at the wineries themselves. Yet the wineries are still regulated heavily, or, as they put it "controlled by the government".

I don't know the story from the LCBO's point of view, but it seems like they should do more to support Ontario winemakers. From a consumer's point of view, the wine selection at LCBOs sucks. The fact that it's the largest importer of wine in North America only means that it's a single entity that buys wines in huge quantities. It doesn't mean that it buys a great variety of wines. Even the "Vintages," the LCBOs that feature more wine, wouldn't come close to satisfying true wine lovers. We buy very basic table wines, but people we know who are serious wine lovers would be aghast at what Ontarians have to settle for.

The Niagara region wineries themselves are all pretty laid-back and unpretentious. The wines are all fair, nothing tremendous, nothing awful, drinkable and affordable. We bought something in almost every winery we visited, and we certainly couldn't do that in most wine regions. The only semi-pricey bottle we bought was a Reisling Icewine that just knocked my socks off. Allan didn't love it as much as I did, but it may be my new best friend.

Here are a few pics. The weather prevented any really spectacular views. We did see Fort Niagara across the water from Niagara-On-The-Lake, but we never caught a glimpse of the Toronto skyline which is supposedly visible from there.

niagara wine pics 006


niagara wine pics 003


niagara wine pics 005


niagara wine pics 018
We loved this logo!


niagara wine pics 016
This is the same winery.
The wine was fine, the graphics were terrific.


niagara wine pics 008
You should never be too jaded for an interpretative talk, especially from Parks Canada or the National Parks Service (US). They know their stuff, and they make you think.

46 comments:

doug said...

see CNN home page under travel see"taste of toronto' article on Toronto but also at the end a little blurp on Niagara wine tour...glad you had a good trip....

Ferdzy said...

I have to say, I can't stand Niagara on the Lake. Or St. Jacobs, or any of those touristy places. Glad you had a good time though. Since I'm a non-drinker, I tend to end up as the "dessicated driver" for that type of expedition.

L-girl said...

Doug, I'll check that out, thanks.

So St Jacobs is touristy too, eh? People have recommended it to me as a place to go when my mom is here. She loves quilting and all kinds of crafts. But if it's as touristy as NOTL, no thank you.

The lack of DD is one reason we stayed over instead of doing the trip in one day. :)

MattInTO said...

Sounds like a really nice trip. We'll have to do it. Sounds like the Finger Lakes region.

On the LCBO front, I've come to the decision it's a big government scam if I may complain, for probably the very first time, about my new homeland. The money the province must make off it is huge. I read an article recently that they were considering privatising it. And apparently various premieres have considered the idea in the past, including converting it into a "private income trust". The value of the sale of this trust? $6 billion. Boggles my mind.

I understand their original reasoning for the creation of the LCBO but it strikes me as a little provincial, no pun intended, in the year 2006. I think the general majority of the population are adult enough to control their alcohol consumption if it were available at the corner supermarket. Just my two cents.

L-girl said...

It's very much like the Finger Lakes, although there's less variety in the wine, as winemaking is still very new here. And personally, I think the Finger Lakes is a more beautiful area. The Niagara Region is flatter. All in all though, it's very similar.

I find it quite amazing that you can't buy beer and wine in Ontario supermarkets, and that there's no competition. I'm not opposed to government regulation per se, but monopolies are generally bad for everyone. Except the owner of the monopoly, of course.

I'd like to hear a good rationale for the LCBO, from a non-LCBO source. Maybe someone will stop by and inform us.

L-girl said...

I should note that the one really nice thing the LCBO did for this trip was supply the map. Their guide to Ontario wineries is really all you need.

It's pictured in the upper right corner of this page. You can download it, or pick up a better one at any LCBO.

doug said...

Ontario had some of the most conservative archaic liquor laws in North America and whatever change, has come about in the last decade and it's like pulling teeth....I remember (and I'm not that old) of going to our local liquor store in London, Ont. and having to fill out a slip and then the employee going in the back and bringing you the bottle, no bottles were in sight..plus bars had unbelievable laws to abide by but it has diminished somewhat...LCBO always talking of privatizing but it's a cash cow, I can't see it happening, they use it as a negotiation tool as they are strong unions in both the LCBO and brewers retail...

by the way I love the St.Jacobs area and I don't like touristy areas but the back roads are interesting in fact we found a small Mennonite furniture maker and had our trestle table custom made, great price...interesting insight into their culture, nice area I feel..

doug said...

here all you want to know about Ontario liquor laws and the struggle to bring them into this century.

www.lib.uwo.ca/business/
booze.htm

M@ said...

The LCBO makes, last time I saw the figures, in the region of a quarter-billion a year in profit. And when they talk about it being "money for schools and hospitals", remember that it's also "money taken at retail from you, by a monopoly". Ack, I get pretty mad at the LCBO myself.

The one thing is that they wil order you absolutely anything you want, from anywhere in the world -- as long as you buy at least one case. But personally, I'm a wine amateur, I like to try stuff but I don't know what to try. I've been in wine stores in the USA, and I agree that the LCBO pales by comparison.

I don't know if privatization is the answer, but I'm not happy with what we've got. I want to tell the LCBO, if you're doing such a great job, then open up the market to private retailers and compete.

Dammit, now I need a drink!

Ferdzy said...

St Jacobs isn't as bad as NotL. They at least have the farmers market, which is very good, in season, although also very packed. Still, the main attraction apart from that is a bunch of touristy shops. Ho-hum.

James said...

We can pop down there to buy some wine any day, and I'm sure we will.

Remind me before you go next time, and I'll give you directions to the Comfort Maple, the oldest and largest maple tree in Canada, in what must be the smallest Provincial Conservation Area (it's just big enough for the tree and five cars).

It's not really exciting, but it's a very impressive tree.

The inn was very nice, but the town itself, which everyone says is so great, is just too touristy for us.

NotL is a little touristy, but it's a breath of fresh air compared to Niagara Falls... St. Jacob's is similar, in the sense that it's got dozens of shops hawking to out-of-towners, but it doesn't have the inns &c that are geared to overnighters.

Imagine fighting with a weapon that takes 15 seconds to load, blackens your hands, can't be used in the rain, and has only a slim chance of hitting its target.

Hence the advice: "You don't have to reload a sword."

On the LCBO front, I've come to the decision it's a big government scam

It's no more a scam than any money-making company is, and a lot less than many private businesses. It is, IIRC, the single most profitable part of the Ontario government (even more so than the casinos).

Ontario had some of the most conservative archaic liquor laws in North America

The Toronto neighbourhood known as "Junction Village" was legally dry until just recently.

Lone Primate said...

The LCBO makes, last time I saw the figures, in the region of a quarter-billion a year in profit. And when they talk about it being "money for schools and hospitals", remember that it's also "money taken at retail from you, by a monopoly". Ack, I get pretty mad at the LCBO myself.

People are gonna buy booze regardless of who's behind the counter (or owns the counter). You'd rather the profits went into the back pockets of a handful of megarich douchebags than into our schools and hospitals? Well, not me. The province was built on the cheap electricity of a government monopoly and maintained in part by another that keeps booze off the shelves where the chance of teenagers getting it past jaded minimum-wage clerks would skyrocket. Governments shouldn't run everything by any means, but there are some concerns that just don't belong in private hands.

L-girl said...

I'm glad to hear St Jacobs is maybe not as bad as NOTL.

Niagara Falls is very touristy, sure, but there's the Falls. Which are incredible. I don't care how many times I see them, they are amazing. (We haven't been since living in Canada, but we plan to go again in the near-ish future.)

Where NOTL is just the touristy town, some bits of history here and there, but mainly nothing but cutesy shopping. To each her own, but we just hate places like that.

L-girl said...

It's no more a scam than any money-making company is, and a lot less than many private businesses.

How can that be true? It's a MONOPOLY. No one else is permitted to sell liquor in Ontario, and Ontarians can only buy the liquor the LCBO stocks. We can't shop around for better selection or better prices. That is not like most other private businesses. Private businesses that are like that are the ones everyone hates, such as cable providers.

L-girl said...

Governments shouldn't run everything by any means, but there are some concerns that just don't belong in private hands.

I agree with this. I don't think utilities such as hydro should be privately run.

But the government having a monopoly on liquor sales is bad for the consumer. If the LCBO was like (what I see as) a normal liquor store, I'd have no complaint. But being locked in to their wine selection and prices, as if we live in some kind of time warp or impoverished country, is archaic.

L-girl said...

The one thing is that they wil order you absolutely anything you want, from anywhere in the world -- as long as you buy at least one case.

I didn't know that, but still, it makes it very difficult. If I want to try a wine or two, I'm not going to order a case.

But personally, I'm a wine amateur, I like to try stuff but I don't know what to try.

I'm an amateur as well, but what I've learned, I've learned by trying, a little at a time. You can't do much of that here.

The flagship LCBO (which I know of thanks to Lone Primate), the one in the converted train station, is great, and has an improved selection. But most, even the Vintages stores, are really lame.

I want to tell the LCBO, if you're doing such a great job, then open up the market to private retailers and compete.

I have to agree with this. This is especially true for Toronto, and its anxiety over whether or not it is a "world class city".

Lone Primate said...

I don't think utilities such as hydro should be privately run.

But the government having a monopoly on liquor sales is bad for the consumer.


Well, there are people who say the same thing about Ontario Hydro, or whatever we're calling it these days. I think there are some things that ought to be government regulated, and alcohol fits the bill for me. I'm fine with the profits going back to the province instead of into a yacht for some guy in Galveston. I'm all for the LCBO expanding its stock, but not a government handing over yet another industry owned by us all to a bunch of their big business buddies; there was far too much of that in Mulroney years. Okay, maybe that means it's harder to get Château d'Obscurité (though I don't see where that's necessarily guaranteed by opening it up to mom and pop operations, either), but the control of the distribution of alcohol and the windfall from it are more important to me, if it has to be one or the other.

Wiki has a paragraph about the pros and cons... I found it interesting that it points out that privatization could lead to less selection in smaller places, which is something that occurred to me, and that some items might be priced higher, which hadn't... but it stands to reason that they'd be able to ameliorate some prices thanks to the volumes they deal in. Anyway, here's what it says:

The main benefits of privatization to the consumer, as seen by comparisons with other provinces, are more stores, greater convenience, more discount sales, lower prices for popular and bulk items, and longer hours. The disadvantages would be reduced selection at smaller less central locations and higher prices for some items. If one scales the Albertan privatization model to Ontario's population, a privatized system would likely employ more than 15,000 people compared to approximately 3,350 LCBO employees and, depending on the exact model chosen, may benefit the convenience and grocery store sectors in Ontario. However, there would likely be a greater proportion of part-time jobs in the system, furthermore most smaller stores are not unionized and even in those that are, the average wage for employees is usually lower although the aggregate amount of wages paid out would be higher.

L-girl said...

I agree with you in principle, LP, especially as far as profits going back into the province. Absolutely.

However, I wonder if there is some middle ground where the LCBO can be one choice for the consumer, and there could still be some competition.

The LCBO would be able to offer better prices, because it buys in such huge quantities, and thus a vast majority of consumers would still shop there.

At the same time, those who were willing to pay higher prices at specialty or "boutique" liquor stores could find wines that the LCBO doesn't stock. The private companies would still pay taxes and import duties, so the province would still benefit. And perhaps the small, independent wineries of Southern Ontario would form partnerships with those small businesses and be able to sell their wine to the public, in a way that they cannot at this time.

Lone Primate said...

Actually, come to think about it, I'm not sure there's anything in legislation that actually prevents it. We're used to calling the LCBO a monopoly but I'm not sure that's strictly true. After all, a lot of grocery stores sell wine these days. There must be some sort of room for private enterprise, at least where wine's concerned. Maybe the vintners simply haven't gotten around to it yet... the beer companies, after all, managed to head off government distribution of their wares. Actually, according to this report, the province apparently already has 290 private wine retailers as it is.

L-girl said...

Actually, according to this report, the province apparently already has 290 private wine retailers as it is.

Really. Huh. I wonder where they're all hiding. I imagine they are counting the wineries as retailers, but that's still fewer than 100.

the beer companies, after all, managed to head off government distribution of their wares.

Is that only The Beer Store, or are there others? Because you still can't buy beer in grocery stores. At least not that I've ever seen.

doug said...

privatization will come but it must be noted that the LCBO has one of the largest distribution systems, warehousing facilities in the world...it's not a simple task..I feel along the lines of Laura that the LCBO will allow boutique-speciality shops to open...those 200 "private" stores are in Northern Ontario where they sell liquor, wine, and beer in gas stations, variety stores due to the small populations can't sustain a liquor store, brewers retail so the LCBO allows small establishments to sell.....so when the LCBO states there are private distributors, there are you just have to go to the French River, etc. to find them..

L-girl said...

So saying there are private distribs is a bit disingenuous?

Just to clarify, I don't know if the LCBO will allow small boutique wine shops, I just think they should.

I'm not gung-ho privatization, but I do think a little competition is healthy for everyone, and complete monopolies unhealthy.

Woti-woti said...

Ever wonder why it's so expensive to go out drinking in Ontario? Other than the obvious one, the main culprit is that bars and restaurants have to buy their booze from the same place you do, at the same prices. You would think that the Ontario Gov. would help out the hospitality industry by allowing them to purchase booze at wholesale prices, but I guess not.

L-girl said...

the main culprit is that bars and restaurants have to buy their booze from the same place you do, at the same prices.

Is that true?? Wow. That's insane.

doug said...

plus in northern ontario as it is a huge area and one the LCBO can't possibly serve, boot-legging is still a huge business...not controlled by crimme syndicates or powerful individuals but rather just long term residents...the O.P.P. turn a blind eye as does the province as it's just a way of life....I think the LCBO will allow some competition such as boutique wine stores etc. to stave off calls for privitization...a couple years ago we had "Happy Hours" at the bars, quite good for the bars, everyone involved but the government squashed those from pressure from M.A.D.D.

Well I don't feel sorry for the bars at all, they pay $30 for a 24 of beer, charge $4 a bottle= $120 a case not a bad profit margin I'd say....

Ferdzy said...

Since this is a thread about travel, in a small way, I would just like to let people know that I have finally gotten on my ass and started posting pictures and commentary at my blog about my pilgrimage through Spain this summer. If anyone is interested I'd be thrilled to have you drop by and have a look. It will probably take a couple weeks to get it all done.

http://thegossipinglandlady.blogspot.com/

And just to keep this a little more on-topic, none of the pilgrims seemed to want to spend more than 2 euros for a bottle of wine... or about 3 dollars. Of course, I don't think they were getting great stuff.

L-girl said...

It isn't the bars I feel sorry for! I'm thinking of the consumer.

I don't "go out drinking" anymore, but I do like to drink with dinner. And it is quite expensive to do so here. It would be more affordable if Ontario restaurants ordered at a discount, then marked up, as restaurants do everywhere else.

Woti-woti said...

Yeah, I remember the abolition of 'Happy Hour.' Living in a place that bans 'Happy Hour.' Jesus.

L-girl said...

Thanks, Ferdzy! I'll come by when I can.

Re Happy Hour, I will say it's much nicer to wine and dine in the land of public transportation and cabs than in the land of cars.

doug said...

at bars I don't find them that pricey I was more perturbed in the States paying $3-$4 a beer at a bar when I can pick up a 12 pack for $7-8-9 ...that ticked me ...same for shots when you can buy a 40 oz. for $18 or so, I don't even buy liquor here at liquor store or bars it'S astronomical...

L-girl said...

Well, to me that's the price of going out vs staying home. Of course it's cheaper to drink beer at home - but then you're home, you're not out. Just like it's cheaper to make dinner at home then to go out. But you might like to go out anyway.

L-girl said...

And by the way, where did you drink beer in the US for $3 or $4? Must have been either a long time ago, or a very small town, or very cheap beer, or all three.

doug said...

Ernie's bleachers for one across from Wrigley field, actually now that I think of it all around there theres lots of bars to get beer for #3-$4 bucks, last week Tiger Stadium sports bar nearby before game #3.50 bottle for Canadian beer...Myrtle Beach couple months ago golf trip beer was like #3 all over...

L-girl said...

I guess I never go to those places. I haven't seen $3 beers in a long time. :)

Woti-woti said...

For another wrinkle, some areas in Ontario permit 'corkage', whereby diners can bring their own bottle of wine to a restaurant and pay the corkage fee. Not sure of the politics involved, I think it has to be initiated at the municipal level, then up to restaurants to buy in. Lots of red tape, from what my old buddies tell me (I quit drinking 15 years ago, so can't research this stuff the way I used to).

M@ said...

A couple of things on this thread:

- Although I agree that the provincial gov't should hold onto some things, and power is at the top of the list for me, I don't see that they have any reason to be involved in a retail business. Especially when their involvement directly hurts the producers in this province.

- Ontario does allow limited sales in boutique stores (e.g. the wine stores in some malls). You'll notice, though, that they are directly supplied by vintners in the province. They do not stock spirits (to my knowledge). This seems to be a way of absolving the LCBO of providing a realistic way for local producers to retail their product.

- $120 on a $30 case of beer is not an unreasonable amount of profit. Foor cost is typically between 20 and 30%, and bar costs end up being in there too. And most cases of beer are far beyond $30 now -- Sleeman's is up around $40, if not above!

- The Beer Store is just another monopoly, though not a government-owned one. When the two biggest players own the retail and distribution system, think maybe it affects the small players? Anyone remember when Sleeman's was almost shut out because they didn't want the hassle of dealing with the clear bottle? How did that help the consumer, I'd like to know.

- Incidentally, not only do restaurants buy the exact same stuff for the exact same price, when they receive their cases of beer, the premiums that were supposed to be included in them have been removed. T-shirts, CDs, glasses, other tchotchkes -- the cases are simply opened and the premiums are gone. That really used to piss me off -- and the beer store drivers were absolutely the worst to deal with. But what were we going to do? Brew it ourselves? Sadly, no.

Anyhow, sorry for the scattershot approach, but there were a lot of interesting things said in this thread and I was last here around comment 11 I think.

doug said...

this has nothing to do with travel or liquor although I am drinking a beer but can you believe Kenny Rogers (not the singer, the baseball player))

L-girl said...

M@, no need to apologize, very good stuff.

Although I agree that the provincial gov't should hold onto some things, and power is at the top of the list for me, I don't see that they have any reason to be involved in a retail business. Especially when their involvement directly hurts the producers in this province.

I guess that's the bottom line for me. Electricity is an essential item, and shouldn't be left to the market. Wine is not. In this case, Ontario growers, vintners, businesses and consumers suffer. I think there should be more competition.

Doug, baseball is always on-topic as far as I'm concerned! (Although there are no topic police at wmtc.) Rogers - unbelievable!!

I'm happy for Tigers fans. Tigers v Mets will make for an interesting WS.

impudent strumpet said...

There is Wine Rack (http://www.winerack.com), which I've never gone in there because it looked intimidating, although their website looks less intimidating than the store so maybe they wouldn't get all Holt Renfrew on me if I went in there.

If the LCBO didn't exist and someone proposed creating it, I'd think it's a stupid idea. But as it stands, it really doesn't bother me. It meets my needs and makes a profit for public coffers, so I can't bring myself to oppose it - especially since the amount the gov't would get for selling it off would only be equal to about fiveish years of profits (at least according to the numbers they were throwing around last election)

James said...

How can that be true? It's a MONOPOLY.

A great many private companies are either monopolies or virtual monopolies, and any of any size that aren't are working hard to become monopolies. For example, WalMart isn't a monopoly, but it's effectively one in many places.

Is that true?? Wow. That's insane.

Casey's is running a wine tasting promotion, and has a little disclaimer to the effect that "Unlike other restaurants, we charge only a little more than the LCBO."

plus in northern ontario as it is a huge area

"Northern Ontario is fifty billion miles wide, and fourteen people live there. All of them named Frank. Even the girl. (She's very popular)" -- The Arrogant Worms

MattInTO said...

Bottom line. The government is regulating something they have no business regulating. LCBOs and Beer Stores strategically placed so that they're not on every corner is crap. I don't need the government to regulate my alcohol consumption. I'm a big boy.

I see enough public drunkenness in parks in our neighbourhood that the original idea behind the LCBO - controlling access to ETOH to make the population more responsible drinkers isn't working. And as for teenagers getting their ETOH, they're going to get it whether the LCBO exists or not.

Quebec doesn't seem to have any worse problem with alcoholism or public drunkenness according to what few studies are out there. And it's ridiculously easy to purchase ETOH there. Bottom line. The only reason I can't purchase beer at my corner mom-and-pop is there's a monopoly called The Beer Store controlling it. And the only reason I can't pick up a bottle of Canadian Club for less than $30.00 is another monopoly controls it.

You want the monopoly solely for the purpose of enriching the public coffers? Fine. But call a spade a spade. It's not there as some institutional attempt to moderate the public's drinking, as the LCBO's history purports. Personally, I would say the roughly 14% GST+PST on a wide variety of goods is enriching enough. But then I'm new here and not so used to opening my wallet so widely.

L-girl said...

MattinTO: very good! True, true and true.

Imp-Strump: I've never heard of The Wine Rack. I'll check it out. Thanks.

L-girl said...

How can that be true? It's a MONOPOLY.

A great many private companies are either monopolies or virtual monopolies, and any of any size that aren't are working hard to become monopolies. For example, WalMart isn't a monopoly, but it's effectively one in many places.


There is a huge difference between a very large company that is a de facto monopoly in certain areas and a monopoly under the law.

I have never stepped foot in a Wal-Mart, yet I can buy everything I need from other stores. Likewise for any large store you can name, no matter how big - McDonald's, Tim Hortons, Barnes & Noble in the US, etc. They are big companies but there is nothing preventing other stores from selling the same wares.

But unless I go to a winery, which is hardly an option for everyday shopping, I can only buy wine at an LCBO.

To pretend this is the same as a private business model makes no sense. One look at any province or US state where liquor sales are not controlled by the province/state will show the difference.

L-girl said...

Re Wine Rack, it looks like they only sell Ontario wines, and they seem to be the brands already available in the LCBO!

At least that's what it looks like online. I'll check one out in person, but I have a funny feeling they are even more limited than the LCBO. Yeesh.

FormerOwl said...

The most handy Wine Rack store for you, Laura, since you go downtown often, might be the one inside the Loblaws Superstore on Eastern Avenue and Leslie.

It sells Jackson-Triggs and Iniskillin wines only.

I am uncertain of the hours, but am guessing that they are something like 9 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday, and only to 6 pm on Sunday.

Some restaurants are going for artisanal beer. For example, Tinto Coffee House at 89 Roncesvalles in Toronto. They also try to buy food from local organic farmers and Mennonites. Live music on Saturdays - was jazz tonight.

L-girl said...

Thanks for the info, Owl.

I did see the locations on the website. But since my issue with the LCBO is selection, Wine Rack doesn't help.

If this is what they count as one of the 290 retailers (mentioned above), that number is b/s. Selling a few brands of Ontario wines that are already available in the LCBO...?! Not exactly competition, or choice.