Beamsville Bench winery events are usually a staple of summertime fun for locals and visitors to West Niagara. This year things are somewhat different.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of many local summer events. They include popular favorites like the Winona Peach Festival and Happening in Grimsby. Also, the Red Stone Winery Concert Series has been postponed.
However, one of the perks of living in, or near The Bench, is that even if some of the higher-profile events are cancelled, many world-class wineries still want you to visit and are operating this summer, and still welcoming visitors. The experiences featured in this Beamsville Bench Winery Event Roundup are all reachable within an hour’s drive minutes of Toronto, 30 minutes from Hamilton, and less than a 15-20 minute drive for most Niagara Region local residents.
Bench wineries put health protocols in place for their events
The Niagara Region entered Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan in mid-July, so visitors can now visit the area’s wineries, as they have put in social distancing and other anti-COVID-19 health protocols in place.
Note that Niagara Region has enforced a mask bylaw that requires anyone venturing into the public spaces of commercial business to wear a face covering. This new temporary rule goes into effect Aug. 1 and will be in place for at least 90 days to Oct. 31. Masks are not required, under the bylaw, if you are eating or drinking on-premises. However, bring a mask to ensure you can use it where they are required on-property.
Most of the wineries in the Beamsville Bench region are open for tastings again. Guests can sip vino while they learn from trained wine experts. Many of these tasting events range from as little as $10 to $45. Visitors can also enjoy farm-to-table fare with their wine on a vineyard patio. Keep in mind that most wineries require a reservation to book a tasting experience.
While tastings run daily at most of the Bench wineries, there are a few that are still hosting special events. The Bench News has compiled a list of all the extra special events below that a handful of the wineries still have planned.
Niagara culinary excursion
This day-long tour begins at Hildreth Farm Market in Beamsville, where attendees purchase local organic produce and fruit that will later be used for a cooking class. The second stop is Fielding Estate Winery where guests will taste three wines and receive a commemorative dishwasher safe Fielding tumbler. The third stop is a hands-on cooking class led by Chef Luciano at Villa Bacchus. Attendees will eat lunch with wine pairings. Then they will travel to the final stop for coffee or gelato at Niagara on the Lake.
A minimum of six participants are required for this tour to run. 20 maximum. COVID-19 government protocols are in place, so masks are required. Visitors must also follow social distancing rules, as directed by the tour.
For more information on this event and to purchase tickets visit: Niagara culinary excursion
Tasting passport to six wineries
Cornerstone Winery, Calamus, London Born Wine Co., Sue Ann Staff Estate, Rockway, and Harbour Estates have come together to offer a wine passport. Each ticket includes a wine tour for two people at the six wineries. Guests will enjoy three tastings at each winery. There is also a VIP option which includes 1 bottle of wine per passport at each three of the wineries (wine chosen by winery).
To partake in this experience, visit WagJag to purchase the passport
Yoga at Back 10 Cellars with vinyassa by the vines
Visit Back 10 Vineyard for vinyasa yoga overlooking the vineyard. A glass of wine and a light take-away snack will be served following each session. COVID-19 protocols for the event include social distancing, pre-poured tasting, pre-packaged snack, and hand sanitizer on check-in. The even runs on Sundays on August 9th, August 23rd, and September 13th. Classes range from $25 for a one-class pass to $45 for a two-class pass, or three classes for $60.
Back 10 Cellars is located at: 4101 King St, Beamsville, ON L0R 1B1 (click for map)
To learn more about this winery yoga event click here: Yoga at Back 10 Cellars
Star-gazing and dinner under the stars at Calamus
Did you know that Calamus Estate Winery, in Jordan Station, has a space observatory? It’s often mistaken for a silo on the side of a renovated barn. But inside it is Chronos Observatory, the home to a deep-space telescope that’s perfect for stargazing. Calamus will be hosting a dinner and star-gazing evening on July 31, 2020. Guests begin the night with Crackle Peach Bellini and appetizers followed by a plated dinner service at physically distanced tables. Then guests can enjoy star-gazing at telescopes in the vineyard or at the observatory, one guest party at a time.
To learn more about this event, visit: Calamus events.
Calamus Estate Winery is located at: 3100 Glen Rd, Jordan Station (click for map)
Food trucks, fancy dinners, and webinar at Flat Rock Cellars
The pandemic has not stopped Flat Rock from hosting its fabulous wine events. On Thursday, July 30 Flat Rock will host a Zoom webinar. Attendees will learn how to blend wine with a winemaker and see how Flat Rock makes its popular wine Twisted. Special guest Julie “Jukie” Meceau of Tequila Tromba will also be featured.
Also, most Saturdays this summer, Flat Rock Cellars will host a different food truck from 2pm to 5pm. Visitors can walk-up and order, then grab a glass of wine to sip with their lunch.
Finally, one Saturday each month Flat Rock hosts an exclusive seated tasting in 360 Loft overlooking the vineyards, Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline. Current dates are as follows:
- Saturday, Aug. 29 – Peaches and Riesling
- Saturday, Sept. 12 – Beer and Wine
- Saturday, Oct. 31 – Halloween Treat Pairings
- Saturday, Nov. 28 – Holiday Cocktails
Flat Rock Cellars is located at: 272 Seventh Ave, Jordan Station, ON (click for map)
Note that Flat Rock Cellars is in Jordan Station, a community just east of Beamsville, about a 10-minute away.
Westcott Vineyards picnic pod experience and weekly yoga
Two minutes by car from Flat Rock Cellars, also in Jordan Station, is Westcott Vineyards which is holding August long-weekend celebrations. Book a picnic for four in the fields looking out at the vineyards. The picnic pod experience includes a gourmet meal paired with a wine that features:
- Charcuterie Board: Locally cured meats, deep fried saltines, house pickles and preserves
- Edamame Guacamole and Chips
- 24 oz Wood Fire Grilled Steak, garden chimichurri, Vancouver
Guests that want to enjoy this winery event are required to pre-book in advance.
Westscott Vineyards also runs weekly yoga on the lawn on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7pm to 8pm. Attendees can watch the sun set as they twist, bend, and breath, and give their body some love. Sessions are led by a Modo Yoga St Catharines Instructor. Each yoga session is followed by a glass of wine provided by the winery. Mats are placed at least 2 metres apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The price per session is $30.
Westcott Vineyards is located at 3180 Seventeenth St, Jordan Station, ON L0R 1S0 (click for map)
For more information visit: Wescott Vineyards
Rib Night Date Night at Harbour Estates Winery
Locals seeking a romantic date night out with their sweetie can visit Harbour Estates Winery any Friday for Rib Night Date Night. Sit on the patio and enjoy fall-off-the-bone ribs with Harbour Estate’s famous Baco-infused BBQ sauce. The regular patio menu will also be available. Book in advance.
For more information or to book visit: Harbour Estates Winery
Harbour Estates Winery is located at 4362 Jordan Rd, Jordan Station (click for map)
As you can see, you can still explore the Niagara wine country this summer. Visitors and residents can still have some winery fun and also support the local economy. Book an experience today and follow The Bench News for more event updates. Whether its the Beamsville Winery Events you are looking for, or any winery in The Bench area, the 2020 summer winery season around Beamsville, on The Bench, still has a lot to offer.
Have an event you’d like The Bench News to share? Email Associate Editor of Events & Lifestyle Kay Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.