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Touring and tasting at winery lives up to grape expectations

Enjoying a tour and tasting at the Holland Marsh Winery is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in York Region. The winery offers a number of tour options, from the most popular Boutique Tour to the exclusive VIP Tour and Tasting for groups of 10 or more. Photos courtesy of Holland Marsh Wineries Facebook page.

By Karen Bliss

Something fun and inexpensive to do in Newmarket year-round is a tour of the award-winning Holland Marsh Wineries. Even if you don’t know a chardonnay from a sauvignon blanc, a shiraz from a pinot noir, it’s an informative and tasty way to spend an afternoon and you will learn by tasting too.

Try not to go too late in the season, as there will not be anything see on the grounds. The winery offers three tours – the Boutique Tour and Tasting at $18 per person, the Enhanced Tour and Tasting at $32 per person and the VIP Tour and Tasting, with a minimum of 10 people. (Groupon features an offer for two people for just $20; and $35 for four).

We were given a tour of the facility, including the processing and barrel room, that lasted about 40 minutes. Along with the tasting, outlined in a printed menu that describes each wine in full, we ordered a cheese plate, complete with crackers, jellies and olives.

“Considering we hand harvest our grapes in mid of September, if you are looking to view the vineyard with full vines anytime before that would be excellent,” Kaylee Magani, wine professional at Holland Marsh Wineries, tells experienceyorkregion.com.

“Other than the harvesting of the grapes, anytime is a beautiful time for wine. We are open all year-round and run tours Wednesday through Sunday throughout the year. We host many events seasonally and encourage guests to follow us on our social media channels.”

Of all the tour options Holland Marsh Wineries offers, the most popular is the Boutique Tour, for which “the guests are immersed in all things wine,” Magani says.

“The experience involves touring our grounds and vineyards to get a better understanding of our growing region microclimate as well as some fun facts about viticulture. Following the vineyard visit, guests will be guided through our production area to see how we produce our award-winning wines.

“After understanding how its grown and how it’s made, we get to the best part! The Wine Professional touring the guests, will taste with you a flight of six different wines, ranging in different styles. Locally sourced charcuterie and cheese boards are also amazing add-ons to any of our tours and are even included in the Private Tours and Wine Gathering tour experiences.”

Founded by the Nersisyan family in 2008, Holland Marsh is situated in on 22 acres of sandy, clay, and loamy-type soil, in a historical farming community. “This unique composition provides the estate-grown grapes with a profile distinct from any other region in Ontario,” it states.

Magani says the family takes great care to “manage the vineyard with the utmost respect for the surrounding ecosystem. We hand-pick our grapes and use earth-friendly practices to maintain the integrity of our soil, water, and surrounding area. Our meticulous vinification style, coupled with our passionate yet innovative approach to our craft, produces premium boutique-style wines that surely have their own story to tell.

“If you listen carefully,” she adds, “you will find that each and every bottle of wine has its own story to tell – and it all starts in the vineyard.”

For more information or to book a tour, please click here.

Karen Bliss is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Billboard, Rolling Stone, Pollstar and others. She has interviewed thousands of musicians, including Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Eminem, Shania Twain, Metallica and Michael Bublé.

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