Views from the Ontario Vines

with Fred Couch

“F’ing Winery Tour - 2017”


Now what were you thinking when you saw the title? Did you think we had a bad winery experience? Were the wines not great? On the contrary, the F’ing Wine tour is a very enjoyable annual event now in its 11th year. For two weekends in May including Fridays this year, three Niagara Wineries, Fielding Estate Winery, Flat Rock Cellars and Featherstone Estate Winery, provided a wine and cheese experience for a $12 passport.

Our first stop was at Fielding Estate Winery in Beamsville. We picked up our passports and an f’ing wine tour badge and enjoyed our first pairing. It was Mother’s Day and each mother was given a beautiful Gerbera flower – a very nice touch. Two wines were offered for tasting – a 2015 Viognier and a 2015 Cabernet Franc.

A Gunn’s Hill “Five Brothers” cheese was topped with a choice of two toppings – a peach or sour cherry jam served on artisan bread. Five Brothers is a hand crafted washed rind cow's milk cheese delicately aged on cedar wood planks for eight months adding robust flavours to the cheese. Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese is located in Woodstock, Ontario. We each tried one of the toppings to compare how they matched with the two wines. They were both delicious.

Our second stop was at Featherstone Estate Winery.  We were greeted in the tasting room with a sample of the 2015 Rosé, a delightful summer sipper for the patio or deck.  The pairing offered was a dark chocolate shortbread with Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar and spiced blueberry marmalade and fresh ground pepper.  Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar is made by Cows Creamery on PEI.  It won Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards in 2015.  The cheese and chocolate was a perfect match with the 2013 Red Tail Merlot. 

Our final stop on the tour was at Flat Rock Cellars.  Our first wine, served in the retail shop, was the 2014 Pinot Noir.  This 'Estate' wine is a blend of seven different blocks of Pinot grown annually at Flat Rock. 

After finishing our Pinot Noir, we moved on to another room in the winery building where we were in for a surprise tasting.  We were given two vintages of Rieslings to try – the 2007 and the 2015.  To go with the wines, we were served a very tasty grilled cheese sandwich made with Cow’s Creamery Applewood Smoked Cheddar with a caramel apple Riesling preserve.  I was amazed how well the 2007 Riesling was holding up with a nice balance of fruit and acidity. The 2015 went very well with the grilled cheese sandwich. 

As you can tell, we really enjoyed this year’s version of the “f’ing” wine tour and look forward to doing it again next year.

For more information on these “f’ing” wineries and future events, visit their websites at:

Fielding Estate Winery:
Flat Rock Cellars:
Featherstone Estate Winery:

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