Hillebrand Winery, in Niagara Canada, is the type of winery where something is always going on, something exciting and fun. On our recent trip to this wine region, it was an event at Hillebrand which had us bubbling with enthusiasm for the remaining days we toured.
First, the background. Hillebrand was started in 1979, and by 1983 they were already creating ice wine. In 1996, Hillebrand added in a fantastic restaurant which is helmed by chef Frank Dodd. The winery hosts jazz bands, blues bands, art shows, and other events. They even hold special events involving wine blending and exploration.
Hillebrand Winery Restaurant
The Hillebrand Winery Restaurant has won many awards and earned numerous accolades over the years. Stepping into the sunny, cream colored room, it's easy to see why. The large windows overlook the patio area where musicians entertain. The waitstaff is friendly and helpful, quite willing to take special orders, answer any question and offer suggestions.
The menu changes frequently, so no matter how often you visit, you're likely to find something new. Frank's choices always reflect the current in-season products of Canada. He uses over 10,000 bottles of Hillebrand wine each year in his cooking, so having a meal here is almost like doing a full winery tasting.
On the day we went there was a "Niagara Tasting Menu" - a single plate with three different items on it, paired with 3 different wines. This allowed you to explore how each wine complemented or interfered with the flavors of the dishes. The trio offered was sable fish with squash, capon with potato and venison in a puff.
The first wine was the 2004 Dry Riesling. This had a lovely, light delicate aroma with citrus flavors. The finish was great as well. It paired wonderfully with the delicate flavors of the seafood.
Next was the 2004 Gamay. This was bright with cranberry and berry flavors. This added a lively flavor to the capon and potato.
Finally was the 2001 Cabernet Franc. This was great with fruity, cherry flavors and a nice finish. Flavors of toasted pecan, creme and caramel. I adored the venison, and found this pairing to be truly supreme.
This was one of our favorite meals of the entire visit, and I highly recommend it to anybody visiting Niagara.
Wine Blending Seminar
Hillebrand Art Show
Hillebrand Ice Wine Festival
Wineries of the Niagara region, Ontario Canada
Winery Reviews Main Listing
Hillebrand Winery Official Website