Winter WineFest 2016 Jordan...TV Cogeco & St. Catharines Standard vide - Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
January 20, 2016

Winter WineFest 2016 Jordan...TV Cogeco & St. Catharines Standard videos

Check out TV Cogeco coverage of The Twenty Valley Tourism Association 7th annual #WinterWineFest2016 in Jordan Village...



@StCatStandard video

Glasses were raised to wine, winter and Canadian life in Jordan Village this weekend.

Thousands of people bundled up for Twenty Valley’s annual Winter WineFest, eager to take in the sights of the quaint village and sample creations from 23 of the area’s wineries.

Originally from Sault St. Marie, Jennifer Kersley and daughter Rowan, who recently moved to St. Catharines, were pleased to be spending a winter day outdoors.

“This is something we’d never do there in the winter,” Jennifer said of her former hometown with a laugh, adding Saturday’s sunshine made for a comfortable stay outside.

Debbie Perkin and Brigitte Jahn travelled to the festival on a packed tour bus from the GTA.

It was the first time at WineFest for the new friends, who met on the trip up.

But, Perkin assured, it likely won’t be their last.

“I just love it here. I’d give it a 10 out of 10,” she said, crediting wineries and food vendors for top-notch creations.

It was a similar sentiment felt by Dave and Carolyn Courtney, who made their inaugural festival appearance Saturday.

The event, he said, had an upbeat vibe and offered a reminder of the beautiful spaces Niagara has to offer.

“Sometimes you forget what’s right in your own backyard,” he said, while enjoying a glass of wine alongside his wife and watching the outdoor concert.

“It’s good to be Canadian.”

For Cheryl and David Mock, making the trek to Jordan Village has become tradition.

The Rochester, N.Y., couple annually turn their visit to the festival into a weekend stay in Niagara, exploring different parts of the region each time.

“We come every year. We love the barrel rolling, the incredible entertainment and delicious food and wine,” Cheryl said.

The winemakers’ barrel races is a highlight for many visitors, who come out to watch winery representatives toss barrels end over end in hopes of manoeuvring a course in the fastest time.

Reigning champion Dan Stouck, assistant winemaker at Malivoire Wine Co., returned to successfully defend his title. He was joined in the winner’s circle by first-time participant Jessica Reese, of Vineland Estates Winery, who came away with the fastest time among the female barrel rollers.

“The biggest challenge was staying with (the barrel),” the cellar technician said.

“It has a mind of its own and it’s really hard to control.”

Stouck called his secret to his success a mixture of power and technique.

“I do a lot of barrel rolling,” he said with a laugh, adding his daily work provides plenty of opportunity for practice.

The competition has been a crowd pleaser for years, said event manager Dorian Anderson, who felt the races, in combination with the sunshine, helped to pack the festival grounds Saturday.

She estimated that by Saturday afternoon, about 3,500 people had already passed through the festival’s gates. That’s in addition to the 350 guests who braved Friday’s rainfall for the opening night concert.

“It looked incredible under the lights,” she said, impressed by the event’s transformation to include a new European market style with lights strung throughout the main outdoor area.

“It shows off the charm of the village a lot better.”

Winter WineFest annually helps to kickoff the Niagara Icewine Festival, which continues until the end of the month.




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