Fine wines, beautiful winery, great venue.
I’m just back from the warm south. Getting used to the wintry nip in Ontario. But it’s a sunny and inviting winter day, and I feel Niagara calling. I will visit Megalomaniac today. Of course you can easily get their wines with the fun cheeky labels at the store, but it’s a treat to visit.
I remember when John Howard first started out in the wine business. He launched and grew Vineland Estates, which he sold in 2004, then a few years later, he launched Megalomaniac. When the winery opened, people wondered if he had delusions of grandeur, or was he “poking fun at the wine business?” Visit the winery yourself and decide. To be sure, Megalomaniac is indeed a beautiful winery and they make an awesome bottle of wine that’s marketed with bold sassiness.
Megalomaniac winery is perched high atop the Niagara Escarpment, with perhaps the most commanding view available anywhere in the area. Not far off the QEW, you drive through vineyards, your car climbs up Cherry Avenue in Vineland, and voila, a beautiful winery appears.
Taking in the scenery of snow bedecked vineyards driving up to the building, I parked and went to the tasting bar to begin my experience.
In addition to walk-in seated wine sampling at the wine bar, the winery has elevated Tasting Room Experiences by appointment. Walk-ins may be available, but reservations are recommended. In season, you can also book a Vineyard Walk. And fine dining is available (see below). At the tasting bar, I sampled enticing white, red, and sparkling wines. Following the convivial tasting, I had the pleasant task of deciding which ones to purchase in the retail shop.
The winery also has a lounge and a full blown dining room overlooking the vineyards. Called “Food+Drink,” the venue’s food, service, and location are a first-class experience.
Casual fare and light bites, done with style. Here’s the menu. Reservations are booked online here.
There’s also a WINTERLICIOUS $55 dinner menu: A 3-course prix-fixe dinner takes place every Friday and Saturday through March. To book a group gathering, email Dale at email@example.com
Tasting Notes for Two of My Favorites:
I tasted five wines today. All excellent! Following are my reviews of two of them.
Megalomaniac Narcissist Riesling (2020)
Riesling is a grape that grows very well in Niagara. Consider it one of the area’s signature varieties. This Riesling is balanced. Not too much of any of the notes that could put you off, such as “too much petrol.” Narcissist has it all in pleasantly balanced control. It has nice minerality, with a nose of peach and a lovely zest of muted citrus. A touch of orange blossom and hints of tree fruit round out in a medium long finish. This is a riesling everyone will love! – $18.95. MY SCORE: 90 points.
Pair it with any German cuisine or Asian. It will go particularly well with Thai or pan-seared large scallops, green beans, and mashed potatoes smothered in butter and chopped chives.
Megalomaniac To Be Franc Cabernet Franc (2019)
Cabernet Franc is another of the wine grapes that grow and ripen well in Niagara. A signature red variety for the wine growing region. To Be Franc is a premium single varietal red that exhibits classic true-to-varietal form. Its dark red color is followed by aromas of berry jam, and flavor notes of herbs, blackberries, plums, and other ripe fruit. It has a richness to it without overwhelming your palate. This is a deliciously enjoyable cabernet franc. – $29.95. MY SCORE: 92 points.
Location and Hours
Click on the map below for location and directions.
Prefer Apple Maps? Here you go.
3930 Cherry Ave, Vineland, ON L0R 2C0, CanadaPhone: +1-905-562-5155
THURSDAY: Wine Store 11 am to 6 pm
FRIDAY: Wine Store 11 am to 6 pm;
Food+Drink 12 pm to 9 pm
SATURDAY: 11 am to 9 pm
SUNDAY: 11 am to 5 pm
MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY: Closed
Tasting Room Experiences offered Thursday – Sunday during business hours (no walk-ins available after 4 pm).
INSTA-WORTHY VINEYARD WALKS
Return Spring 2023
By The Wine Baron, February 27, 2023