Nova Scotia's Winter Wine Festival is back on schedule for this weekend Feb. 16 -17. The storm that cancelled the festival last weekend has given lots of snow for the luge, snowshoeing and sleighride events and Blomidon Estates has added another activity to the full weekend of events.
The storm also forced the two wine tour companies Go North Tours and Grape Escapes to reschedule their tours as well and there are now three tours planned for this weekend. See my column on Winter Wine Frestival Tours.
Blomidon Estates is pairing up with the Port Pub Bistro in Port Williams for a special event on Saturday Feb 16. The Blomidon Ice Bar on the Patio of the Port Pub will be serving up freshly shucked oysters with a glass of their 2011 Crement sparkling wine from 4:00 - 7:00 pm. $7 buys two oysters and a 3 oz glass of wine no reservations necessary
Avondale Sky winery is offering sleighrides through the vineyard from noon - 4:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a bonfire outside their converted church winery until 6:00 pm. Inside the winery taste their icewine paired with fabulous foods like chocolate risotto. $10.00 per person, recipes included.
Gaspereau Vineyards are also offering Sleighrides at a cost of $10 for adults $6 for children around their 35 acre vineyard. Snowshoes are also available for rent or bring your own. Complimentary mulled wine and hot chocolate will be served around the bonfire and marshmallows for roasting. The winery boutique will be open for complimentary wine tastings and purchases from 10 am - 5 pm
One of Nova Scotia's pioneer wineries, Sainte Famille are offering complimentary sledding and wine from 11 am - 3 pm. Bring a sled or crazy carpet and try out their hill, and warm up inside with a glass of mulled wine or port. No cost.
Luckett Vineyards with its signature telephone booth in the middle of the vineyard is having a bonfire and luge on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5:00 pm. Bring your own toboggan for the luge and a horse drawn sleigh will take you back up the hill for another run or you can warm up by the bonfire. For $10 a meal of curry or soup and a choice of mulled wine or hot apple cider will help chase away the winter chill.
Domaine de Grand Pré and Luckett Winery are pairing up with Brian Adams of We're Outside Outdoor Outfitters to sponsor guided snowshoeing excursions . The 2 hour leisurely snowshoeing hike starts at Luckett Vineyards from 10 am - noon on Saturday and the same time from Grand Pré on Sunday. Free snowshoe rental for the first 30 who sign up. Cost $5 per person. For those who prefer to stay inside, Jason, the chef at Grand Pre's Gourmet restaurant Le Caveau will be serving up fresh sushi served with samplings of their white, red and ice wine. Sat. from noon - 4:00 for $18 per person.
Benjamin Bridge winery are teaming up with the new Front and Central Restaurant in Wolfville on Saturday Feb 16 for a Winemaker's dinner with five courses of food and wine pairings including their Methode Classique sparklings and their estate grown Borealis icewine. Cost $75 - a real bargain based on the cost of BB wine.
It may not be the old Icewine Festival, but no Winter Wine Festival would be complete without Stars on Ice at l"Acadie Vineyards. Their internationally acclaimed traditional methode sparkling whites and ripasso red are paired with classic cheese fondue. Saturday and Sunday .noon - 4 pm. The ripasso red will also be served down the road at their neighbours Gaspereau Valley Fibres who will be pairing it with morsels of grass fed lamb.
In Malagash, Jost Vineyards are offering mulled wine and free vine cuttings as well as 25% off select wines and 50% off gift items in their craft loft. On Saturday Feb 16, they will have ice wine and food pairings for $10 per person. Artful Knave will be providing live music. They have a wine sale on from Feb 7 to 17 and a contest to win a night at the Delta in Halifax.
If you are a more into hibernation and comfort food Muir Murray Estate are teasing your sweet tooth with five dessert wines paired with 2 bite desserts for $9.99. Their Perfect Blend tea room is serving up icewine baked beans with homemade brown bread. If you're still around on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday they are having a BOGO event, Buy one select wine and get a second of equal or less value free. The sale is on until the end of the month.
There's only four more weeks of winter, brave the elements and enjoy the NS Winter Wine Festival. Much better late than never.
Please subscribe to the column and Tweet it to friends or like on Facebook for updates on the NS wine scene. Follow Veronica Leonard on Twitter @travelprose