Meet the Wineries of Riverside Winefest 2017!

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From April 4th to 9th, experience an Ontario Wine Tour in your own backyard when award-winning wineries and growers from Prince Edward County (PEC) and Niagara Wine Region (NWR) come to Toronto for Riverside’s 3rd Annual Winefest.

Sponsored by the Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA), Sugar Loaf Bakery & Cafe (catering sponsor), Toronto Food Tours, and the Ralph Thornton Center, Riverside Winefest will showcase 10+ wineries, and dozens of wines throughout the week in events at Riverside venues – along Queen St East from the DVP to Empire Avenue.

Nearly two dozen participating Riverside restaurants, service providers and retailers will host everything from prix fixe wine pairing dinners and classes to FREE wine tasting extravaganzas. Winefest culminates in the Riverside Wine Expo, bringing wineries together at the Ralph Thornton Centre on Saturday, April 8th.

Without further adieu, introducing the Wineries of Riverside Winefest 2017:

13TH STREET WINERY (NWR)

Owners, partners and friends Doug and Karen Whitty and John and June Mann share a common love of wine, food and art and a genuine heart for hospitality. Their boutique winery, set amongst 25 acres of family estate vineyards, is just minutes west of St. Catharines. They specialize in hand-crafted sparkling wines, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Their winemaker, Jean Pierre Colas, is one of the most talented French trained winemakers in the business.

Wines Available to ‘Try & Order’ at Riverside Winefest:

  • Cuvee Rose (Non-vintage), Pinot Gris 2013 , June’s Vineyard Riesling 2015, Gamay Noir 2015, Cabernet Merlot 2015

Try their wines by pre-registering for these Riverside Winefest Events:

  • Ontario 101 Talk & FREE Wine Tasting @ Queen/Saulter Library (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 4, 7-8:30pm
  • FREE ’20 Years Vintage’ Wine Tasting @ Quince Flowers (660 Queen E) – April 7, 4-6pm
  • FREE Riverside Wine Expo at The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 8, 2-5pm
  • Stand-Up & FREE Wine Tasting @ The Underground (670 Queen E) – April 9, 8-10pm
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GRANGE OF PRINCE EDWARD (PEC)

The Grange is a family-run 600 acre farm in Prince Edward County. The Granger family who runs it is drenched in the history of Canadian pioneers: their estate has been a working farm for two hundred years. When it came Caroline Granger’s turn to run the farm she decided to “breathe new life into this sleepy place” by transforming it into vineyards. She says”I grew up on this land – my family’s farm – and when I took it over, I knew we could produce excellent wine here. So I built a winery from the ground up…”. Over 15 years later, the Grange offers many excellent varieties including chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling, sauvignon blanc, gamay, pinot noir, and cabernet franc.

Wines Available to ‘Try & Order’ at Riverside Winefest:

  • Select Gamay, Select Chardonnay (unoaked), Estate Pinot Gris, Estate Chardonnay, Estate Gamay Noir

Try their wines by pre-registering for these Riverside Winefest Events:

  • FREE Wine Tasting & Wellness Seminar @ Oma Chiropractic (1 Munro St) – April 6, 7:30-9:30pm
  • Riverside Arts Market Uncorked FREE Wine Tasting (790 Queen E) – April 6, 4-6pm
  • Sip N’ Shop FREE Wine Tasting @ BRIKA (768 Queen E) – April 5, 6-8pm
  • FREE Riverside Wine Expo @ The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 8, 2-5pm

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BROKEN STONE WINERY (PEC)

Tim and Micheline Kuepfer purchased three hayfields on a Prince Edward County backroad in 2009, they threw their first harvest party in 2010 and harvested two tonnes of quality Pinot Noir wine grapes. By 2012 they built a small building, got a license and Broken Stone Winery was born. They adopt minimal winemaking approaches and allow nature to express itself.

Wines Available to ‘Try & Order’ at Riverside Winefest:

  • Intensity 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc 2015, Simplicity (Vidal/Pinot Gris) 2015

Try their wines by pre-registering for these Riverside Winefest Events:

  • FREE WOGA = Wine & Yoga The Chi Junky Studio (70 McGee St) – April 5, 6-8:30pm
  • FREE Riverside Wine Expo @ The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 8, 2-5pm
  • FREE Riverside Wine Expo @ The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 8, 2-5pm

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THREE DOG WINERY (PEC)

John and Sacha Squair started Three Dog Winery in 2000 with 500 vines. Today Three Dog Winery’s estate covers 100 acres in beautiful Prince Edward County. They started off with a focus on Pinot Noir, soon followed by Pinot Gris, and since then have been slowly adding more Pinot clones and some French hybrids, a little Baco, a little Foch, a little Vidal and lots of love. Three Dog Winery was named for their three Golden Retrievers, rescues from their friends at Golden Rescue Canada – needless to say the winery is a very dog-friendly place!

Try their wines by pre-registering for this Riverside Winefest Events:

  • ‘Wine Down’ with FREE Wine Tasting at Dimensions Framing (733 Queen E) – April 6, 6-8pm
  • ‘Buy, Sell & Wine’ FREE Wine Tasting @ Common Sort (804 Queen St E) – April 7, 4-6pm
  • FREE Riverside Wine Expo @ The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 8, 2-5pm
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WAUPOOS WINERY (PEC)

Built on a 100 acre waterfront estate, Waupoos Winery officially opened in 2001 and is home to award-winning wines, a young history, and a field-to-table experience sustained by their farm. Founders Ed Neuser and Rita Kaimins, who call themselves the modern pioneers of Prince Edward County wine, got the idea to plant grapes after they drank a couple glasses (or maybe bottles) of wine. As Neuser jokes, “Everybody thought we were off our rockers—we had no experience growing grapes or making wines.” Today, they grow four red grape varieties and eight whites and have helped put Prince Edward County on the world map.

Try their wines by pre-registering for these Riverside Winefest Events:

  • FREE Riverside Wine Expo @ The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 8, 2-5pm

VINELAND ESTATES WINERY (NWR)

For over thirty years, Vineland Estates Winery has continually elevated the wine and culinary experience in Niagara. Open all year, they are not only the home of fine wine and cuisine, but an unmatched touring facility and wine country destination. The result is a legacy of great Riesling, exceptional dining, and memorable wine adventure.

Try their wines by pre-registering for this Riverside Winefest Events:

  • FREE Riverside Wine Expo @ The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 8, 2-5pm

DEVIL’S WISHBONE (PEC)

Devil’s Wishbone, founded in 2002, was the name early settlers gave to the land due to the poor soil conditions for farming. But poor soil for farming has the potential to be great for growing grapes! Today, the family winery’s fifteen acres of rolling vineyards overlook the Bay of Quinte, near the picturesque landscape of Lake on the Mountain. The century barn houses the winery and tasting room where the handcrafted wines are made. The winery is the winner of Taste the County’s Peoples’ Choice for White Wine in 2013.

Try their wines by pre-registering for this Riverside Winefest Events:

  • FREE Riverside Wine Expo @ The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl) – April 8, 2-5pm

More participating Riverside Winefest wineries and where you can enjoy their wines:

  • CAVE SPRING CELLARS (NWR) – enjoy these wines with an exquisite dinner at the 5-course Cave Springs Wine Pairing Dinner ($65pp + tax & grat.) By Reservation @ Tabule Middle Eastern Cuisine (810 Queen E) – Thursday, April 6, 7pm
  • TRAIL ESTATE WINERY (PEC) – savour their wines with a special 7-course East + West + Wine + Wood Pairing Dinner ($120pp including tax & grat.) @ The Peasant Table. By Reservation on tofoodtours.com. Wednesday, April 5th, 7pm.
  • ROSEHALL RUN (PEC) – enjoy their wines with an excellent six-course dinner at  Ontario Wine with an Italian Flair ($85pp + tax & grat.), while supporting a good local cause with proceeds going to Nellie’s Shelter. By Reservation @ il ponte cucina italiana (625 Queen E) – Wednesday, April 5th, 6:30pm.
  • HENRY OF PELHAM (NWR) – taste their wines at The Magic of Wine and Cheese @ I’ll be Seeing You Bar (747 Queen E) – Sunday, April 9th, 7pm (Doors open at 6pm).

So why not step outside and enjoy this Ontario wine tour – in your own backyard!

Pre-register to let us know your coming!

Welcome to the Neighbourhood: LCBO Riverside

Toronto’s newest LCBO has officially opened at 772 Queen St. E beside BMO’s Queen/Saulter Branch bank in Riverside.  Here are some fast facts about the store courtesy of LCBO:

  • The 4,096 square-foot store has more than 2,300 square feet of display space. It carries a wide selection of more than 1,000 wines, spirits, beers, ready-to-drink cocktails and coolers. It also features a selection of up to 90 VINTAGES premium wines and spirits.
  • The store has a prominent Ontario wine display showcasing nearly 148 Ontario wines, including some 79 VQA wines.
  • It also features 80 linear feet of refrigerated shelving, which offers a wide selection of Ontario craft beers as well as other domestic and imported brands, ready-to-drink cocktails and coolers. There is also a chilled wine section that features 8 linear feet of refrigerated shelving.
  • There are three checkouts available, and the store is wheelchair accessible.

Hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Find out more from the LCBO press release

 

 

A Fond Farewell to Coyote Willie Tex-Mex Restaurant

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For the last 28 years, Coyote Willie Tex-Mex Restaurant has served the Riverside community, providing quality, delicious food at a reasonable price in an atmosphere that was warm and inviting. Over these years, Coyote Willie has developed many friendships and loyal customers. Now, with a heavy heart, the restaurant has announced its closure.

While the restaurant closed on January 20th, kitchen equipment, Mexican music and art and other items will be available for sale on the website: coyotewillie.com.

Coyote Willie’s owners, Jacques and Wilson wanted to take the opportunity to send out their thanks to you all:

“We are sorry and sad to close Coyote Willie after 28 years. We thank all of our customers for their support and will miss them. Thank you for everything!”

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Riverside Month of Love: Gift Guide

In this month of love, surprise your loved ones (or yourself!) with something special. Riverside brings you a wide range of unique, personalized gifts – for literally every taste and interest. Check out some of our top picks:

BRIKA

768 Queen E

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Ever wondered what it would feel like to just walk through Etsy? Brika’s shop in Riverside is your very own artisanal gift store, connecting you to the creations of hundreds of talented artists. Don’t miss their organic body oil workshop this Monday, Feb. 13th where you can shop, sip and pick up a last minute gift!

Sugar Loaf Bakery

729 Queen E

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Sugar Loaf is Riverside’s non-traditional small batch bakery where “everything is made with love”. Pick up some of their special Valentine’s themed cookies or macaroons, or bring your sweetie out for their special brunch on the weekend.

The Irish Design House

756 Queen E

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The Irish Design House brings you handmade designs- both crafts and fashion. Their shop emanates the comfort of home while connecting you to a wide range of artists, all the way from Ireland.  From comfy natural sweaters, handmade soap, and sewing lessons, they have someone for everyone!

Quince Flowers 

660 Queen E

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You can never really go wrong with flowers. However, you can surely go the extra mile: Riverside’s Quince Flowers, with 20 years of floral excellence under their belt, is simply the best! Quince provides a personalized flower-shopping experience, with their knowledgeable and welcoming staff, and lovely shop atmosphere. Take your date for a stroll through the store and let them pick out some flowers, or just surprise them the old-fashioned way!

The Wine Rack

731 Queen E

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Ok (this is an obvious one) but it’s a great time to get a deal on wine, so why not pick up some Ontario wine as an addition to that home-cooked or take-out Valentine’s day dinner. (Tip: Tabule in Riverside has Bring Your Own Wine Free Corkage on Tuesdays!)

The Arts Market

790 Queen E

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With works from 50 different artists in house, The Arts Market in Riverside is sure to have what you’re looking for. Whether it’s a unique card, jewellery, hand crafted soaps, a vintage typewriter or a ‘vinyl clock’, this shop is a must to check out.

Mary Macleod’s Shortbread

639 Queen E

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Surprise your significant other with a sweet present: some of Mary Macleod’s famous shortbread. With over 35 years in the cookie making business, Mary Macleod’s in Riverside provides the most mouth-watering hand made shortbread cookies, in a range of flavours to suit every taste.

Happy shopping and don’t forget to pick out something for yourself! 😉

Riverside Month of Love: Date Ideas

There is so much to love in Riverside, along Queen Street East  from the DVP to Empire Ave. We’ve rounded up some favourites to help you plan your perfect date!

SMASH! Ping Pong Lounge

672 Queen East

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What’s more romantic than a little healthy competition? Check out this laid back ping pong lounge for a few drinks, some noms, and a friendly game of ping pong. Equipped with more than enough stations, casual seating, and a full bar – SMASH is great for singles, doubles and groups! 

Tiny Record Shop

804 Queen East

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This cool little space is a great place to be tucked away with your significant other where you can geek out on a shared interests. The Tiny Record Shop is exactly what it sounds like – a tiny record shop displaying the owner’s personal collection of unique records. Become a part of this intimate experience of sharing good music (and stay tuned for the occasional free live in-store performance)!

White Lily Diner

678 Queen E

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One of Riverside’s newest eateries takes you back to the good ol’ diner days, with a flair for high-end dining. White Lily diner offers a throw back to the 50s – with retro minimalist decor and nostalgic tunes, coupled with old school food and drink picks with a unique White Lily flair – nobody does casual romantic dates like this! (tip: 1/2 priced wine on Fridays!)

OMA Chiropractic & Wellness Centre

1 Munro Street

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Why not book some some self-care to show you care? Try out Oma’s range of self-care/massage packages with your loved ones. Also, don’t miss Oma’s annual LOVE YOURSELF event on Feb 10th in support of neigbourhood charity Nellie’s. It’s a double whammy of self-pampering and supporting a great local cause. Bring a loved one, or just go by yourself for a spectacular evening of custom jewellery, tarot cards, the “Seduction Station” and more. Get tickets on line or at the door ($15 – all in support of Nellie’s).

Comedy Nights @ I’ll Be Seeing You Bar

747 Queen E

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Have some hearty laughs, mixed with some craft beer at I’ll be Seeing You’s weekly comedy night every Tuesday. Presented by Great Lakes Brewery and hosted by Cara Conners, this weekly event features $5 pints and a great line up of funny people (tip: don’t bring the kids!).

Il Ponte Cucina Italiana

625 Queen E

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Il Ponte is the place to be for authentic Italian eats in a relaxed atmosphere. Perched at Queen East and Don Valley, Il Ponte boasts both art celebrating Riverside and the best view in the neighbourhood of the Riverside Bridge itself. Test out your Italian while enjoying dishes like ‘Gnocchi Il Ponte’ -if you need anything special, just ask restauranteur Giancarlo, who always aims to please.  (tip: Get 1/2 price wine bottles on Tuesdays!)

Stay tuned for more Riverside Month of Love news!