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If your recent booze runs lack charm, then a quaint road trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake may be exactly the thing you crave. As the Niagara Region enters Stage 2 of reopening today, several Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries are once again welcoming visitors into their tasting rooms this weekend.
Ontario is currently taking a regional approach to Stage 2 of Phase 2 reopening. Though several regions saw certain businesses reopen on June 12, some restrictions were lifted today for additional regions, including Niagara. Included in Stage 2 reopening are patios, day spas, shopping malls and markets. Wineries are also allowed to reopen their tasting rooms as well as their patios, where applicable.
Despite the news, only some of the Niagara region’s wineries are now open. They must follow guidelines for reopening provided by the government as well as by Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the organization that oversees each of the member wineries of the region. These include protocols for social distancing and guidelines on how to create a safe environment, even in tasting rooms. Guidelines include limiting the number of visitors allowed in tasting rooms at once, having hand sanitizer readily available, providing disposable cups in place of spittoons and more.
Wineries that have reopened include Peller Estates, Two Sisters Vineyard, Konzelmann Estates Winery, Wayne Gretzky Estates, Southbrook Organic Vineyards and several more. Many require advanced reservations for tastings and patio tables.
As we embrace summer and look for ways to escape our new normal, a trip to wine country to stock up on favourite VQA bottles seems like a wondrous way to spend a sunny day.