"Fortunato in amore, fortunato nella vita. Siamo molto benedetti." (Translates to "fortunate in love, fortunate in life … we are very blessed!")
When the summer heat hits its peak, wise Italians escape the city and head to the country to join their loved ones for the mid-summer festival of Ferragosto on August 15. This was the inspiration for Janine + Roberto's Ferragosto wedding among the vineyards at Good Earth Food and Wine Co. in Niagara’s wine country.
The wedding ceremony was held in a verdant meadow under century old willow and sugar maple trees. Our nieces and nephews helped out in the religious service with a rousing responsorial psalm and handmade alleluia signs. The groom’s papa led the guests in reciting an Italian version of the Our Father – Il Padre Nostro. The ceremony ended with a prosecco toast: viva gli sposi! and we were deluged with handfuls of rice thrown from every direction.
As the sun was setting behind the orchard, guests strolled toward the winery bistro alongside the vineyard. The communal dinner table was waiting under the pergola, softly lit by sparkling crystal chandeliers and votives in a combination of mercury glass and custom hand-sewn vintage fabric sleeves in tones of muted mauve, pale lavender and mulled grape.
The last word goes to Janine + Roberto's five-year old nephew who whispered into the groom's ear: “Zio, can I tell you something?” “Yes, Ryan, what is it?” “This is the best wedding I’ve ever been to. It’s only the first wedding I’ve ever been to, but it’s the best!”
This wedding was perfectly captured byuber-talented wedding photographer Nataschia Wielink!
Event Photography: Nataschia Wielink Photo + Cinema / Private Photography: K Black and Co. / Wedding Venue: Good Earth Food and Wine Co. in Niagara, Ontario / Floral + Event Design: Mimosa Flower Studio / Menus + Programs: Laura Hooper Calligraphy / Place Cards: DIY / Wedding Cake: Good Earth Food and Wine Co. / Music: Claudio Santaluce / Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham via White Toronto / Bride’s Veil: Antique Belgian Lace / Bride’s Shoes: Sigerson Morrison / Bride’s Earrings: Laurent Gandini / Hair + Makeup: Jessica Jean Myers / Groom’s Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna via Holt Renfrew / Groom’s + Pageboys’ Ties: Pomp & Ceremony / Flower Girls’ Dresses: David’s Bridal / Pageboys’ Suits: J.Crew Crewcuts
Ontario’s Niagara region may be far better known for a certain famous waterfall than for its wines, but the Niagara Peninsula is now home to more than 60 wineries.
The Niagara wine district known as the Twenty Valley — around the towns of Jordan, Vineland, and Beamsville — is a popular day trip from Niagara Falls, or a destination in its own right for a weekend getaway, less than two hour’s drive from Toronto.
While the Twenty Valley doesn’t have the vast range of lodgings, restaurants, and other services of a more developed region like, say California’s Napa Valley, it’s a friendly, laid-back destination for wine tasting and touring.
Its wineries range from established producers like Vineland Estates and Fielding Estate Winery (in a particularly striking wood-and-stone building overlooking the vines), to homier destinations like the Good Earth Food & Wine Company, which also runs a recreational cooking school.
One of the first lodgings to set up shop in the Twenty Valley is still its most deluxe: the Inn on the Twenty, in Jordan Village.
Most of the Inn on the Twenty’s 27 rooms are located in a former winery warehouse, with two additional “cottage suites” and the more modest Vintage House suite in nearby buildings. The room decor is quite traditional, with lots of antique pieces, quilts, and plaid or floral upholstery.
Even the smallest rooms are spacious, measuring over 500 square feet, with fireplaces and large bathrooms with whirlpool tubs. In my “wine country suite” (pictured above), I could have hosted a small party.
Several of the suites are even larger — multi-level, loft units, with a seating area, fireplace, and half bath on one level, and a bedroom and full bath upstairs.
More a country inn than a full-service resort, the inn nonetheless has a small spa with a pretty garden and the normal range of massage, facial, and body treatments. Several boutiques and art galleries surround the inn as well.
The inn’s owners also operate the Cave Spring Cellars winery across the street, so you don’t have to go far from the tasting room to your bedroom. The winery building, which dates to 1871, houses Ontario’s oldest functioning wine cellar.
I didn’t have a chance to dine at the highly regarded Inn on the Twenty Restaurant, which has an ever-so-romantic setting overlooking the adjacent vineyards. It’s a formal, white-tablecloth dining room that draws extensively on local ingredients. Both the inn and the restaurant attract lots of couples for getaway weekends.
Since I was traveling alone, I opted for a more casual supper down the road at another property under the same ownership, the Jordan House Tavern, a rustic roadhouse that’s been pouring brews since the mid-1800s. From the menu of updated pub fare, I can recommend the lamb burger with a tangy green tomato chutney.
Inn on the Twenty double room rates range from CAD$259 to $389, including breakfast, during the summer and fall high seasons. From November through April, rates drop significantly, with nightly tariffs starting as low as CAD$159.
Reposted from www.hotel-scoop.com. Original article found at http://www.hotel-scoop.com/inn-on-the-twenty-a-posh-getaway-in-ontarios-niagara-wine-country
Hotel review by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller, author of the new travel guide, Moon Handbooks: Ontario, which features fun and funky attractions and experiences, lodgings, and places to eat across the province. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. The Inn on the Twenty hosted my stay for review purposes.