Italian Food, Wine and Culture in Niagara

Two Sisters Vineyards

Seated on the patio at the Two Sisters Vineyards we could be forgiven for thinking we’ve been transported to Tuscany. A congenial atmosphere of joie de vivre is infectious, and we are content to stay all day as though we’re meant to be nowhere else but right here. This is the quintessential wine experience we seek: the romance, the architecture, the food, and the wine.

The stage has been set as we open the menu of the onsite restaurant, Kitchen76. What better way to get to know a wine, than by pairing it with such an inspired menu by Chef Christine Mast.

Kitchen 76 Two Sisters Vineyards

Artichokes stand like golden flowers, delicately crisped, splashed with lemon and sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Luscious textures that pair beautifully with the soft strawberry essence of the Sparkling Rosé, as well as the tropical grapefruit bouquet of the Sauvignon Blanc. Tenderly grilled and charred octopus, brined in red wine and spiked with chilli cuts perfectly, and the accompanying crunchy potatoes are addictive.

What’s the secret? I ask the chef. “Training.” I’m told. The octopus and the Eleventh Post were simply made for each other. This is a sexy blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc and Merlot with velvet tannins and intense perfume of blackberries, cassis, and vanilla. These dishes, like their accompanying wines, stand-alone, and yet they are so versatile that their pairings only lift their flavour profiles to even more enjoyable heights.

Kitchen 76 Two Sisters Vineyards

Squid ink capellini is spun with spicy nduja sausage and white wine, and set between pristine clams. This is luxurious on the palate. Each ingredient enhances the whole. The Riesling, refreshing and elegant, with its notes of vanilla and lemon meringue, balances it all, and is also a spot-on pairing with the farfalle and braised lamb with ricotta, saffron raisins, and fresh mint. This is a kitchen that takes chances and pushes the boundaries so that we can taste gorgeous flavour combinations that we would have otherwise not known.

“Meticulous vineyard practices including cropping for low yields have privileged me with exceptional fruit.” Shares winemaker, Adam Pearce. “Such quality allows me to fully express what our cool climate region can produce while respecting each variety’s character. Our ultra-modern production facility, innovative fermentation equipment and first-class French oak barrel program absolutely spoils me as winemaker.”

Kitchen 76 Two Sisters Vineyards

While we play mix and match between the wines and the dishes, there’s really no wrong answer, because these wines have such aplomb and are so elegant and drinkable, and each recipe seems to make room for them.

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A chorus of ingredients sings in our dessert of beignets with pistachio cream and orange syrup that we pair with a Riesling Icewine for delightful decadence. As we look out over the lush vineyard beyond the Ionic pillars, we see guests dining there too, lazing on lawn chairs with the sounds of Billie Holliday in the gentle breeze.

Two Sisters Vineyards
Photo By Daniel Ricci Wedding Photography

Two Sisters also offers programs like Explore the Grape, which includes private structured tastings of three wines with a wine consultant. The Stone Eagle Experience, which introduces the premier Stone Eagle wines, the art of both barrel aging and blending wines, and includes six wine tastings, as well as food pairings to highlight the interaction between food characteristics and grape varietals. The Twilight Experience offers a picturesque evening stroll through the vineyard while enjoying wine, and concluding at the estate pond for an Italian-inspired picnic prepared by Kitchen76.

For the two sisters, Angela and Melissa, “Two Sisters is an extension of our family home and we do all that we can to be sure our guests feel comfortable and welcome… for the little moments and the special occasions.”

Find out more at Two Sisters Vineyards

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