St. Catharines, ON — While the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival team would love nothing more than to be throwing their annual celebration to celebrate the launch of Niagara’s latest crop of wines, they’re pressing pause on the party this year. This June’s Homegrown Wine Festival, which normally features the TD Wealth Tailgate Party, a Discovery Pass tasting program at dozens of Niagara wineries and the RBC Brunch In The Vineyard, has been cancelled.
According to Niagara Grape & Wine Festival Executive Director, Dorian Anderson, “We’re incredibly disappointed to have to cancel our annual Homegrown Wine Festival, but the timing is just not right for large-scale events. Instead, we’re opting to work with our Niagara winery partners to put some new options in place that will allow wine lovers to create a fun at-home experience.”
The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival will be taking to social media to shine the spotlight on Niagara’s newest bottles this June. Wineries and chefs who normally would have been pouring their 2019 vintages and serving food pairings at festival events will be sharing their wine selections and recipes online. Many wineries are also offering free or discounted wine delivery throughout Ontario. For Niagara residents who prefer not to have to prepare their own food pairings, 20 area restaurants now offer VQA wines to accompany their takeout food menus. The Festival Instagram account, @niagarawinefest, will continue to highlight these special offers throughout the summer.
While the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 situation in Ontario makes it difficult to plan for large-scale events, the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival is committed to celebrating the fall harvest in a safe manner. The Festival’s board is monitoring the situation closely and will decide by mid-July what September’s Niagara Grape & Wine Festival will look like.
“There’s no doubt that the 2020 Niagara Grape & Wine Festival will have a different look and feel this year in order to protect the safety of our guests, but we are committed to ensuring the event takes place in a new form that continues to recognize the important role that our grape growers and wine industry plays in Niagara, Ontario and Canada,” said Dorian Anderson, Executive Director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.