Konzelmann Estate Winery has expanded its patio for the summer season, with a great response.
“You really get a sense that our guests are so happy to be back and able to enjoy a glass of wine in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake,” says Andrew Niven, director of marketing.
Retail manager Fabrianne Thorpe was on hand Saturday to attest to this fact. As part of her duties, she also manages the patio, with its increased demand. The weekends are busy and she believes that the demand is high enough that they could open during the week, she says. At present, the patio is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. With many of the guests visiting the winery coming from Quebec and the GTA, they could expect an even greater demand as the Niagara Region moves into Stage 3 of the provincial mandate. An increased demand, adds Thorpe, “is a good problem to have.”
The patio has operating for just over three years, opening in mid-May. This year the launch was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions with their fourth weekend behind them. Niven explained that in order to ensure the safety of their guests, “we’ve increased seating and expanded the footprint of the original patio slightly, in order to better compensate proper distancing our guests.” Guests are greeted at a shaded sanitization station, seated and waited on by staff wearing masks. Before guests are seated, the tables are properly cleared and sanitized. There is also a flow of traffic with arrows on the ground to further ensure proper physical distancing. The seating area is made up of nicely shaded picnic tables with umbrellas, and a few Muskoka chairs are available in the fenced area.
On offer on the patio are a variety of Konzelmann Estate wines and their speciality, the fabulously refreshing Peachwine Sangria. All prices for the beverages include a souvenir GoVino glass to take home. They are also offering a charcuterie box, individually packaged boxes with a selection of meats, cheese, crackers, nuts, fruit, and breads. On Saturdays, Konzelmann welcomes Johnny Rocco’s wood oven pizza wagon to add to their menu. For dessert, Konzelmann has added Marble Slab ice cream to the menu with flavours made exclusively for the winery, including Baco Noir and Peachwine, rich vanilla ice cream, infused with peaches.
“We’ll be looking to expanding our food offerings over the next couple weeks, which has been an ask from many of our guests,” adds Niven.
“We at Konzelmann feel so fortunate that we are able to welcome back our guests. Above everything else, it’s great to see our people walking through the doors again. The recent shift has been a positive one at the winery, giving us the opportunity to slow down a little and focus on guest experience,” says Niven.
His comment resonates with three out-of-town guests who were enjoying the patio Saturday. Isabella Zhoe, Sonja Bilic and Jen Huynh sampled wine and pizza on the extended patio. They were looking for something to do, and decided on Konzelmann for a “Girl’s Day.” Bilic, from Hamilton, was familiar with Konzelmann and had suggested that her friends come from Toronto to join her on the patio for some wine and sunshine, because “we love wine,” and “it’s patio season.”
As the summer continues, people looking for a Konzelmann tasting experience will be happy to know the winery is looking forward to increasing some of their tours and tasting events. Niven assures that, “over the next couple of weeks, we’ll begin to safely expand our on-site experiences; bringing back the popular Junk Food Wine Pairing Experience, as well as on-site (private) tours.”
1 bottle of Konzelmann’s Peachwine
½ bottle of Sparkling
½ cup of white grape juice
Fresh Ontario peaches and berries mixed in
The patio is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from now until Aug. 31, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The retail store is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tastings are by reservation. You can book online through Konzelmann.ca or call 905-935-2866.