Into each life some rain must fall

However, this spring the rain has been unrelenting, and caused problems all over wine country and beyond. April brought Biblical showers.

Here at the Featherstone Grape Ranch and Waterpark, we have a pond that we use for irrigation when we have a dry spell, although the drought of 2016 feels like a distant memory. Normally, the pond is home to a few minnows, some frogs, and the odd muskrat visitor. This year the torrential rains caused water levels to rise. The pond migrated to become Lake Riesling.

We knew we’d had too much rain when we got up one morning and saw a blue heron fishing for minnows in the Riesling field. This early in the growing season, the dampness keeps the soil cold;  we’d like to see the vineyard dry out so that it can warm up.

In the meantime, we offer this wet weather tip: "Never dance in a puddle when there’s a hole in your shoe. It’s always best to take your shoes off first." (J.D. Rhodes)

Cheers! Louise and Dave  
Come rain or come shine

We’ll open The Veranda for your summer enjoyment on the Victoria Day Weekend (May 20-22, 2017). The menu this year is new. Gone are the meat and cheese boards, and in their place we will fire up our wood-burning pizza oven to offer scrumptious thin-crust pizzas, made to order. Wine will be available by the glass. The vineyard views make a perfect topping. 

The Veranda is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays from noon to 4:00 pm up to, and including, Labour Day Monday.
When life gives you rainy days, wear cute boots and jump in the puddles
You will enjoy a tasting of three of the delicious Featherstone wines that Amadeus helps to protect as part of the tour. 
Hawk Talk Tour
Colourful boots are the latest in vineyard chic attire. The Internet says so.  Don your cute boots and join us in the vineyard for a Hawk Talk Tour on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Winery owner and falconer Louise Engel will present Amadeus, the resident Harris Hawk, and talk about his role at Featherstone as part of  a natural bird control strategy for the vineyard. 

Tickets: $12.00 (+HST) per person;  Tickets are available at the winery by calling (905) 562-1949 or:
Sheep Shape Vineyard Tour
Keep those boots handy, as you’ll need them again for the Sheep-shape Vineyard Tour on Saturday, July 22 and Saturday, August 5, 2017. David Johnson, our winemaker, has added ‘shepherd’ to his job description. Each year, sheep are brought into the Featherstone vineyard for a brief period to do leaf removal on the vines and provide weed control.

Tickets: $12.00 (+ HST) per person, three wines tasted. Tickets available at the winery by calling 905-562-1949 or:
See the sheep. Drink the wine. Watch your step. Enjoy our celebrated Featherstone Estate Black Sheep Riesling along with a vineyard tour that is unique in Canada
Bright, sparkling wine

We will break open the bubbly to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017.

Join us for a sip of Featherstone’s premium sparkling wines- Cuvee Joy- made in strict adherence to the French méthod traditionelle (also known as Champagne-style).

The day is special in more than one way; this is the only time during the year that both of our sparkling wines will be open and available for tasting.

On June 24, 2017 the LCBO/Vintages will be releasing a very small amount of our Canadian Oak Chardonnay (#149302) $21.95/ 750 ml. 

Consider it your patriotic duty to buy a bottle or two. Wine critic Andrew Proulx says of it, "This continues to be one of the best priced hidden gems from the province … simply put, this is kickass Chardonnay."

Reviews like that have got us singing in the rain.

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue

It is a veritable rainbow of bowsers at the Muddy Paws Wine Festival on July 8 & 9, 2017.

The pot of gold experience at the foot of it is the unique opportunity to celebrate excellent wine and food in Niagara with your BFF (four-footed friends).  On this weekend, Vineland Estates Winery and Featherstone Estate Winery will open their doors to well-behaved dogs on leash who wish to accompany their owners.

At Featherstone, wines will be available by the glass, Chef Patrick Engel will be serving his nearly world famous cuisine, and the Jazz Trio 'MGM' will delight you all afternoon.

For the four-legged visitors, fresh dog treats will be baked in our wood-fired pizza oven. National Service Dogs (NSD) will be visiting with their puppies in training and a portion of sales will be donated to NSD.

At Vineland Estates Winery, enjoy food, wine, and live music under a tent.
There will be a dog obedience trial by Dave McMahon’s Dog Training Academy, you will have the opportunity to meet the Regional Police K-9 unit -- in an innocent way-- and there are lots of other activities to chase down.

Bark your calendars for July 8 & 9, 2017 from 12noon to 5:00 pm.

Tickets are $20.00 (+ HST) and provide access to the Festival areas at both wineries.

All the details can be sniffed out and tickets retrieved at

 "I don’t just wish you rain, beloved, I wish you the beauty of storms." (J. Geddes)

With or without rainstorms, we wish you beauty and good cheer,

Louise and Dave