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Sydney Nicholls and her dynamic Lincoln Leaper teammates have been around the world gaining medals, friends and experience along the way. Page 6



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Page 6 – Jumping Rope Around The World Page 14 – Barracudas Wanted...and not the muscles cars: ClubWest’s fishing writer heads to Caribbean for a game fish expedition Page 18 – Beauty & The Bruce...Trail: Hiking Niagara to Tobermory Page 24 – Resident Chef ’s most popular dishes

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Aside from a southern fishing expedition and a look at some awesome dishes one can prepare in their own home, this edition of ClubWest exhibits two resources Niagara West residents are blessed to have in abundance: great youth and nature. We’ve written many times about the Lincoln Leapers over the years. They continue to develop great athletes and good people. Even a group which has done many impressive things over the years can still pull a surprising rabbit out of the hat. The group’s exploits in China, case in point. What an experience! Forget the competition, I am constantly amazed at some of the opportunities today’s youth have and this venture is certainly one of them. For a kid like me - from a town of 3,000 and never on a plane until he was 25, it’s amazing to me kids get to hop on a plane and head off to the other side of the globe to compete on a world scale. Not only that, but they deliver. Year in, year out this group is a great representative for Lincoln and our entire area, as they draw members from the surrounding areas as well. The other aspect of the area highlighted in this edition’s pages is the Niagara Escarpment. Clearly obvious to all on a day to day basis, the escarpment is taken for granted by many. In this day and age of all things environmental, the last thing that should be glazed over is the escarpment. Our featured group of intrepid hikers not forgotten about it, but decided to take it head on as a terrific challenge. While being able to say you hiked from one end of the escarpment to the other is a significant claim to fame, so too is being able to experience the entire geography of the area. Rock formations, waterfalls, forest...it’s all there, which comprises another part of the reason the escarpment is amazing. In much of the world, while geography varies, there are few places that can cover all the bases. Southern Ontario, and the escarpment in particular, highlights just about every geographic feature including the Blue Mountains which can make for some hair-raising hiking. To enjoy the escarpment, one does not have to take on a major task such as hiking it end to end. Popping up to Beamer’s Conservation Area and taking a 20 walk through the forest to the lookout points is nice break in any day. There is also a nice little access point on Mountainview Road in Beamsville, just north of Locust Lane. For the more hearty, one can trudge directly up hill to Beamer’s from an access in downtown Grimsby off of Gibson Street. Give it a try! Mike Williscraft, Publisher, ClubWest Magazine


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Jaws drop as Sydney Nicholls warms up on the streets of China. (Photo by Eilea Given)

Jumping rope world wide By Joanne McDonald ydney Nicholls lives life at double and even triple speed. A Canadian national jump rope champion, her skill and speed have placed her on the international podium and she is helping to put the demanding sport on the Olympic radar. And best of all, she is the nicest teen you could ever meet. Last fall in China, Sydney placed an impressive 3rd overall in a very competitive


6 clubwest.ca | January/February 2020

field of global athletes. A member of the dynamic Lincoln Leapers, the 13-year-old Grimsby resident was one of 10 selected to represent Canada at the International Jump Rope Competition (Rope Skipping China Open 2019) in Beijing. She competed in three masters (individual) events including 30-second speed, three-minute speed and single rope freestyle - that is when she wasn’t doing jump rope tricks along the Great Wall of China. It was quite the adventure and an oppor-

tunity Sydney says she wouldn’t have had without her dedicated coaches, the community, the Leapers and “my amazing parents.” Sitting at the kitchen table with her parents Tim and Deb Nicholls, Sydney’s focus is now on qualifying for the 2020 International Jump Rope Union (IJRU) World Championships this July in Ottawa. It’s the newly-merged IJRU’s first global championship event and they can’t wait to welcome the entire jump rope world to Canada.

PURSUITS World Jump Rope Domination Continued From Page 6 It’s a very exciting time for the sport and Canada has a lot to look forward to watching this young athlete perform. “I credit Sydney’s ability to get to this level with her perseverance and determination and a belief in herself. She has a laser focus,” says Tim, speaking both as her dad and team manager and conditioning coach for the Lincoln Leapers. “She can be surrounded by judges, 10 at each table and maintain her centre. “She has that level of confidence, strength and concentration.” Sydney also has a grace and poise that belies her 13 years. And she is grounded in humility - one of her strong personality traits. “The best part is how humble she is. She takes her accomplishments in stride and is proud of all her team mates,” says Deb. “That is what is so nice about Sydney’s personality. She truly cares about other people.” And, “she never skips a practice.”

Sydney is already a veteran of numerous national and international competitions and it’s been heartwarming for Deb to see her daughter trading national pins with athletes from other countries.“ She has made beautiful friendships around the world.” LOVE AT FIRST SKIP Skipping, jumping and turning the ropes since the age of six, it was curiosity and the prompting of lifelong friend Hannah Miller that first brought Sydney to the athletic sport when she joined the Lincoln Leapers. “After that first night, I knew I wanted to skip,” Sydney said. It was creative and wide open and she loved learning new tricks. Quickly moving through the initial three levels, she was invited to try out, and qualified that first year to go to the national competition in Vancouver. “It was really hard the first year. I went straight from Little Leapers, all fun, straight into competition. I had to pick up what to do pretty fast as it was a national competi-

tion,” said Sydney. “The coaches gave me lots of motivational pep talks and were always encouraging.” A Grade 8 student at Central French Immersion Public School in Grimsby, Sydney was part of the first year pilot to introduce French immersion when she started Grade 1 and will graduate with the inaugural class before heading to Grimsby Secondary School. A well rounded athlete, Sydney plays volleyball and also finds time for track and field and cross country. A straight A student, she gets home from workouts, does her homework, no moaning or groaning. “She juggles her responsibilities well and has great time management skills,” says Deb. “She has had the same friends for years, a wonderful group of friends, many of them together since preschool.” Physical fitness is in the genes for this family - cycling, hiking, power walking.

Lincoln Leapers (L-R) Abby Rorison, Tia Pawczuk and Emma Giannini work in perfect rhythm. McDonald - Photo

Continued From Page 7

Lincoln Leapers (L-R) Hannah Miller, Lucy LeDonne and Genny Slavin encourage each other through a difficult routine. McDonald – Photo

So too is the strong family bond to being there for each other. Sydney did competitive gymnastics for five years, training at Aspire Gymnastics in Grimsby. She still goes to Aspire for tumbling and skips three times a week at Blessed Trinity Secondary School and Smithville Public School. “My Mom and Dad have always supported me through the ups and downs, the physical wear and tear, day to day to practises, the emotional roller coaster, and the absolute excitement when it all pays off,” Sydney said. Sydney has brought home some serious hardware from the growing list of national and international competitions. Nationally she won first overall for females 13-14 at the 2019 Rope Skipping Canada National Championships in Olds, Alberta. Her very first competition she earned 14th overall in the 8-9 and under division in Vancouver; the second year in Halifax brought 2nd overall, 10 and under; the third year, a 1st overall in 10 and under in Olds, Alberta; 2nd overall, 11-12 year in Kingston; and 2nd overall, 11-12 in Windsor.

Front (L to R): Leah Neufeld, Emily Hambleton, London Wright, Alice MacQueen , Paige Baker, Kaeli Killins, Lexi Killins, Sarayah Killins, Alex Slavin and Faith Giantses. Middle: Eve Genovese, Sydney Nicholls, Lily Genovese, Hannah Miller, Natalie LeDonne, Claressah Anderson, Lucy LeDonne, Paige Stauffer, Tia Pawczuk and Genny Slavin. Back: Tim Nicholls, team manager and conditioning coach; Sofia Stadler, Abby Rorison, Brooklyn Lanosky, Lily Maxwell, Marcella McLennan,  Maddy Boychuk, Emma Giannini and Becca Simpson, head coach. McDonald - Photo

PURSUITS World Jump Rope Domination

On the podium for Canada, Sydney Nicholls earned a 3rd overall during the China Open International Jump Rope Competition in Beijing. (Photo by Eilea Given)

Continued From Page 8 Internationally, Sydney earned 3rd overall at the 2019 China Open; 11th overall in the 14 and under at the 2019 World Jump Rope Championships in Oslo, Norway, (Sydney and Leaper team mate Sofia Stadler both placed 4th in their masters freestyle divisions); and 6th overall in the 11-12 year category at the 2018 international competitions in Orlando, Florida. (The Lincoln Leaper team got second in the double Dutch speed event.) Now, “it’s my dream to be on the Canadian national team and compete at the Olympics,” says Sydney. CHINA OPEN Sydney was one of only two athletes from Ontario, including world champion Eilea Given and four athletes from British Columbia to compete in the China Open. Their arrival coincided with the country’s celebration of its 70th year of communism. “It was amazing. Everybody was nice, and

helpful, ready to give directions and help out,” said Sydney. She survived mainly on white rice and touring the sights there were many curious cameras pointed in her direction. It was a big change with the time difference and they had to compete two days after landing. It was an outdoor venue for the international competition and they learned just the night before competitions started they would have to use jump ropes provided by the Chinese and had no opportunity to practise. “I just tried to go with it,” Sydney said. For Eilea it was also an exciting adventure and her spectacular photos of Sydney will be a treasured memory. “Sydney and I were training partners, we met at least once a week to train together. We were the only two athletes from Ontario who competed in China. She is 13 and I am 30, and we both had an excellent season in 2019,” Eilea said.

A member of the ‘Thirty No Hurty’ team in Fonthill and multiple gold medalist, Eilea put up the fastest score ever recorded at the World Jump Rope Championships in the female 30+ category in 2019 in Oslo, Norway. “Sydney gives me the benefit of her energy, and I (try to) give her the benefit of my experience in the sport. She is certainly not afraid of hard work, and matches me stride for stride in our training. It has been such a beautiful and wonderful privilege to get to watch her develop into the athlete she is now and is yet becoming. Canada has a lot to look forward to in watching this athlete perform.” LINCOLN LEAPERS It would be hard to count the hours and commitment Tim brings to supporting the Leapers. His positive enthusiasm sets the stage for success. “The relationship between the older January/February 2020 | clubwest.ca


PURSUITS World Jump Rope Domination Continued From Page 9 jumpers and younger jumpers is unprecedented. That mentorship is so positive. They help each other and encourage each other,” says Tim. “While Sydney was in Vancouver, it was almost like an entourage. They took care of her, encouraged her, kept her calm and gave her confidence, as they do with all the young ones,” Tim said. “This is what we love about this sport.” Watching the Lincoln Leapers practise in the gym at Blessed Trinity Secondary School is more than motivational. Positivity and enthusiasm come natural it seems to the organizers and coaches. The Leapers work hard and have a lot of fun. “We’re a family, everyone supports everyone,” says Lincoln Leaper President Cheryl Giannini. From jumping to turning the ropes, “everyone brings their own skill set. Success is the sum of all parts.”

Cheryl credits the skill and commitment 20 pre-competitive jumpers and about 80 Little Leapers, recreational jumpers learning of head coach Becca Simpson as a big part of Leaper success. The days are packed with to skip. Renowned for their performances, the Leapers have enraptured audiences at a weekly program that includes: Monday team practice; Tuesfive Raptor half-time shows day, conditioning in Toronto. Former Lincoln Leaper and performance head coach, Carly Simpson team; Wednesday, program and preis now Canadian rep for the competition pracIJRU. Cherylsaid Carly has been tice; and Thursday instrumental in the Leaper team practice. program and in helping “The older kids help the younger LINCOLN LEAPER Jump Rope Canada get to international status. ones to grow in PRESIDENT CHERYL GIANNINI They are all looking forthe sport. You can’t ward to the first IJRU world pay for this kind of mentorship,” Cheryl said. “It’s so much fun competition this July in Ottawa. “This is a huge coup for us to grow the sport.” to watch them grow.” “Carly is working with American counAt present, the Lincoln Leapers have 27 terpart Chris Brown to develop the judging competitive jumpers, ages 8-18, competing locally and internationally. There are

“The older kids help the younger ones to grow in the sport. You can’t pay for this kind of mentorship,” –

Little Leapers Lexi Killins and Emily Hambleton  map out their jump rope routine. McDonald - Photo

Lincoln Leapers share fun and friendship. (L-R) Emily Hambleton, Lexi Killins, Alex Slavin and Alice MacQueen. McDonald – Photo

Continued From Page 10 rule book,” Cheryl said. “I’ve known Becca and Carly since I started and they’re just really good coaches,” said Sydney. “They have taught me so much and I always have fun.” “It’s a very exciting time in the sport,” says Tim. “Everything is changing from the club level to the international level, rules that kids jump under, some events are changing, all judges must be trained, all go through a rigorous training process to know what they are judging and training.” The thrill however remains the same - watching people’s jaws drop when they watch the Leapers perform. “Canada has a lot of work to get jump rope recognized as a sport and to make sure, when the Olympics occur, we will be there with a national team,” Tim said. The Lincoln Leapers jump rope team is a non-profit association that was established in 1982 as a small elementary school club. It was the first competitive jump rope team in Canada and has grown into one of the largest and most decorated teams, holding provincial, national, and world titles. The Leapers draw from Grimsby, St. Catharines,

Airborne as they jump through the ropes, Lincoln Leapers (L-R) Lily Maxwell, Abby Rorison and Maddy Boychuk. McDonald - Photo

PURSUITS World Jump Rope Domination Continued From Page 11 Smithville, all of West Niagara to St. Catharines. “We’re constantly fundraising in order to get our coaches to provincial, national and international events.” “Any time we go out for sponsorships, we are always amazed at how generous the community is,” Tim said. “We’ve received amazing amounts from the Legions, Beamsville and Grimsby. The Winona Men’s Club routinely gives a great contribution every year.” For more information, visit the website: www.lincolnleapers.com

Athletes representing Canada at the China Open 2019 (L-R) Emily Whitman, Eilea Given, Natalie Jorgenson, Clea Brummitt, Libby Baird and Sydney Nicholls. (Photo courtesy of Eilea Given)

Sydney Nicholls trades pins with an international jump rope athlete. Photo by Deb Nicholls

12 clubwest.ca | January/February 2020 for Sydney and A joy-filled father and daughter moment Tim Nicholls. Photo by Robert Zuk

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ClubWest Magazine writer for all things fishing related, Brent Bochek, exhibits his prized barracuda catch.

Sun, fun and barracudas Beamsville angler takes on Caribbean game fish

By Brent Bochek or those who know me, or have read my articles, you know I have a special affection for toothy critters. Muskies top the list for most of the year, but there are other toothy critters to chase while on vacation. After a busy work year for both my wife, Heather, and I, combined with many days on the water fishing, we were


ready for a little rest and relaxation and more fishing. We traded the cold and snow for heat and sand as we headed to Cuba a few days before Christmas. After a couple of days laying on the beach enjoying a few beverages, I started getting restless and had visions of Ernest Hemingway trolling these clear blue waters for sailfish. But sailfish are not toothy critters.

The lightning fast and acrobatic Barracuda replicate a saltwater Musky and from previous experience I knew there was a good chance of hooking into one not far from shore. After a walk over to the beach activity hut and a conversation with a gentleman named Michael who was a fishing guide, I was all set to hit the water in the

PASSIONS Fishing Continued From Page 14 morning. Usually hitting the water in the morning means sometime around when the sun comes up, but we’re on Cuban time and the beach activity hut didn’t open until 9 a.m. at the earliest. Michael suggested I be there for 10 a.m. and, arriving at 10 a.m. sharp, I found Michael preparing some bait for our adventure. I’m not the most patient person when it’s time to going fishing, so the delay was only adding to my heightened anticipation. By 10:30 a.m. we were ready to hit the water. I always bring my own rods and tackle on a trip but the day before I noticed that Michael had good quality PENN reels and stout rods, so I chose to leave my gear behind and use his. One of the cool experiences of this fishing trip is that we did not fire up the motor as we left the beach, mainly because the catamaran we were on did not have one! We were at the mercy of the wind and fortunately there was a good stiff breeze to catch our sails. Just outside the swimming area I started to let out one of the baits I had brought from home that Michael suggested I try. Some light conversation and a bit of history about the area, Michael and his family, and suddenly we were close to the coral reef that he wanted to troll close to. He suggested I change baits to one of the Sardines he had prepared. One thing I’ve always believed is, “listen to your guide”, they know the waters and have learned what the fish want according to conditions. As the winds blew and we trolled along the edge of the reef, I spotted something in the water behind our catamaran. I pointed it out to Michael who informed me it was probably a small Reef Shark. I decided to keep my dangling toes out of the water! When the first Barracuda hit, it was like I had hooked onto a freight train. Line peeled off my reel and then I saw it jump

clear out of the water at least three feet. I was excited and had an ear to ear grin as I fought the fish to the side of the small boat. We landed the fish, snapped a couple quick pictures and released her back to her watery home. It didn’t take long and I was hooked up again, this time the Barracuda was a bit smaller and Michael wanted to keep it to feed his family and friends. I can appreciate a fresh fish meal and was happy to help supply dinner. I had another one on, and after a series of acrobatic jumps, the fish came unhooked leaving me with more memories of the one that got away. But I wasn’t done yet, as we trolled back towards the beach, less than a hundred yards off, I informed Michael that I had another fish on. This one took more line, jumped higher and fought harder than the previous ones, and for good reason, it was the biggest fish of the day! A couple more photos, a quick release and we headed back to the beach where Heather was waiting for me. She could tell by my smile I had caught fish and had a great time. For $40 and after 2.5 hours, it was time to head back to the beach chair, have

a beverage and tell fish tales to anyone who would listen. Editor’s Note: Brent Bochek is a multi species guide and seminar speaker. You can follow Brent on Facebook and Instagram or check out his website at www.fishnv.ca January/February 2020 | clubwest.ca


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Customers valued at Mountaineer Movers When Mountaineer Movers celebrated 41 years of business in 2019, the team looked back into its past to remind ourselves of the history the company has drawn from. In 1951, Harry Mans immigrate to Canada from Holland with his family. Harry’s first job was to work on the farm that sponsored them when they came to Canada. “As our family got older, Harry saw the need for his family to work together. The family started delivering mail routes, then a newspaper routes and soon flowers, as well, said co-owner Wendy Mans-Keddie. “One day Harry saw an advertisement for a moving business that was up for sale. After some careful deliberation, he purchased the business name Mountaineer Movers. Thus, the ‘family’ business began!” Their consideration of their customers is what sets them apart. “As a family, we understand and realize that moving can be one of the MOST stressful times in a person’s life,” said Wendy, who is now the company president and worked along side Harry for 47 years. “We strive to remember that we are servicing a wide variety of people and demographics and they are confronting a major change in their life. They are leaving a place they have called home for a new and unfamiliar place that will soon become their new haven.” Wendy’s husband Andrew, who has 40 years of experience, does all in-home estimates as well as Tom Ensign, an employee of several years. Their daughter Sarah oversees the office administration. “We would not be a moving company without out movers – our ‘guys’. These men make Mountaineer a continuing success. ,” noted Wendy. The company’s philosophy is simple, she noted, success is

honesty. “All in all – trust your instincts and treat all those around you, whether they are family, customers, or employees with respect, dignity and encouragement. This is our philosophy on running a successful and prosperous Andrew Keddie (holding Lola), with his daughter Sarah business,” said Wendy. Mans-Keddie (holding Abby), wife Wendy Mans-Keddie.


January/February 2020 | clubwest.ca


Toasting to a journey well travelled at the Bruce Trail’s northern terminus in Tobermory….... Niagara residents Diane and Brian McNally, Mike Carruthers and Teresa Lasiuk.

Beauty & the Bruce ...Trail

By Joanne McDonald iking at the pace of nature and exploring end-to-end the wild beauty of the Bruce Trail, the journey was the joy for intrepid adventurers Diane and Brian McNally, Mike Carruthers and Teresa Lasiuk. From Queenston to Tobermory - 900 kms, four years and 74 hiking days - they followed the trail-marking blazes, every step leading to geological treasures and endless wonders of nature. The day they touched the stone cairn


18 clubwest.ca | January/February 2020

at the top of the Bruce Peninsula was the culmination of a truly remarkable adventure. It was the quintessential photo-op if ever there was…..but who would take the picture to capture the moment for all time. “We came running down the hill in Tobermory, raising our poles, touching the cairn and yelling ‘we’re done,’ but there was nobody to witness the accomplishment,” said Beamsville resident Brian. They backtracked a few steps to a lo-

cal shop, shared their dilemma and the cashier, without hesitation, followed them out the door to take the photo. It was one of many moments that would mark not only the beauty of the Bruce, but the spirit of the people, rural and urban Ontario residents they met along the way. CONGRATULATIONS The Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) has been named the top environmental charity in Canada for 2020 by Maclean’s

PASSIONS Hiking Continued From Page 18 Magazine. It’s significant recognition of BTC’s work to protect the footpath along the Niagara Escarpment and a shared triumph when hikers complete the ambitious ‘end-to-end’ goal. “Diane and Brian, Mike and Teresa, sincere congratulations on completing the epic Bruce Trail End to End!   Your adventure is a bucket list item for many Canadians, and you have now joined a special group that has accomplished this incredible journey. Cheers to you and your accomplishment,” said Michael McDonald, CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy. The seeds for what would be a 900km clamber over the rocky spine of the Niagara Escarpment were planted over a dinner the four shared in Niagara-on-theLake. Four years later - hundreds of spectacular photos and notes recorded meticulously, are a virtual tour along Canada’s

time out. longest and oldest marked footpath. And Diane was the navigator (she says the says Brian, “we have become very good Bruce Trail reference guide and Bruce friends.” Sole mates, you might even say, consid- Trail App are must haves) and Teresa was ering they’ve walked a mile in each other’s the organizer. “Teresa kept all the logs and applied for all the badges.” shoes. Not on purpose mind you. It was Badges are earned for completion of only at the end of a long day of Mike each of the nine trail complaining about sections including: sore feet he learned he Niagara, Iroquoia, was wearing Brian’s Toronto, Caledon Hills, boots. Dufferin Hi-Land, Blue And on one of the Mountains, Beaver Valearliest hikes, the ley and Sydenham. foursome arrived at “It was quite exciting the end of a trail to when we would finish learn the keys to the a section…like little waiting car were left BRIAN McNALLY kids we’re going to get in the vehicle left at another badge,” Diane the start of the day’s said. hike. They are now anticipating the arrival of The foibles of the foursome led to some ongoing kibitzing. “Brian do you have the the ‘end-to-end’ badge, the big one that recognizes the completion of the entire car keys? Mike are you wearing your own boots?” were part of the check list every

“When we first started we had no idea what we were up against… ..I just got a pair of running shoes,” –

Glacial pothole in the Hope Bay Forest Provincial Nature Reserve along Hope Bay. Photo by Brian McNally

Mike Carruthers, Teresa Lasiuk and Diane McNally hike through a narrow rock wall corridor in the Sydenham Section, just past Woodford, near Bayview Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve. Photo by Brian McNally

Continued From Page 19 main Bruce Trail on foot. FIRST STEPS October 2015, the first leg of the odyssey began with a hike from the cairn marking the start of the trail in Queenston to the Woodend Conservation Area. Few have a real sense of the rigours of the trail and it was apparent from the first time out, this foursome had a lot to learn. “When we first started we had no idea what we were up against…..I just got a pair of running shoes,” said Brian, learning the hard way the benefits of proper hiking boots and gear. “It’s not a walk in the park. It really is a challenge.” Many of their friends imagined they were out along groomed trails. “People don’t realize, they think it’s a gravel path, just a smooth path.” But when they see the pictures they are stunned. “People have no idea how beautiful this province is. Every hike brought different terrain and there was always something spectacular to see,” said Diane. “We are so lucky to live in this province, to live in Canada and be able to do this.” “You’re up on the escarpment, you look out and see the tops of the trees below you….it’s exhilarating….some places the trail runs along the edge and one false step - it kept everybody on their toes,” Diane said. “You had to pay attention the whole time.” Every hike brought new terrain and for the seasoned foursome it was all in a day’s hike to be prepared. “In the middle of nowhere you can quickly be in trouble,” Brian said. “Some trails run very close to the edge of the escarpment,” said Brian. “There are no fences and it took a lot of concentration in some areas.” And since the car was always parked at the end of the day’s hike there was no choice, even hiking along a 300-ft. drop, but to keep moving forward. They would experience the many challenges of the rugged terrain, from stepping carefully along nail-biting trails high on the escarpment to pushing through

Continued From Page 20 And always, each new turn was a testament to the magic of the trail. Fortunately, they did not meet with any of the trail’s potential challenges from poison ivy to bears and rattlesnakes. Inglis Falls, south of Owen Sound offered up challenging terrain and the going was slow, about one km per hour “But the reward was seeing one of the jewels along the way,” said Diane. “In the Beaver Valley area we had to climb the ski slopes. They were gradual but very long hikes, up and down, it was exhausting.” The terrain changes abruptly as the Bruce Trail enters the area known as the Blue Mountains. ‘High Point’ is 540 m above sea level. “You get to see nature that you wouldn’t otherwise see, we were discovering Ontario.…all the little towns we’d never heard of and all the driving along back roads to get to hike starts.” And emphasized Diane, they relished every bit of the journey. “We averaged about 13 kms a day and that took us five hours. Every place there was a lookout we would stop and enjoy the view.” And always, “we felt we were standing under the canopy of part of something larger than ourselves.” WELL-MARKED TRAILS “The Bruce Trail Conservancy has done a fantastic job of not only creating but continually maintaining the Bruce Trail,” said Brian. “It is so well marked,” Diane agreed. They divided the trail into two parts, interspersing starts from both Queenston and at Blantyre, the start of the Sydenham section south of Owen Sound. The southern hikes were day trips. Once into the Collingwood, Beaver Valley, Owen Sound areas they did twoday trips with overnights at B&Bs and hotels along the way. Up in the Bruce Peninsula, they went for three days and two nights. Sometimes they met other hikers, often they were on the trail alone. The foursome averaged 12 to 15 kms per hiking day. On overnight trips, they

Map courtesy of Elizabeth Harrington, Bruce Trail Conservancy.

PASSIONS Hiking Continued From Page 21 would do about 10 kms the first day and try for 12 to15 kms the next. When they were up in Bruce Peninsula they did about 35 kms over three days. “We would read about people who had done 25 to 30 kms in a day but we made a point when there was a lookout or rock outcropping to just stop and enjoy the beauty around us,” said Diane. “We have seen some spectacular scenery, some fantastic rock formations. We have climbed some very long hills, up some very deep ascents and down some very

Inglis Falls in the Inglis Falls Conservation Area, just south of Owen Sound. Photo by Brian McNally

precarious rocks. We hiked what seemed like through the centre of the earth….and we have met some friends along the way,” said Diane. “We have fought off mosquitoes and black flies but fortunately no tics, bears or snakes. We have been in the heat and cold, had lunch on Muskoka chairs in the middle of nowhere, no sprains or broken bones.” “WE DID IT!!” PATH AHEAD The late Ray Lowes, father of the Bruce Trail and lifelong conservationist, called the Niagara Escarpment Plan and Bruce

Trail his “geography of hope.” A true visionary, Lowes understood the all encompassing need to save the Niagara Escarpment. The idea of a public footpath spanning the entire length was born in 1960 when he articulated the vision to a friend Robert Bateman at a meeting of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists.  The first meeting of the Bruce Trail Committee was held that same year. The four members attending included Raymond Lowes, Dr. Philip Gosling, Dr. Norman Pearson and Dr. Robert MacLaren

PASSIONS Hiking Continued From Page 22 and and they became instrumental in building the Bruce Trail. In a 1968 speech at the Niagara Escarpment Conference, Lowes noted: “The simplicity of our request is astounding. We just want a strip of land that will be left alone - not manicured, not landscaped, not serviced by multi-laned highways or ‘parkways’ and not through new subdivisions. It’s not much to ask. A later generation will demand it.” The work towards conserving Ontario’s biodiversity and “preserving a ribbon of wilderness, for everyone, forever,” continues today. “The Niagara Escarpment is a UNESCO world biosphere that is in need of our protection,” says McDonald. “To date the Bruce Trail is only 68 percent secured. The Bruce Trail Conservancy has been working hard to raise funds to help protect land and establish a conservation corridor containing Canada’s

Deer running through the Short Hills Provincial Park, Niagara Section of the Bruce Trail. Photo by Brian McNally

permanently protected natural corridor oldest footpath.” along the Niagara Escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment is the most “Volunteers have been the driving biodiverse region in all of Ontario. There force behind the Bruce Trail for over 50 are more than 80 at-risk species all along years. Today, more than 1500 volunteers this ecologically important natural landdonate their time and talents to the Bruce form. Trail Conservancy and its nine member “Last year with the help of our memClubs. Without this bers and donors we “Last year with the help of remarkable year-round proudly protected our members and donors we support, the Bruce Trail over 4,000 acres of habitat along the Niproudly protected over 4,000 would not be what it is today,” Harrington agara escarpment and acres of habitat along the Niagara said. created 11 new nature escarpment and created To get involved: reserves,” McDonald https://brucetrail.org/ said.   11 new nature reserves,” – “Please consider MICHAEL McDONALD pages/get-involved/voljoining us in our BRUCE TRAIL unteering work by becoming a CONSERVANCY, CEO Additional Resources: https://brucetrail.org/ member.” pages/about-us/bruce-trail-btc-fact   Elizabeth Harrington, BTC Director https://brucetrail.org/pages/get-inof Communications and Engagement, speaks right from the heart about the con- volved/membership https://brucetrail.org/donations/donate servancy’s mission and the work of many hands to secure the Bruce Trail within a

Chef In Residence CUISINE

Celery Root Salad ... with Cranberries, ‘Bleu D’Elizabeth’, and Toasted Filberts INGREDIENTS - SALAD • 1 Large celery root, trimmed and cut into matchsticks • ¼ cup dried cranberries • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped • ¼ cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley • ½ cup Bleu D’Elizabeth, (an amazing, Canadian blue cheese) DRESSING • ¼ cup maple syrup • ½ cup olive oil • 1 lemon, juiced and zested • Salt and Pepper DIRECTIONS Blanch the celery root in a bit of salted water, and chill when ‘al dente’. You can plate these salads ahead, dressing them just prior to service. Combine the celery root, parsley, and cranberries – arrange on a plate, then top with the crumbled ‘Bleu’, and lastly with the hazelnuts, coarsely chopped.

Combine the dressing ingredients, adjusting the seasoning with salt and pepper. Dress the salad just before serving. Another great item from the harvest, which are, sadly, often not fully appreciated, are Brussels Sprouts.

These little guys are maligned unfairly, mostly due to the fact that they are frequently raw, and undercooked, or reduced to an odiferous, olive-gray mass and overcooked. Properly done, they’re delicious, and they deserve a place at your table.

eight unique pairings at your choice of over 40 wineries across the Niagara Region. For more information please visit our website http://niagarawinefestival.com/icewinefestival. • Snow Stopper, Cooking Class - Jan. 19, Noon-2 p.m. $95pp. Andrew Thorne, executive chef, The Good Earth Bistro. Baby, it’s cold outside. Nothing makes the weather outside less frightful than a hearty, comforting winter meal. The Good Earth Food & Wine Co., 4556 Lincoln Avenue, Beamsville. Phone 905-563-6333. • Get It On, Bang A Gong! Szechuan Shrimp & Noodles - Weekend 1 – January 10-12; Weekend 2 – January 17-19; Weekend 3 - January 24-26. Rock the sweet and spicy! Experience Kacaba’s captivating Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine complimented by the T-Rex sized flavours of

Zooma Caters’ pan-seared Szechuan shrimp served over noodles. A Rockstar pairing not to be missed. This event is part of the 2020 Icewine Passport Program, expect higher than average traffic at the vineyard between 1p.m. and 3p.m. Kacaba Vineyards Winery, 3550 King St., Vineland. Ph 905-562-5625. • Lunar New Year Celebration - Jan. 25, 11a.m.-5p.m. The lunar new year comes a little early this year – celebrating the entrance of the year of the Rat! We will have lucky ticket door prizes and old vintage wines open at the tasting bar! Alvento Winery, 3048 2nd Avenue, Vineland Station. Phone 905-562-1212. • Dude Food Cooking Class - Jan. 26, Noon-2 p.m. $95pp. Matt Krupa, Chef Instructor, The Good Earth Cooking School. Sometimes it’s a man’s world in the

For Winter Warmth, Go West

January 2020 • Niagara Icewine Festival - January 1026, 2020. For three weekends in January the Niagara region is transformed into a wintry wonderland, in celebration of one of Canada’s most cherished products, Ontario Icewine. The 2020 Niagara Icewine Festival offers plenty for every taste – glamour and indulgence at the Niagara Icewine Gala, unique wine and food pairings at over 40 wineries, and vibrant outdoor street festivals. If you’re looking for luxury, you can’t miss Canada’s most lavish evening, the Niagara Icewine Festival Gala at Fallsview Casino Resort on January 11. Dance the night away at this all-inclusive evening of elegance, fine wine, and the best in Niagara culinary, with a “Northern Lights” theme. For the wine and culinary explorer, the Discovery Pass program is your ticket to

24 clubwest.ca | January/February 2020

Chef In Residence CUISINE

Chicken Confit Salad Traditionally done with fatty poultry, such as duck or goose, Chicken Confit is equally delicious, and a lot simpler to procure. INGREDIENTS • 4 Chicken legs, bone-in (plus extra chicken fat, ask your butcher) • 1 Cup dark sugar (turbinado is very nice) • ¾ Cup coarse salt • Oil (unflavoured, e.g. canola, vegetable, sunflower) • Fresh thyme • Fresh ground pepper • Lemon Zest DIRECTIONS Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then pack the chicken legs in a small container, layering the cure all around it. Let sit overnight, in the fridge (8-10 hrs). In the morning, rinse, and pat dry. In a deep, small sauce pan, put all the chicken fat, and enough oil to have about

2-3 cups in total. Slowly heat this, and render all the chicken fat down. Remove any meaty bits once they start to fry. Carefully place the legs in this simmering fat, and lower the temperature to maintain a gentle simmer. (Alternatively you could do this in the oven, but it takes longer, and is more tedious to check.)

Your chicken legs will slowly tenderize in the fat. Periodically check, they should be completely tender throughout. Depending on the size of the legs, it will take between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Once they are done, they will be golden brown, and absolutely delicious, served boneless, hot or cold, over a fall salad.

For Winter Warmth, Go West

Continued From Page 24 kitchen and with fantastic results. Enjoy classic “manly” dishes with an elegant touch. The Good Earth Food & Wine Co., 4556 Lincoln Avenue, Beamsville. Phone 905563-6333. February 2020 • 2020 Binbrook Hard Water Crappie Derby - Saturday, Feb. 1, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. The family fun tradition continues at Binbrook Conservation Area, so join us for our annual ice fishing derby! Prizes and trophies are up for grabs for both adult and youth categories. Cash Prizes: $250 for 1st, $150 for 2nd, $100 for 3rd, alongside fantastic fishing gear for a great total value. Tickets are $17.70+HST ($20) for adults and FREE for children under 12 when purchased online. Tickets at the door are $17.70+HST for adults and $5 for children under 12. For more info please visit www.npca.ca. Binbrook Conservation Area Main Entrance, 5050 Harrison Road, Hamilton. • Fireside Fridays - Feb. 7, 14, 21 & 28:

Chef Tim Cherry of Just Cooking, 6-9 p.m. Gather around our harvest tables with old friends and new in our cozy tasting room, and sip on award-winning wines while our guest chef prepares dinner over the fire. Fireside Fridays are hosted in our 200-year-old Mennonite barn that has been converted into a winery, where guests will enjoy a three course meal while comfortably seated around our harvest tables that can seat up to 10 guests. Cost: $50/person plus HST and gratuity, wine is additional. To reserve your seats, simply email victoria@ westcottvineyards.com with the date and number in your party, and Victoria will take a credit card to confirm your seats. Westcott Vineyards, 3180 Seventeenth St., Jordan. • For the Love of Butter Tarts Festival - Sun, Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. We want to share our love of Butter Tarts with you and we are happy and excited to announce the Hamilton edition of the “For the Love of Butter Tarts Festival” Come on out and try some of Ontario’s Best Butter Tarts! Shop

among our vendor marketplace, listen to some live music! Bring the kids and get their face painted! Carmen’s Banquet Centre, 1520 Stone Church Road E., Hamilton. • Un Valentines Dinner – Feb. 15, 6 p.m. Fall in love with Chef Ross Midgley, with this 4-course dinner paired with some of Creekside’s most romantic wines. Creekside Estate Winery, 2170 Fourth Ave, Jordan. Phone: 905-562-0035. • Grimsby Half Marathon 3K & 10K – Feb. 16 from 9 a.m.-Noon. The Grimsby Half Marathon is part of the Niagara Running Series. It is a fast and scenic course running through downtown, lakefront, and orchards areas of Grimsby. The run is a perfect tune-up race for the Around the Bay Road Race in Hamilton. Race on the Sunday and spend Family Day Monday recovering with your family! To register niagararunningseries.com/races/grimsby/ • Love the Bench - Weekends in February 2020. Join the Beamsville Bench Wineries January/February 2020 | clubwest.ca


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Pistachio Pesto – Crust This crust, (in this recipe used on a crisp-roasted chicken breast), is a beautiful, richly aromatic topping for various meats – awesome on pork tenderloin, or even sea bass. It is so, so simple to make. As is typical with the recipes I put together, your own tastebuds must play role here for the final product. INGREDIENTS • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed • 1 cup toasted, shelled pistachio nuts • 4 cloves roasted garlic • 1 lemon, zested and juiced • ¼ cup XV olive oil DIRECTIONS Combine all of the ingredients, reserving ¼-cup of the pistachios. Puree this and, at the end, add the I prefer to keep the cheese out of this last pistachios for just a bit of presentarecipe, as it tends to burn, but for a dip, or tion and texture.

as an addition to charcuterie platter, add in ¼ cup of parmesan, if desired.

For Winter Warmth, Go West

Continued From Page 25 as we celebrate ‘love’ on the Bench for three weekends in February - Feb. 8-9, 15-17, and 22-23. Bienvenue à Thirty Bench for the ultimate Love the Bench experience. Enjoy a tasting of 4 wines and 3 small plates sure to tantalize the taste buds. 1. Sparkling Riesling – Upon welcome to cleanse your pallet. 2. Small Lot Chardonnay 2017 paired with Cream of Mushroom and Sweet Potato Soup with wild rice. 3. Winemakers Red 2017 paired with Roasted Beet Pot Pie. 4. Special Select Late Harvest Vidal 2017 paired with Chai Spiced Pear Fritters, ginger glaze. $25 per person. $20 for Wine Club members. Reservations recommended. Walk-in traffic will be accepted based on availability. Groups of 6 or more will require a reservation. Please call the Winery at (905) 563-0352 to book. Thirty Bench Winery, 4281 Mountainview Road, Beamsville. Phone: 905-563-1698. • The Sweetest Love - All of February 2020. Book your stay at the Vineyard Villa during

26 clubwest.ca | January/February 2020

February 2020 and receive a complimentary bottle of our decadent sparkling rose to enjoy in the comfort of your room. We hope you will choose Alvento Winery for your next romantic getaway in wine country. View our rooms here: alvento.ca/stay. Alvento Winery, 3048 2nd Avenue, Vineland Station, ON. Phone 905-562-1212 • Loving Spoonful Cooking Class - Feb. 14 6-8 p.m. Looking for something a little less conventional for your Valentine’s celebration? Check out a love infused cooking class sure to please. $95 Friday, Feb. 14, evening class. Tarrah Laidman, chef instructor, The Good Earth Food & Wine Co., 4556 Lincoln Avenue, Beamsville. Phone 905-563-6333. • An Evening with Danny Michel - Friday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening at Redstone Winery getting to know Danny Michel! Doors open at 6 pm; 6:30 pm Dinner; 7:30pm Welcome & Music. Ticket includes a three-course dinner. All beverages are additional. Seats are assigned at the

time of purchase. We encourage you to “buy on map” so that you may choose your seat. Seats and tables cannot be moved or combined. Redstone Winery, 4245 King Street, Beamsville. Phone 905-563-9463. • Friday Night Dinner Series - February 28th – “A Little Taste of Italy”Join us Fridays for one of the most anticipated event series of the season. Friday Night Dinner Series explores the culinary wonders of the world, treating guests to a dining experience like no other. There is no need to book a flight when you can experience amazing cultures and exciting dinner themes right here in Niagara. Call 905-563-9463 and book your experience with us soon, as seats fill up fast! Redstone Winery, 4245 King Street, Beamsville. • Days of Wine & Chocolate - Jan. 31-Feb. 2; Feb. 7-9; Feb. 14-16; Feb. 21-23; all from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets on sales now!!! Explore the decadently sweet and savoury art of wine and chocolate pairing. Visit

Chef In Residence CUISINE

Mead Marinade on Beef Flanksteak This past week I held a class on marinating, brining and rubs, which was fascinating! We went through most of the class discussing, tasting and experimenting, then applied our knowledge with the help of a barbecue. Awesome! A recap on marinades; the active ingredient is always an acid, as opposed to a brine, where salt is the key part. In this recipe, we used a delightful Mead, from Rosewood, to marinate the flanksteak in. Crazy delicious! Although acidic enough, the mead’s sweetness is very nice with the beef. Honey, of course, helps….. INGREDIENTS • 1 Cup Rosewood Harvest Gold Mead • ½ Tsp coarse salt • Chopped Thyme • ½ Tsp Pepper

• 3 lb Flanksteak, fresh • 1 Tbsp Honey, plus more for serving DIRECTIONS Add the first four ingredients, and allow them to dissolve together; then stir in the

honey. I marinated the flanksteak for about 4 hours, as it’s quite thin. Grilled for 8 minutes, and rested for about 3 minutes. This is best sliced against the grain, served medium rare, with extra honey drizzled on. Enjoy!

For Winter Warmth, Go West

Continued From Page 26 our wineries and taste over 20 VQA wines matched with chocolate-infused dishes – from classically sweet flavour combinations to unexpected surprises. A romantic celebration for two or a great reason for a girls’ getaway weekend! The Wineries of Niagaraon-the-Lake encourage the responsible consumption of alcohol. Please note that your pass is valid every weekend in February, so you can come back and enjoy a few wineries every weekend rather than trying to fit them in all in one day. Winery staff reserve the right to refuse serving guests who are intoxicated or who clearly demonstrate they are over a reasonable limit. To purchase tickets please visit the website - eztix.co/ ezbook/passports/en/1369521 Multi-Date Events • Monday Night Date Night - Now until April 27. Treat your loved one (or best

friend) to a 3-course dinner, including a bottle of wine for only $99 per couple! Chef Dodd’s delectable menu includes a shareable appetizer, main courses for each guest, and a shareable dessert. Special offer runs from Reservations are highly recommended. Trius Winery and Restaurant 1249 Niagara Stone Rd Niagara-on-the-Lake. Phone 800-5828412 • Snow Globe Soiree - A Domed Dining Event On The Edge of Niagara Falls. Shake up the first months of 2020 with a one-of-akind wine and dining experience in Niagara Falls. Enjoy world-class wines and a delicious three-course meal prepared by one of Niagara’s most celebrated chefs while taking in an unforgettable Falls view from inside your very own Snow Globe. Choose from 6:00/6:30 p.m. and 8:00/8:30 p.m. seating Thursday through Sunday between Jan. 16 and Feb. 16. $999 per dome (includes

dinner for 6 guests and 2 bottles of premium VQA wine. Additional Niagara VQA Wines will be available for purchase by the bottle in the Snow Globes.The Snow Globe Lounge will feature Niagara Icewine flights, Icewine cocktails and premium VQA wines by the glass for an additional fee. For reservations - niagarawinefestival.com/icewine • Fireside Friday Dinner Series - Meet new friends and old, enjoy incredible food prepared over the fire and sip on award winning wines in our cozy tasting room. Fireside Fridays feature visiting chefs who cook over the fire and in our 200 year old Mennonite barn converted into a winery.  Guests enjoy three courses and are seated around harvest tables that seat up to 10 guests.  Fireside Fridays start the first Friday after Canadian Thanksgiving

January/February 2020 | clubwest.ca 27


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Oxtail Terrine

This is always a favorite! Oxtail is easily one of the most exercised parts of a cow, (picture it – that tail is always moving) meaning a very tough, but also very flavourful meat. The resulting stock is unbelievable, and forms the base of the terrine – much simpler than you would think! INGREDIENTS • 1.5 kg oxtail, cut into whole pieces through the joints • 1 each: carrot; celery rib; small onion, peeled, diced, reserve half; • bay leaf • 400ml red wine • 1L stock, chicken or beef DIRECTIONS Preheat your oven to about 300F, and place an oven-proof pot on the stove- turn this to med-high, and add a bit of oil. Once hot, season the oxtails with salt and pepper, and thoroughly sear and brown the oxtails, 3-4 pieces at a time. When finished, lower the heat, and sauté

the first half of the vegetables. Add the bay leaf, then the red wine, lastly the stock, and then return the oxtails. Bring this to a simmer, then place in the oven and cook until totally tender, about 3-4 hours or so. Cool the oxtails, and strain the liquid, discarding the cooked vegetables. Sauté the other half of the vegetables, and set aside. Now cooled, the oxtail meat gets picked out, discarding any bones or cartilage. You’ll notice the meat is ‘sticky’ – this is the natural gelatin that will ‘set’ the terrine!

Some people like to shred the meat, but I much prefer larger pieces. Combine the meat, the vegetables and just enough warm broth to make it easy to transfer. I like to add some leek, or parsley at this time, to give it a green spark, but it’s not required, strictly speaking. Place this mixture into a terrine mold, or, a plastic-wrap-lined loaf mold, and allow to set for at least four hours, ideally overnight. Slice when thoroughly set, with a very sharp knife; serve with crostini, or baguette and a good mustard.

For Winter Warmth, Go West

Continued From Page 27 through until end of March 2020. They cost $50/person plus HST and gratuity and wine is additional.  To reserve, simply email victoria@westcottvineyards.com with the date and number in your party and she will take a credit card to confirm your seats. The doors open at 6 pm and dinner is served to the whole room at 7p.m. We usually finish dinners by about 8:30-9 p.m. Westcott Vineyards, 3180 Seventeenth St., Jordan. Ph 905-562-7517. • Something Old In Something New - We invite you to visit our distillery located on the Niagara Wine Route in Beamsville and the entrance to the 20 Valley.The Sipping Room at Dillon’s Small Batch is a tasting and retail experience that welcomes guests to try our exciting spirits while also seeing first hand how we make our products in the traditional way in our copper pot still using local Niagara vinifera grapes and botanicals. Visitors can purchase all of our fine spirits to take home from our facility. In addition, we have a selection of beautiful new and vintage glassware, bar tools, artisan mixes, books and more to add 28 clubwest.ca | January/February 2020

to the fun. Dillon’s Distillers, 4833 Tufford Rd, Beamsville. Ph 905-563-3030. • Tours, Tastings & Experiences - The Wine Lodge is open seven days a week, year-round. We welcome you to visit our tasting bar and learn more about our wines, or enjoy a glass of your favourite on our deck with a beautiful view of Lake Ontario! Enjoy a more personal and in-depth experience with our seated tastings conducted by one of our wine experts. Choose from two different flights of our favourite wines, while enjoying the comfort of a semi-private seating area with your wines brought to you. The cost is $10pp for a flight of four wines and includes a $5 voucher to use on your wine purchases following the experience. We strongly recommend you book in advance as space is limited. Fielding Wines, 4020 Locust Lane, Beamsville. Ph 905-563-0668. • Soup-er Weekends – Ongoing, every Saturday and Sunday Noon-4 p.m. Sit around the fire and enjoy soups, stews and chili made by Wine Country Barbecue. S’more kits and mulled wine available. Stoney Ridge Estate Winery, 3201 King Street, Vineland. Phone (905) 562-1324.

• The Hat Trick Pass - Offered Daily. $30 per guest, $25 for Wine Club Members. For yourself or as a gift, The Hat Trick Pass makes for a GREAT day at the Estate. Each pass includes: - One pint of the NEW No.99 Rye Lager Beer, one Whisky Cocktail, one Glass of Wayne Gretzky Wine + a $5 rebate on wine and/or whisky purchases. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon at Estate on this self-guided tasting experience. You can redeem each part of the pass in any order, and even on different days. Wayne Gretzky Estate, 1219 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake. • Trek & Taste Experience - A behind-thescenes tour of our sustainable vineyards, winemaking facility and cellar to learn about our innovative and deliberate practices. Following the privately guided tour enjoy a fully customized tasting flight under the personal attention of one of our knowledgeable wine professionals. You select the date and time that works best for you. Reservations required. Offered for groups ranging in size from 4-20 people, $15pp. Malivoire Wine Co., 4260 King St. E., Beamsville, ON. Phone 866-644-2244.

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ClubWest Magazine E-Edition January/February 2020  

ClubWest Magazine E-Edition January/February 2020  

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