St. Davids, Ontario Wine Country
Ravine Vineyard Restaurant | Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
This article also appears on Urbanicity and TripAdvisor.
We often hear from eating establishment owners that they source locally. It is a sign of the time and appeals to our senses. At Ravine, it is taken to an entirely different level. They raise their own pigs and produce their own Charcuterie (Cold Cuts) and sausages. They grow their own organic vegetables, bake their own bread, make their own preserves and truly apply the much touted Farm to Table concept. The menu will reflect that seasonally and sometime weekly depending on freshness and availability.
The restaurant overlooks a large part of the vineyard. It is of a rustic design nicely fitting in the surroundings and certainly complementing the tasting building which is a historical structure. In its basement the meats are cured in a temperature controlled room near the cellar area. Think of it as the blending of the old and the new (in fact truly high tech).
They do recommend reserving your table and I concur, walk-ins are not easily accommodated as this place is in high demand. When you get there try their wines in the tasting room. The product is of excellent quality, my favorites are the Cabernet Franc and the Meritage. The Riesling and Chardonney are offered at 2 levels.
The tasting room is very cozy and the point of sale is at the end of it. A short corridor leads to the small retail store.
The menu is very rustic and simple in its design. The charcuterie board will change with the availability of the cold meats. There is usually a salami, german and /or Spanish style sausage may be cured bacon and other traditional offerings.
The cheese board will also feature the available cheeses for the day. The presentation for both is elegant and peppered with preserves and country mustard all made in the restaurant’s kitchen.
For lunch they do have house made burgers with fries and mussels and fries both excellent. The soup of the day when we visited was a cream befitting the season.
On our table we had the Meritage as it was deemed a “lighter” wine for the fare we ordered versus the Cabernet Franc.
This is a place where food and wine are equally taken very seriously making a destination. It is worth noting that it was listed as one of the world’s best 20 restaurants in the world in 2011. But then again behind this daily quality production there is a leadership that trained and worked with the very best chefs of our time.
Make a point of visiting and spend time tasting the excellent wines and food available at Ravine Vineyard in St Davids.