Just got in from catering the Fielding Estate Winery Open House.  This is either the third or fourth year that The Good Earth team have been part of the evening.  As far as local traditions go, this has to be one of the nicest.

The wine community can be guilty of being a tad snooty from time to time.  This evening’s event dispels all that.  Ken, Marg, Curtis & Heidi Fielding throw open the doors of their winery and welcome wine regulars, local neighbours and the occasional tourist who has lucked in,  for a true celebration of the spirit of the season.  And…they really go out of their way to make certain that people know they are welcome – ads in the local ‘rags’ that plug our mailboxes (and in my case get tossed into my ditch!), mailings to their neighbours and e-invites etc.  So these guys mean business.  The wine flows, mountains of food vanish before our eyes and people chat and “visit” as we say in the backwoods.  The crowd is a wonderful mix of regulars, some guests who may just drop by once a year and… well, just neighbours.  Included in that mix are the staff from neighbouring wineries, a nice example of the camaraderie that exists in the industry.

Fielding Estate Winery is one of my personal favourites.  I often send guests up from the cooking school, always knowing that they will be greeted with a genuine, warm welcome when the come to the door.  It’s no wonder the winery is one of the most popular!  It’s heartening to see good old fashioned neighbourliness and values at work.

I know there are many people this evening “hitting the hay” with a warm glow in their hearts…or perhaps that’s just the Red Conception at work… I am going to raise my glass  this evening to the Fielding family.  Here’s to a great Holiday tradition in Niagara wine country!  Thanks for a great evening!