Thursday, June 20, 2024
Wine aficionado Christine Van Geyn says the best feature of the tour was that "I got to relax and really connect with my friends and my husband, without worrying about any of the details!" Photo: NPWE

Private, customized Niagara wine tour by limo

“We were surprised and delighted the whole time”

Best-selling author Christine Van Geyn and her husband Evan Cohen were picked up and dropped off at their home so that they could truly relax and enjoy their Niagara Private Wine Excursion. Photo: NPWE

What could be better than a day touring Niagara’s beautiful wine region?

“A wine country day when I did not have to worry about ANY of the details!” laughs author and oenophile Christine Van Geyn.

“It was the best. I got to relax and enjoy everything, to really connect with my friends and my husband without worrying about a single detail: Where are we going next? What is the address? How long is the drive? What time do we have to depart?

“I didn’t have to think about ANY of the planning or the details,” she emphasizes. “It was such a nice change from everyday.”

Van Geyn is the best-selling co-author of “Pandemic Panic: How COVID-19 Changed Canadian Civil Liberties Forever.” The Litigation Director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) she was an integral part of the legal team which won a ruling in January, 2024 that Canada’s invocation of the Emergencies Act was unconstitutional and illegal.

As the mother of three boys in a demanding job that includes a lot of travel and speaking events, she juggles innumerable details everyday. So, her very special tour with Niagara Private Wine Excursions (NPWE) was tailor-made, designed so that she and her guests could simply sit back and enjoy the ride. Their driver, Warren, picked them up from home in Toronto in the morning, and returned them home after dinner.

The private excursion by limousine was personalized even further for Van Geyn as she is a student of wines, currently enrolled in a college Sommelier program. As a feature of a the customized “Wine Education” tour offered by Niagara Private Wine Excursions, Van Geyn and her group were joined at the first winery by Master Taster Dr. John McTavish, who teaches about wine at Niagara College and writes wine columns for three Niagara newspapers.

“I cannot overemphasize how awesome it was to be joined by someone who would help guide us through the tastings,” says Van Geyn, “and was consistent across the different wineries, helping us draw comparisons, supplementing what the host the winery might be saying.

“In each case in which we knew to ask to try something very special, it was at his suggestion.”

While not every NPWE tour group wants to bring a Sommelier for the day, knowing that specific elements can be customized for a special event makes everything possible: other tours features artisanal craft beers and gourmet pizza, or a luxurious chocolatier. The level of personalization possible in a private limousine with friends hand-picked for the day is what sets Niagara Private Wine Excursions apart from popular public tours.

“The concept behind the Niagara Private Wine Excursions is that the tour is personalized. It’s just you, or a small group, and the wineries are expecting you: you are not dropping in at a bad time with a large public group,” says Way, CEO of Niagara’s Coventry Transportation.

 “It’s all about having a VIP experience….we have personal contacts with each of the wineries on the Tour, which is designed to ensure each stop on the tour is made special and welcoming.”

Van Geyn’s own education in wines began in earnest during COVID-19, as she notes:

“I started the George Brown course during the pandemic, when there was nothing to do and we were all locked up in our houses. I thought, ‘If I’m drinking all this wine I might as well learn something and get a tax credit.’

“So, I started taking an online education program, and I love it. I love that I’m not just drinking, I’m doing homework!” she laughs. Now as a true student of wine, she says, “I’ve developed a real love of a beautiful, well made artisanal wine from all regions of the world. We’re so fortunate to have such a beautiful wine producing region, such a special region as the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario.

“My friends and I were surprised and delighted the whole time.”

Niagara Private Wine Excursion limo service means no one has to drive at any point on the tour. The Winery hosts are waiting to welcome clients as VIPs. Photo: NPWE