Located in the heart of Ontario’s postcard-perfect Niagara-on-the-Lake, Two Sisters Vineyards is a family run affair which boasts 76 acres of lush vines and a jaw-dropping estate inspired by the 16th century Venetian architect, Andrea Palladio. The landmark building is reminiscent of a grand chateau estate and boasts original art from the Italian Marotta family’s private collection.
Two Sisters Winemaker Adam Pearce has a penchant for producing Bordeaux-style wines; Cabernet Franc with its earthy structure, Cabernet Sauvignon for its rich, muscular presence and Merlot for its perfumed, elegant and harmonious synergy of red and dark fruit.
For those looking to sample the winery’s finest bottles, hop up on a stool in the tasting room for a swish, sniff and slurp. Once you’re feeling peckish skip down the hall to Kitchen76, the winery’s signature restaurant which celebrates rustic Italian dishes inspired by the family’s favourite recipes.
With great care Chef Justin Lesso crafted the Kitchen76 menu, presenting each dish to the matriarch’s of the Marotta family for authenticity approval. Apparently Chef Lesso refined his gnocchi recipe over 15 times, until it was just right, receiving a smirk and smile from the Two Sisters nona.
The restaurants mascot is the honourable hare, and a choir of rabbits greet guests as they step into the warm glow of the Kitchen76 dining room. In the cooler months a booming fireplace offers warmth as hungry guests twirl pasta and dangle stringy cheese from pretty pizza pies. In the summer the restaurants coveted patio offers a sublime setting for wine sloshed romance, perched over row after row of lush grape vines.
Highlights from Chef Justin Lesso’s rustic Italian-inspired menu include perfectly crispy Arancini risotto balls, tender pork belly topped Fagioli Toscani, honey drizzled Dolce e Salato Pizza, Paccheri pasta topped with white rabbit ragu (a hat tip to the hare), chewy Gnocchi tossed in a simple marinara, and Bread Pudding with marsala poached apples, caramel, mascarpone, and toasted walnuts.
Focaccia | garlic and rosemary oil marinated olives
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Arancini | sicilian rice balls with smoked mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil
Fagioli Toscani | braised white beans, pancetta, swiss chard, fried pork belly
Dolce e Salato Pizza | mozzarella, gorgonzola, pear, prosciutto di parma, toasted walnuts, arugula, honey drizzle
Paccheri | white rabbit ragu, soffrito, mushrooms, sage, parmesan
Gnocchi | house made with tomato sauce, basil
Bread Pudding | marsala poached apples, caramel, mascarpone, toasted walnuts