by George Dyke…..

Some days the stars align and things just go perfectly.  Citroën AutoClub Canada’s Summer Outing & Niagara Region Wine Tour on July 21 was one of those days.  The weather was superb with just enough cloud that 2CVs on the trip could have their roofs rolled back without the occupants being sunbaked inside, and the temperature warm but not so hot that you were sweating.

View pics of the day here:

We met in downtown Oakville at St. Jude’s Anglican Church where Simon Walker, our youngest CAC member, makes his living there as the organist.  Simon turned up in his latest Citroën acquisition, a gold GS that he recently purchased from Lloyd McBride.

Before getting to Oakville in my DS21, my wife Marijke and I picked up Angela Fusco in Toronto and make a run to two of Toronto best French bakeries (Pâtisserie La Cigogne on Bayview Ave. and Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Café on Mt Pleasant Rd.) to pick up fresh croissants to have as we gathered at the church and baguettes to complete our shopping list for the picnic lunch we provided along the way for everyone.

Our route took us along Lakeshore Rd to Hamilton where we crossed through the city on Centennial Parkway and took Ridge Rd along the top of the Niagara Escarpment over to Lincoln were we dropped down off the ridge to Tawse Winery – our first stop and the perfect location to have our lunch.

From there we made a short jaunt to Vineland Estates Winery were we paused to do another tasting and were able to feature our Citroëns prominently at the entrance where a number of admirers gathered in appreciation.

Then it was on to do some fun driving on the back roads in the Effingham area before heading over toward Thorold and driving along the Welland Canals Parkway to Lake Ontario were we took the Lakeshore Rd to Niagara-on-the-Lake, stopping at Konzelmann Estate Winery to a throng of tourists vying to taste and purchase the wines there.

We relaxed for about 3o minutes there before heading along the main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake and taking the scenic Niagara Parkway where we stopped to purchase some fresh local produce (cherries and peaches were in season) and then make another stop at the Ice House Winery where the clouds had cleared and with the sun out, an ice wine slushy was the prefect drink for the moment.

Refreshed and ready for dinner we continued toward downtown Niagara Falls to have an authentic French dinner at the Paris Crepes Restaurant.  The owner, Thierry Clement, was pleased to host us once again, and with a wonderful meal in our bellies, we said our goodbyes, with some, including myself exercising our cars by taking the QEW (expressway) back to Toronto.

There just couldn’t have been been a nicer day to visit the Niagara Region and it was made so much the better by the the fact that we with our Citroën friends and the route we took (and the timing) avoided any traffic and let us truly enjoy our marvellous cars.