Niagara wineries are nothing short of amazing. From the beautiful architecture to stunning wines and dining masterpieces, it’s a place where you’ll be enchanted by rural luxury. Growing up in the region, I spent many days running through vineyards and hiding behind cellar doors – and learning what to sample at the tasting bar.
Here are just a few of my favourite things to do while I’m in Niagara-on-the-Lake (voted by Trip Advisor as Canada’s #1 Food and Wine Destination):
Make a stop at Ravine Vineyard and check out the cheese boutique at the back of the tasting room. Taste some cheese and purchase your favourite to savour at home. ravinevineyard.com
Sip amazing Chardonnay at Southbrook Vineyards. Although there are many reasons to visit this winery, their Chardonnay is one of my favourite in all of Ontario (if not the world!). Taste through a few and find your own favourite. I also love the architecture of this winery – it’s LEED certified and the floor to ceiling windows are just incredible. southbrook.com
Get to the underground barrel cellar at Jackson Triggs. Although this is a large and well-known winery, it is still one of my top places to visit. The unique outdoor amphitheatre is in amazing proximity to the vines, and the barrel cellar is soulfully calming. Not to mention, their 2012 red wines are incredible (I’ve bought by the case load). jacksontriggswinery.com
Stop at Stratus and appreciate your surroundings. The entire winery is the epitome of country chic. From the outstanding wines to the picturesque patio and interior, this winery is a real treat and also LEED certified. stratuswines.com
Taste the Sparkling Ice Cuvee at Peller Estates Winery. This perfect Sparkling wine (I’ve also bought cases of) is made with a dollop of Icewine in the traditional Champagne method. While you’re sipping, stop by the restaurant and enjoy some cheese. Their wine shop is quite beautiful as well. peller.com
Discover Canada’s wine treasure by tasting an Icewine flight at Inniskillin or Pillitteri Estates. Learn about the different grapes used to produce Icewine (Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Vidal). Find your favourite and take a few bottles home to share with friends and family. It will last a while in your fridge if you want to open it right away too. Just remember to airtight seal it. inniskillin.com & pillitteri.com
Drive up to the beautiful Chateau Des Charmes, Canada’s only Chateau winery. Owned by the Bosc family, this impressive winery produces a really wonderful Old Vines Riesling. Spend some time by the calming waters out front and take a picture in this lovely setting. fromtheboscfamily.com/chateau-des-charmes
Check out a wine museum at Rockway Vineyards. This is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. Enjoy a round of golf or simply hang out and sip some wine and catch-up with family and friends. rockway.net
Wander through the wine shop at Hillebrand Estates Winery/ Trius Winery and take a stroll around their magnificent property. When it comes to wines, I am a big fan of their Sparkling Brut and Signature Trius Red. Their tasting bar is located in the middle of the wine shop! www.triuswines.com
Love Pinot Noir? Stop by Coyotes Run Winery and taste the difference between their Black and Red Paw Pinot Noir. It’s a neat experience to learn how soils really make wine taste different.
Written By: Angela Aiello