The Wine Lover's Guide to Niagara, Canada
Fertile, complex soil conditions and a unique climate are the winning combination for growing grapes and producing quality cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, Piot Noir and Cabernet Franc, as well as delightful rosé, sparkling wine and Icewine.
The Niagara Peninsula features two distinct appellations, or grape-growing areas, to explore. Most wineries offer tasting opportunities and a variety of tours of the vineyard and wine-making facilities. Some also include food options, from flight pairing snacks to full-service dining rooms and restaurants. Round out your visit to Niagara’s wine region by staying overnight at a vineyard.
Niagara Escarpment & Area
The band of lush land between Stoney Creek and St. Catherines is home to well over 50 wineries and scenic vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. Bounded by Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment, this area includes the wine-rich Beamsville Bench, Twenty Mile Bench and Short Hills Bench. Here are some of the highlights to get you started.
Hidden Bench Estate Winery | Award-Winning Wine
Guests love the Chardonnay and Rose, as well as the attentive and down-to-earth service and the stunning setting at this organic winery estate that has been acquiring national and international awards including the prestigious ‘Best in Show’ 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Location: 4152 Locust Lane, Beamsville
Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery | A Grand Dining Experience
Celebrate world-class wine and food in an idyllic setting. Every winery in this region offers lovely views, but Peninsula Ridge really shines with vistas of the Niagara Escarpment, the rolling vineyards and Lake Ontario. On a clear day, you can even see the Toronto skyline. It’s the perfect spot to savour a Cab Sav, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Location: 5600 King Street, Beamsville
Megalomaniac Winery | Show Stopping Views
The elevated tasting room at Megalomaniac boasts the highest altitude in Niagara with incredible views from the expansive windows and outdoor patio. Book a vineyard tour, pull up a chair for tastings or linger over sparkling brunch, lunch or dinner.
Location: 3930 Cherry Avenue, Vineland
Tawse Winery | Organic & Eco-Forward
Elements of this eco-conscious winery include a multi-level gravity-flow system, a wetland bio-filter and geothermal, energy-efficient technology. Voted Canadian winery of the year several times, proving their terroir-driven Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other varietals are equally impressive.
Location: 3955 Cherry Avenue, Vineland
Featherstone Estate Winery & Vineyards | For Dog Lovers
From the delicious wines and seasonal cheese, deli and hummus nosh boxes served on the verandah, there are a lot of reasons to love this picturesque and eco-conscious winery. Here’s one more: The Muddy Paws Wine Festival each July welcomes good dogs and dog lovers for wine, food and tail-wagging fun in partnership with Vineland Estates Winery.
Location: 3678 Victoria Avenue, Vineland
Creekside Estate Winery | Unbeatable Wines & Laidback Atmosphere
You’ll want to kick back and relax over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Syrah and cheese and charcuterie on the outdoor deck overlooking a small pond. Check out their onsite grocery store and Chef-made, to-go food boxes as you stock up on your favourite wines.
Location: 2170 Fourth Avenue, Jordan Station
Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery | Gourmet Dining & Fine Wines
Six generations of winemakers have built Henry of Pelham into one of Ontario’s premier wineries, turning some of the first vineyards planted in Canada into reliable producers of fine wines. Try some of those vintages for yourself at the winery’s Coach House Café, which offers the winery’s delectable wines paired with menu items like veal cutlet sandwiches, chili-peperonata and melted provolone or beef tenderloin.
Location: 1469 Pelham Road, St. Catharines
Niagara Escarpment & Area Vineyard Accommodations
Cave Spring Vineyard & Inn on the Twenty | Wine, Dine & Spa
Specializing in sensational Riesling, Cave Springs Vineyard is located across the road from the upscale Inn on the Twenty, an elegant hotel, restaurant and spa. Alternatively, you can book the Estate House at Cave Spring, a Victorian-style farmhouse set on the Beamsville Bench to maximize views of Lake Ontario and vineyard vistas.
Location: 4043 Cave Spring Road, Beamsville
Vineland Estates Winery | A Luxury Estate Experience
Stop in for a tour of this gorgeous estate, taste the award-winning Riesling among other varietals in the mid-1800s wooden ‘cathedral’ barn, pair with local cuisine at their signature restaurant and stay the night in the B&B cottage or estate guesthouse.
Location: 3620 Moyer Road, Vineland
13th Street Winery | Wine, Food & Art
Just west of St. Catharines, this boutique winery offers a selection of exceptional wines, as well as a bakery, art gallery and private accommodation options. The vineyard cottage and farmhouse each sleep up to eight and feature a full kitchen and gorgeous outside space from which to sip a glass of wine and savour a freshly made butter tart.
Location: 1776 Fourth Avenue, St. Catharines
Niagara-On-The-Lake & Area
From the Welland Canal east to the Niagara River and the shores of Lake Ontario south to St. David’s and Queenston, the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is the heart of the region’s second appellation in the top corner of the Niagara Peninsula. Home to over 38 wineries, there is a great deal of wine and wine-related activities to discover.
Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery | Toast The Great One
After retirement, hockey great Wayne Gretzky decided to open up his own winery and distillery just seven km outside Niagara-on-the-Lake. The estate produces wine, beer and spirits and remains open year-round, and naturally also features an ice-skating rink. Take a tour, sip wine or brews under the patio heater, watch skaters on the ice rink, take a cocktail class or enjoy a tasting flight.
Trius Winery and Restaurant | Instagrammable Wine Cellar
Owned by the Peller Family, Trius is home to the largest underground sparkling wine cellar in Canada. The winery has a solid social media presence, showing off its fun, eclectic – and electric – atmosphere and through uniquely Instagrammable wine tours. Visit the Sparkling House for a tour of samples of their selection of Trius bruts, bubbly, Rosé and more, and nosh on the locally inspired Niagara country cuisine.
Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery | Memorable Events
Established in 2001, Jackson-Triggs Estate has become one of Canada’s most renowned wineries for its forward-thinking approach to winemaking. The winery is also home to an incredible outdoor Amphitheatre where concerts and other live performances take place each summer. They also host monthly ‘Savour the Sights’ dinners consisting of five courses and fine wines, served at different locations throughout the immense winery. Tastings include a 25-minute outdoor presentation of a selection of wines, including Riesling, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, and Icewine.
Konzelmann Estate Winery | Lakefront Views
Stunning lakefront vistas accompany fabulous wines and the gorgeous architecture of the winery itself evokes the old-world vineyards of France and Italy. Relax and enjoy award-winning wines including 30 different whites, reds, sparkling wines and dessert wines. Enjoy a tasting to see how they vary or relax on the patio with a glass or bottle of your favourite.
Location: 1096 Lakeshore Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Peller Estate Winery and Restaurant | Immersive Wine and Dining
Peller Estates Winery has been creating beautiful wines for more than 50 years. And in that time has also developed some of the region’s most immersive wine and culinary experiences. Executive Chef Jason Parsons and winemaker Katie Dickieson work together to curate complimentary food and wine pairings at the Winery Restaurant and the Barrel House Grill. Guests are also invited to visit the 10Below Icewine Lounge, an igloo-like structure built from 13,607 kilograms of ice. Peller Estates offers tours, including a three-sample offering and the Greatest Winery Tour, as well as a visit to the underground barrel cellar. Reservations are recommended.
Reif Estate Winery | Pioneers in Icewine
Reif’s first vintage of Vidal Icewine was produced in 1984 and has continued from the same vineyard plot. Tours and tastings of their internationally acclaimed Icewine are available. And in season, you’ll want to visit their aromatic sensory garden.
Chateau des Charmes | Bi-lingual Winery Tours
Founded by fifth-generation French winegrower Paul Bosc in 1978, the Chateau des Charmes was the first commercial vineyard in Canada that opened its doors to visitors. It was also the first to experiment with the European Vitis vinifera grapes, long popular in Mediterranean wine regions. Chateau des Charmes’ wines are known for balance, finesse and structure.
The estate offers tours in both English and French, by reservation only. The tours take you through the winery, sharing distinct spaces and learning experiences in winemaking, along with tastings at the Wine Bar afterward. The wine tastings provide a flight of tour VQA wines, which include one notable Icewine.
Location: 1025 York Road, St. Davids
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery | Farm-to-Table Goodness
Ravine Vineyard is an inviting, 14-hectare organic winery in St. David’s Bench. The unassuming family farm is comfortable, down-to-earth and welcomes guests with tours through the vineyards and wine rooms, tastings and an authentic farm-to-table dining experience.
Location: 1366 York Road, St. Davids
Niagara-On-The-Lake & Area Vineyard Accommodations
Riverbend Inn and Vineyard | Room with a View
Housed in a glamorous Georgian mansion on seven hectares of vineyards with manicured lawns and stunning gardens, Riverbend Inn and Vineyard is the perfect location for a wine lover’s home base. The beautiful inn welcomes guests into their elegant rooms, a fine dining experience at the restaurant and delectable wines at the Riverbend Antique Bar.
Last updated: August 11, 2022