Many tourists recognize Ontario's Niagara region as the home of the world-famous Niagara Falls. Undoubtedly, this majestic waterfall is a sight to behold, but few tourists know another magical trait of the region: This is Canada's wine country! The Niagara Peninsula is Ontario's winemaking region due to its soil quality and terrain. Ontario's wine country is worth checking out, whether you're taking a tour to embark on a journey behind the falls or taking the Niagara Parkway road trip.
Tourists can enjoy an array of activities while exploring the Niagara wineries and vineyards, making it a worthwhile day trip. So start planning a trip to Ontario's wine country because these are the 10 things to discover in Niagara's unique vineyards!
Icewine is a Niagara region specialty. This unique wine is made by crushing frozen grapes harvested during the early hours of winter mornings in below-freezing temperatures! This unique wine is crafted the same day its grapes are picked, producing a deliciously sweet dessert wine. Crafted in small batches, icewine can be enjoyed at many vineyards in Niagara, especially at The Ice House and Inniskillin. Travelers can even enjoy an elegant tasting of icewine flights. Tourists who visit Niagara in the winter (specifically in January) can check out the Niagara Icewine Festival to witness a winter wonderland!
9 Picture-Perfect Vineyards
Niagara Falls isn't the only beautiful backdrop for cute couple photos! Numerous wineries across the Niagara region welcome visitors to walk amongst their acres of grapevines, whether through a guided tour or after a delicious lunch at an in-house restaurant. During warmer months, people can feel the cool breeze sweeping the Niagara region as they sip their wine and peruse the vines, enjoying the serene setting. Just don't pick the grapes!
8 Artisanal Wineries
There's nothing wrong with visiting Niagara's large-scale wineries like Inniskillin (one of few original wineries in the region). Still, the region is also known for independent wineries that brew small-batch artisanal wines. Tourists interested in a cozy and intimate experience at a small winery can visit Niagara's Rose Wood Estates, Hidden Bench, Tawse Winery, and Fielding Estates. Another popular winery in the area is the Two Sisters Vineyards, located at the center of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
7 Lunch (Or Dinner) At The Vineyards
The backdrop of Niagara's vineyards is such a pretty sight that it's worth a dining experience! Many wineries have an in-house restaurant, cafe, or bar attached to their facility, alongside an outdoor patio. As a result, tourists can enjoy a menu that (usually) consists of light food. Items on the menu range from appetizers to desserts, including sweet, salty, savory, and umami foods. Most importantly, each item has a recommended pairing with a curated selection of specialty wines at the winery itself. This experience is usually best enjoyed during the warmer months, especially in the summer!
6 Unique Wine Flights
Why try only one kind of specialty wine when visitors can try three (or perhaps five)? Some Niagara wineries offer food, but they also present guests with wine tasting menus to sample their beverages. When ordering a flight, start with a crisp sparkling wine and then close off the experience with a sinfully sweet icewine. Some places may even offer food tasting menus with their flights, which can come with an array of cheeses, nuts, desserts, cured meats, seafood, and much more!
5 Beautiful Design & Architecture
It's not just about the wine! Niagara's wineries are also beautifully designed, so much so that they even operate as a year-round venue for weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. Many wineries are decorated to ooze sophistication and class but with a slight touch of vintage. For instance, Vineland Estates Winery and the Chateau des Charmes Winery are adorned with elegant architecture, yet warmly welcome guests to enjoy a winery tour experience!
4 Biking Tour Along The Vineyards
Undoubtedly, strolling through the vineyards of the Niagara wine region makes for an enjoyable experience. However, how about biking across the vineyards for something a little more fast-paced? Tourists can rent a bike in the township of Niagara-on-the-Lake, enjoy nearby parks, trails, and peruse the vineyards while feeling the wind running through their hair. Cyclists can stop by some local fruit stands to sample some fresh produce (including Niagara's famous peaches!) or stop by a winery to take a cellar tour. This activity is excellent for tourists traveling with a group of friends, couples, and families.
3 Views of Lake Ontario
When touring the wine region of Ontario, why not stop by the Konzelmann Estate to enjoy some sips of wine and bask in a picturesque view of Lake Ontario! While at Konzelmann Estate, visitors can learn about their specialty wines and their history as the oldest winery in the province. This winery is also a stone's throw away from the cozy town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
2 View of Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is usually the last stop on the Niagara Parkway road trip. However, visitors can get an exquisite view of the Falls when visiting the region's wineries, specifically Monastery Cellars. The Monastery Cellars offers visitors an array of wine tours around their vineyards, a tasting bar, and an in-house shop for their specialty wines. The Monastery Cellars is only yards away from Niagara Falls, offering a view that the only man-made Skylon Tower can provide!
1 A Honeymoon Getaway
Thinking of taking a short and sweet honeymoon? The Niagara wineries are a perfect place to bask in the company of your significant other! The area is close to cozy accommodations like ritzy hotels and B&Bs. Couples can also book a comfortable stay at the Riverbend Inn and Vineyard. Located along the Niagara River Parkway, this stay is perfect for couples traveling around Ontario.
The property is home to a beautiful historic mansion with only 21 rooms, each one more uniquely decorated than the last. With crystal chandeliers, rustic bed frames, and a comforting fireplace, this stay will surely be a memorable experience for newlyweds and happy couples alike. Sure, Toronto has some pretty funky-cool accommodations, but the Riverbend Inn and Vineyard is a luxurious stay worth experiencing in the Niagara wine region!