Niagara-on-the-Lake has wine for every taste bud; from a smooth, dry Italian wine, to a refreshing Riesling, to a sweet Ice Wine, they have wine that is pleasing to all palates. You can check out just a sampling of what they have to offer here. Before we get started you need to know that we have a few “rules,” if you will, when going to wineries for the day:
- We look for recommendations from friends
- We look for wineries with character or maybe a good story regarding why the winery got started
- We try to avoid the weekends because of the crowds
- We try to avoid wineries with buses in the parking lot
- We make sure they have wine we enjoy – we are dry wine people so it is important that we look at their website to see what wine they have on the tasting menu before we visit
- Finally, we won’t visit more than 3 wineries in a day unless we are either sharing tastings or on a tour bus. Teacher moment: It is important to be responsible when you are wine tasting. 🙂
If you have never visited a winery, there are some “etiquette” rules, we like Wine Enthusiast’s 14 rules.
The first stop we made was Between the Lines winery. They have a fun story, you can check it out at https://betweenthelineswinery.com/. We really enjoyed their wine, the staff could have been more knowledgeable but we let the wine distract us. We always struggle with how much to buy, especially when we really enjoy the first winery we visit and when we are in Canada and have to respect the import laws when we head back to the states on Monday. We left with 2 bottles of Pinot Grigio, and let me tell you, the one we enjoyed last night was just as good as thought it would be! 🙂 Yes, on a warm, summer evening we love a nice white wine on our “RV patio.”
The next winery was a recommendation from friends, Colaneri Estate Winery, and let me tell you, our friends know us well! Look at that building – it even more gorgeous in person! We enjoyed beautiful Italian red wines, visited with the owners, and learned a lot about the labels on their wine bottles. Seriously – ask about the wine bottles when you go!
We enjoy taking wine tours because it really adds to the overall wine experience and every winery creates wine just a little bit differently. For example at Colaneri Estate Winery they dry the grapes first using the “appassimento” style. You never know what you will learn when taking a wine tour and you certainly never know who you will meet along the way.
The finally winery of the day was Peller Estates Winery. We were excited to visit this winery because it was recommended by several people and we had tasted a beautiful Cab-Merlot earlier in the week. Unfortunately, when we pulled up there were two buses – yes two! Fortunately, it is a large enough estate winery that it wasn’t crowded. However, the Cab-Merlot that we loved wasn’t on the tasting menu nor was it for sale in the winery. Sadly, overall the winery was a disappointment. Now I will say, we heard the food in the restaurant is amazing and we have put this winery on our “try again” list.
There was so much more to explore in Niagara-on-the-Lake wine region. This was our third time to visit the region and we always look forward to going back! If you have a favorite winery in the region, leave a comment and let us know because we are always open to suggestions! This summer will also be visiting the Finger Lakes, Geneva on the Lake, and Traverse City, so if you have a must see winery, leave a comment!