Whether you’re planning a trip to Toronto or live in the city by the lake you’re incredibly lucky to have some of the best wine regions in Canada at your fingertips. Not only can you get fantastic wine at these wineries, but the spots are also beautiful to boot. Niagara-on-the Lake is one of the most popular regions to wander on a grape soaked day trip, but Prince Edward County has definitely come into its own. We’ve gathered some of the most stunning wineries that you must visit this summer, whether you live nearby or not.
Rosewood Estates, Beamsville
The first thing that you’ll notice as your enter the picturesque Rosewood Estates winery is the wooden bridge over a pond that they have tucked away on the property. The next thing is the stone house that houses their winery. At Rosewood, they are not only a winery, but also a meadery. Mead is made from honey, and it’s amazing. Their property is 47 acres of Riesling, Chardonnay, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and more recent additions include Gamay Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Of course, we can’t forget the bees. They have 250 hives and practice sustainable bee keeping. The honey is used to create mead and tasty honey. One of their newest types of honey is smoked honey. The jars are smoked for three hours and the honey becomes infused with a delicate smokey flavour. You can’t miss their eye catching honeycomb wine shelves.
The Good Earth Food & Wine Co., Beamsville
At the The Good Earth Food & Wine Co, you can have your wine and sip it too, at their charming outdoor bistro with views of the vines. They’re a small craft winery, with 10 acres of their own vines, which started as a cooking school and catering company in 1998. All of their wines are made to be food friendly and approachable. In the summer, you can enjoy wood fired pizza from their outdoor oven or try their Maple Brined Pork Chop Schnitzel. On your way out, grab a bottle of Aria, their first sparkling wine. It’s a pale pink dry wine that’s produced Charmat style, and it’s a perfect summer wine.
Burning Kiln, St. Williams
Burning Kiln is a little different from most wineries. That’s because the land that it’s on used to be for burning tobacco. As tobacco fell out of favour, the original tobacco pack barn was repurposed to be a winery. The winery has a striking location above the escarpment, with a view of the Long Point Bay Biosphere Reserve. At the winery, you’ll find 26 acres of vineyards. Varieties include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Savagnin and Petit Verdot.
Peller Estates Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Peller Estates is one of the most popular wineries on Niagara on the Lake, and they’ve been producing wines for four generations. Their signature wines are Icewine, Chardonnay and Rieslings. New this year is the 10 Below Icewine lounge. To enter the lounge, you must first don a parka. The lounge is kept at a chilly -10 degrees. The room is encased in 13,000 kilograms of ice, complete with an ice bar. Ice wines are available for sampling and sipping. When you’re done, grab a bite.
Peller Estates Winery Restaurant has sprawling views onto the vineyards and beautiful sunsets. Jason Parsons offers a unique menu that features wine pairings and locally grown produce. For a truly special experience, try his 5 course tasting menu. Dishes are inventive and unforgettable. A standout dish is the Vidal poached lobster with handmade linguine noodles. It’s the perfect end to a wine-filled day at Peller Estates.
Ravine Vineyard, St. Davids
Ravine Vineyard is a small winery with a lot of history. This family-run, organic and biodynamic winery has 35 acres of vines and is over 150 years old. Their tasting room was built in 1804 by David Secord (Laura Secord’s uncle). Newcomers to Canada would land here in Ontario, earning it the name, House of Nations. The house was preserved and re-built 90 feet away from where it originally stood. Today, visitors can sample wines inside (try the sparking wine), or rest on the patio.
There’s a restaurant attached to the winery that makes good use of veggies and herbs that grow on-site. The restaurant provides a local and seasonal menu that’s always changing. In the summer, there is wood-fired pizza available on the patio. On your way out, be sure to visit their general store. Here you can find local cheese, freshly baked bread and items under their own canning label, like strawberry compote and ketchup.
Pelee Island Winery, Pelee Island
As the name suggests, Pelee Island Winery is a little off the beaten path. Yep, it’s on an island, 4 hours away from Toronto. Its unique location makes it a great destination for a weekend getaway. The island is the southernmost point of Canada. At 550 acres, Pelee Island Winery is the largest private estate in Canada. They produce many different varieties of wine, including Chardonnay, Gewurztramine, Riesling, Tempranillo, Chambercin, Gamay, Zweigelt, Lemberger and more. Visitors can snag a seat on their pavilion while snacking on BBQ and listening to live music.
When you first step foot onto Megalomaniac Winery, it’s easy to be impressed by the space. Thoughtful design details like crystal chandeliers and black top hat lights make the tasting room a luxe experience. The 110-acre winery has a two-story patio with outdoor space on both floors, with glass walls to show off the view. Megalomaniac is on the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment. That means that you can enjoy your Pinot with outstanding views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline on a clear day. The winery got its name because the owner had planned to name his winery after himself. His friend responded by saying, “Oh you’re going to be another megalomaniac.” Thus, the name was born.