For those that want to make a run for the northern border instead of the south, Niagara on the Lake wineries offer a perfect way to spend some quality relaxation time.
History of Niagara on the Lake
The town is considered the loveliest town in Canada and rightly so. Historic buildings can be found at every turn, as well as some of the oldest wineries and vineyards in the region. If you're looking to discover some unique wines including ice wines, look no further than Niagara on the Lake.
Niagara on the Lake was founded at the end of the Revolutionary War. At the time of the war the area was known as the Neutral Indian village of Onghiara. The British Government bought the six-mile-long strip of land that ran on the western side of the Niagara River from the Mississaugas. The price for the land in 1781 according to the contract was "300 suits of clothing." By 1796 the area was a busy commercial center, due in part to its location along the river. During the War of 1812 the town was almost totally burned to the ground by the American militia.
The town was rebuilt over time, a testament to the prosperity resulting from the shipping and ship building industry in the area. Today, many consider it one of the most beautiful towns along the Niagara River. Visitors today will find plenty to do from golfing and antiquing to visiting the many estate wineries located along the shoreline.
Types of Grapes Grown in Ontario
Vintners grow a wide variety of grapes in Ontario, making it one of the reasons Niagara on the Lake is so popular with wine lovers. The following grape varieties are grown along this area of the Niagara River.
Used for red and rose wines:
- Baco Noir
- Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Gamay Noir
- Marechal Foch
- Pinot Noir
- Petit Verdot
Used for making white wines:
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot Gris
- Sauvignon Blanc
Niagara on the Lake Wineries
Arguably the biggest attraction to scenic Niagara on the Lake is the wineries dotting the landscape. Odds are no matter what winery you choose from, you'll find old favorites and perhaps a few delicious wines on your wine tasting journey.
The following wineries can be visited on your trip to this historic area:
- Caroline Cellars
- Cattail Creek Estate Winery
- Chateau des Charmes Wines -offers tours in both French and English
- Coyote's Run Estate Winery
- Frogpond Farm - features organic wines
- Hillebrand Winery
- Inniskillin Wines - famous for its ice wine
- Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
- Joseph's Estate Wines
- Konzelmann Estate Winery- one of the oldest wineries in the area and offers over 30 different wines
- Lailey Vineyard Winery
- Maleta Estate Winery
- Marynissen Estates Winery- features wines made from the oldest vinifera vines in the region
- Niagara College Teaching Winery - tours available by appointment
- Palatine Hills Estate Winery- known for their specialty ice wines
- Peller Estates Winery
- Pillitteri Estates Winery- best known for their Shiraz and Semillon ice wines
- Reif Estate Winery- offers a unique Wine Sensory Garden
- Riverview Cellars Estate Winery
- Stonechurch Vineyards- features a beautiful vineyard trail with informative signs
- Stratus Vineyards
- Strewn Estate Winery- known for its Wine Country Cooking School
- Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery- features wine made from locally grown fruit and berries
- Taps Brewing Company - features seasonally and annually crafted beers
Many of the wineries along the Niagara River not only offer wine tasting, but educational classes as well. Some of the wineries also offer accommodations and world-class cuisine. In addition, there are also many other attractions in the area including Niagara Falls. Make this town one of your must-see wine tasting destinations the next time you visit Ontario, Canada.