Winemaking in Canada has garnered international renown. Not only do they make some of the best wines in the world, but they also make an abundance of ice wine. There are a lot of wineries out there that you can go to if you enjoy a glass of wine now and then or if you are a huge wine enthusiast.
Two areas in the country have a deep-rooted history in the production of wines. Ice wines have made the Niagara Peninsula famous, and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is well-known as a wine-producing region. In the following, we are going to take you on a tour of some of the most acclaimed wineries in the nation.
1. Château des Charme
Since the 1970s, when it was established by Paul Bosc, a French winegrower of the fifth generation, Chateau des Charme has been cultivating its grapes and producing some of the finest wine in all of Canada. The wines that are created in the estate’s four distinct vineyards are said to be delicious, well-balanced, and well-structured, to name just a few of the adjectives that are used to describe them.
Winemaking regions with a cool climate are well-known for their ability to produce excellent red wines. This winery takes advantage of the ideal conditions afforded by its location in Ontario’s Niagara-on-the-Lake region. Because of this, it is possible to achieve true grape maturation, which paves the way for the production of quality red wines.
Both the Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard and the St. David’s Bench Vineyard, both of which belong to the Chateau des Charme and are situated on the St. David’s Bench in the Niagara peninsula, are considered to be premium vineyards.
2. Niagara Peninsula’s Reif Estate Winery
The Reif Estate Winery has been making wine for almost a half a millennium and began making wine in the Rhine River Valley. The winery is named after the family that founded it. In 1977, the company’s founder, Ewald Reif, purchased some land on the banks of the Niagara River, and in 1983, the Reif Estate Winery opened its doors to the public for the first time. This estate is a great example of how the many different grape varieties grown in Niagara-on-the-Lake can be displayed through their colors, aromas, and flavors.
It is known for its Ice-wine as well as its white and red wines, and it has a long history of making the beverage. Honeysuckle, grapefruit, mint, and coriander are just some of the light-leaved foliage and flowers that can be found in the Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling sections of their vineyards.
In contrast, the red section of its vineyard showcases the powerful characteristics of its Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varietals through the use of elaborate floral arrangements. If you go on a tour of the winery, not only will you get to see how the various wines are made, but you will also have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious lunch. And a plethora of bottles of wine, of course.
It is generally agreed that Inniskillin is responsible for putting Canadian Ice-wine on the map internationally. It was during the early nineties when Vinexpo in Bordeaux presented it with the esteemed Grand Prix d’Honneur award, which is when it first gained widespread recognition. You have arrived at the right location if you are interested in tasting some of the very best Icewine that can be found anywhere in the world. At various international competitions held in Europe, Australia, and the United States of America, Inniskillin Ice-wines has been recognized with Gold and Best in Class awards.
However, what exactly is ice wine? When the temperature drops to -8 degrees Celsius or lower, an amazing phenomenon takes place at Niagara-on-the-Lake. When left on the vine, the grapes will freeze, and the water that is contained within the berries will turn to ice; however, the natural sugars will not be affected. Because of these conditions, the Icewine harvest can now officially begin. The estate in and of itself is quite stunning because it contains several historic buildings that have been renovated and redecorated, one of which is the Brae Burn Barn, which dates back to the 1920s.
If you go on a guided tour of this winery, you will not only find out how the Icewine that has won multiple accolades is made, but you will also have the opportunity to sample some delectable dishes that have been prepared by Inniskillin chefs.
4. Niagara Peninsula’s Peller Estates Winery
If you take advantage of car rental services in Canada while you’re on vacation, it won’t be difficult for you to drive from the Reif Estate Winery to the Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-On-The-Lake. Both wineries are in the same general area. The Peller Estates Winery is well-known for providing guests with a unique opportunity to enjoy both wine and food in an innovative setting. Katie Dickieson, the winemaker, makes wines that are influenced by food, and Jason Parsons, the resident gourmet chef, contributes to the production of what is arguably the best food and wine experience in all of Canada.
The tour of this winery will reawaken your sense of taste as you gain an understanding of the various steps involved in the production of wine, such as planting, harvesting, tasting, matching, serving, purchasing, and aging. Visitors have the opportunity to sample Peller Estates wine directly from the vineyard as well as purchase wines that are produced at the winery, including the winery’s renowned and highly acclaimed Ice-wines. Peller Estates Winery has been recognized as the Best Winery in the World, in addition to the numerous awards that have been bestowed upon their wines.
5. Vineyard Nichol in the Okanagan Valley
The Nichol Vineyard, which can be found in the world-famous Okanagan Valley in the province of British Columbia, is undeniably one of the finest wineries in all of Canada. Nichol Vineyard was one of the first three wineries to open in the Naramata Bench region. The first vines for this family-run business were planted in 1989, making it one of the oldest vineyards in the area. Nichol Vineyard is the most northerly and southernmost winery on the Naramata Bench, and all of its grapes are grown within 900 meters of the winery itself. Nichol Vineyard is the northernmost winery on the Naramata Bench.
In addition, this winery is home to Canada’s very first Syrah vineyard, which was established here. It is currently made up of 17 rows that have been planted on granite. To get the most out of their trip to the Nichol Vineyard, guests should also spend some time exploring the Naramata Bench region. Even though the wine that is produced here is frequently the primary draw, visitors can take in breathtaking vistas of Okanagan Lake.
In addition to this, Naramata Bench is the location of one of the most breathtaking sections of the Kettle Valley hiking and biking trail; consequently, there are a variety of activities available to enjoy after a visit to this winery.
6. Okay Valley’s Mission Hill Family Estate
According to a large number of wine experts, the Mission Hill Family Estate, which is located in West Kelowna in the province of British Columbia, is without a doubt the best winery in all of Canada. The venue is stunning, as it is situated on a hill with a breathtaking view of the Okanagan Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges.
This winery is enormous and has been recognized with a great deal of success on both the national and international levels. Visitors are welcome to take a tour of the winery’s cellared tasting rooms and gain an understanding of the processes used by the winery to produce its delectable wines. Over the course of more than three decades, Mission Hill’s dedication and enthusiasm for making the very best wine have never wavered.
Today, visitors to the Okanagan Valley can learn about the valley’s history as well as its natural beauty, such as how the valley’s glacial lakes have a moderating influence on the local climate.
7. Niagara Peninsula’s Fielding Estate
Experts have determined that this winery, which can be found on the Niagara Peninsula in the province of Ontario, is one of the best ten wineries in all of Canada. When you pay a visit to this fantastic winery, you will have the opportunity to go inside the tasting bar and enjoy a glass of wine while looking out over the skyline of Toronto.
Those who go on a tour of this winery will be able to get a glimpse into the winemaking process at Fielding Estate, which is responsible for the creation of some excellent Cabernet Sauvignons. Pay them a visit to their winemaking facility and observe how the barrel cellar is used to store their finished products.
8. Ontario’s Prince Edward County’s Sandbanks Estate Winery
Along the breathtaking beaches of Prince Edward County, a revolution in the wine industry has recently begun. In the area that is now known as Ontario’s fastest-growing wine region, family-run farms are springing up every year. Before the last few years, this region wasn’t widely recognized for its ability to produce excellent wine. A wine-tasting experience that is lighter and less pretentious has been developed in the small community located south of Belleville, Ontario, and approximately three hours northeast of Toronto.
The neighborhood has the feel of a close-knit community, which is made abundantly clear when one visits the area’s assortment of quaint artisanal cheese and local shops. The Sandbanks Estate Winery in the county is one of the oldest in the area and is completely sustainable; they do not use any herbicides or pesticides in their farming practices.
9. Wellington, Ontario’s Norman Hardie
In the wine region of Canada that experiences the coldest winters, Norman Hardie and his team put in a lot of hard work to ensure that their vines will survive the winter. Employees take the time after each harvest to carefully bury the vines under the soil to protect them from the upcoming winter, only to take the time in the spring to carefully uncover them once more by hand. It appears to be working, and with the slogan that “summer’s work brings fall bounty,” Norman Hardie has been awarded some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world.
These are varieties that typically do well in cool climates, and Norman Hardie has been recognized for producing some of the best examples of each. Hardie is a former sommelier at the Four Seasons who has worked in some of the world’s greatest wine regions (South Africa, California, and New Zealand).
After his experiences in these regions, he concluded that the prime limestone and mineral-rich land in Wellington, Ontario would be the best place to begin his mission. The rustic atmosphere, tasting bar, and wood-fired pizza oven are three of the main draws at this restaurant, which is housed in a building that looks like a barn and has a patio all around it.
10. Ontario’s Beamsville, Fielding Estate
Fielding Estates, located on the Beamsville Bench at the base of the Niagara Escarpment, was recently recognized as one of the top 10 wineries in all of Canada. It should not come as a surprise that three-quarters of Canada’s grapes are produced in the well-known Niagara region, which has held a sort of monopoly on the production of Ontario wines for a considerable amount of time.
Inside the open concept, the high-ceilinged building is a tasting bar and gift shop. Additionally, there is a back deck with expansive lake views and an outdoor tasting bar that allows you to enjoy a casual glass of wine while gazing out over the skyline of Toronto. The winery is situated in one of the most temperate regions in Ontario, which enables it to produce excellent Cabernet Sauvignons.
These wines are typically more comparable to those produced in regions located further south on the West Coast. It is best to plan a trip to the Beamsville region for the months of September and October when the air is cool, but the temperatures are still high enough to feel like summer.
11. Ontario’s Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, Amherstburg
Sprucewood Shores, which is located in the Lake Erie North region, has the appearance of having been a country summer home in the past for some of the most accomplished people in Europe. Another Canadian winery owned and operated by a family, this one was established on land that had previously been used as a farm but was subsequently converted into a vineyard. Vineyards are gaining in popularity in Prince Edward County, the area around Lake Erie, and the eastern regions of Quebec.
Sprucewood has used the vinifera vine, which is a variety of vine that was encouraged by the Canadian government in the 1980s to demonstrate that we can produce great-tasting wine that is made from 100 percent Canadian grapes under the right conditions. As a result, Sprucewood has produced many vintages that have won awards.
12. Malagesh Peninsula, Annapolis Valley, and Nova Scotia
This is Atlantic Canada’s oldest and most successful vineyard, which also happens to be its largest. The winery, which primarily produces whites, asserts that its wines are a good match for seafood because you can see the shores where lobsters are caught from the tasting room.
The Magalesh Peninsula is said to be on the same parallel as wine regions in France and Germany, which is where its ancestors first started producing wine. In addition, the view from the peninsula is spectacular.
Wine tours are the most entertaining because, in essence, you can choose your adventure. There are a lot of different options available to you, and they depend on your level of interest in wine as well as the size of your budget. When traveling through Canada’s wine regions, visitors have their choice of a large number of guided tours that are both professionally run and highly rated.