While Canadian wines may not be as world-renowned as those from France or Italy, Canada’s landscape and soil make for an ideal wine growing environment. In recent years, international recognition of some of Canada’s fine wines have been growing, and, when it comes to the wineries in the country, there is no denying that Ontario is home to some of the very best.
Sandbanks Estate Winery, Prince Edward County
Considered to be the fastest growing wine region in the country, Prince Edward County only really began focusing on wine ten years ago, but is now home to a number of family-run vineyards. The Sandbanks Estate Winery was the first to be established in the region, and is one that, being organic and completely sustainable, set a high standard for the wineries that followed. Vineyard tours are offered during the summer months only, as the region does experience quite cold winters, but there are also plenty of special events, from wine release parties to food truck fairs, that are held throughout the year.
One of the most famous wineries in Ontario, many argue that it was Inniskillin that first brought international recognition to Canadian wines. This winery is a fantastic one to visit, as they offer a whole range of interesting activities, with the majority of them taking place in their traditional 1920s barn. From the wine tasting bar to the demonstration kitchen to the wine boutique, there is plenty to see and do here, especially if you are visiting during the summer months, when the winery hosts their Market Grill series, featuring inventive snacks created by the winery’s talented executive chef.
Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, Amherstburg
Located about a half hour drive from Windsor, the Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery enjoys the longest wine growing season in Canada, as well as warm and balmy temperatures that allow them to create the most delicious of full-bodied wines. A tour of the winery is a must, so that you can learn more about their unique production process, before heading to the patio for a wine tasting. For those that want to stay a little longer, the winery also sells gourmet picnic baskets, perfect for a trip to the lakeside, while those visiting during the winter months have a whole range of cold-weather activities and events to choose from.
Peller Estates Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake
One of the largest wine producers in Canada, the Peller Estates Winery is definitely impressive in scale, and provides an interesting contrast to some of the smaller vineyards out there. There are a number of different wine experiences available, from the Greatest Winery Tour to the Vino and Cocoa Interactive Pairing Experiment to the Grill and Chill Experience. The Peller Estates Winery also produces Icewine, which happens in their -10 degree Celsius Icewine Lounge, and a visit to see the ice walls, ice furniture and ice sculptures is not to be missed.
Many of the wines produced in Canada meet the highest of international standards, and a tour of some of Ontario’s vineyards is a must for wine enthusiasts. From the large-scale production of the Peller Estates Winery to the intimacy of the Sandbanks Estate Winery, the diversity that you will experience is all part of the charm of Canadian wines.