The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake: more than 20 wineries nestled below the Niagara Escarpment amidst a landscape of vineyards and orchards stretching from the picturesque Niagara River Parkway to the Lake Ontario.
We’re a close-knit community with a variety of wineries a mere minutes from each other, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake – the historic town ranked as Canada’s #1 Food & Wine Destination by TripAdvisor.Each winery has a unique personality, which you will see when you step up to our doors and which you will taste in our wines. We all share a commitment to showcasing the terroir of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the effects of soil, climate and location in the vineyard. We’ve received international accolades and awards but we would rather show than tell, so come see us!
The Niagara-on-the-Lake appellation is birthplace of the modern Canadian wine industry and home to some of Canada’s best-known wine families and iconic wines. The wineries in our appellation were pioneers in growing and producing world class wines from premium vinifera varieties and have helped to shape the new positive attitude toward Canadian wine.
With more than three decades of experience to draw on, grape growers in Niagara-on-the-Lake have a deep knowledge of what grows best in different locations. Winemakers have that same knowledge on how to treat the grapes in the winemaking process to get the best results. Add to this some of the oldest grapevines in Canada, which impart great character and depth to the wines. The end result: complex, delicious and internationally recognized, award-winning wines.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a place where tradition and innovation live and work together to continually move our industry forward.
The term ‘appellation’ simply means the name or designation of the specific place where a wine is from. It is the grape’s region of origin. Within the Niagara Peninsula, Niagara-on-the-Lake has been classified by VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario) as a distinct area. Within the larger appellation are sub-appellations of Niagara River, Niagara Lakeshore, Four Mile Creek and St. David’s Bench.
Across this expanse of fertile land our wineries are differentiated by geology, soil, elevations and variations in temperature and precipitation that all have an effect on the wines being produced. Because of this diversity in “terroir” wines from Niagara-on-the-Lake are varied and cover the range of light and fresh, a touch sweet, soft and savoury and full, tannic and powerful.
But the main factors that influence our wines in relation to other wine-growing regions are our proximity to water and the climate that creates for our grapes.
Bordered by Lake Ontario and the Niagara River, our climate is moderated and temperatures are generally warmer so that grapes ripen very well. An earlier spring in Niagara-on-the-Lake means our grapes have a longer growing season, resulting in ripeness at harvest and better depth of flavour in our wines. This added warmth and longer growing season is especially good for red grapes but benefits white varietals as well. Furthermore, warm days and cool nights result in wines that have a balance of ripe fruit and acidity, making them excellent companions to food.
The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are renowned for making wines that fully express the grape varietal and vineyard they come from and it’s a fascinating adventure to see how these factors can change the wine. Visit our wineries today and learn the stories of their sub-appellations and their wines and all that goes in to making them so special!
Wine & Food
Niagara-on-the-Lake is the heart of Ontario wine culture and a world-renowned wine and culinary destination. The region has a long-established food and wine community and many pioneer chefs of the Go Local food movement cook and live in this appellation, offering some of the most authentic farm to table dining experiences. The region has a deep understanding of how the food and wine and experience ties together – “what grows together, goes together” – and many of the foods that come from the region pair perfectly with the wines of the region. As a visitor to Niagara-on-the-Lake you can curate your own food and wine experience, choosing from large estates, medium-sized operations and small boutique wineries.