The birthplace of modern Canadian winemaking
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!
The Lake Effect
Bruce Wallner, Master Sommelier, explains the importance of the lake effect in achieving full phenolic ripeness in grapes.
The Importance of Being Cool
Bruce Wallner, Master Sommelier, talks about the importance of being cool when it comes to winemaking. The Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are located in cool sites that ensure proper balance of ripeness in the grapes. Acid retention is what gives vibrancy to our wines.
Why Age Matters
Lorie O'Sullivan, Sommelier, explains why history is so important in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The age of the vine matters as it adds to the character and complexity of the wine.
From Farm to Table
Michael Bonacini, Chef and Restaurateur, talks about Niagara-on-the-Lake's great tradition of agriculture.
What Grows Together Goes Together
Chef and Restaurateur, Michael Bonacini, highlights some of the elements to look for in a wine when pairing it with a particular dish.
A Match Made in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Michael Bonacini, Chef and Restaurateur, answers the question "How important is a glass of wine with a great meal?
The original Lake effect
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.
Wine & FoodThe heart of Wine culture
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.