NIAGARA IS HOME TO MORE THAN 70 AWARD-WINNING WINERIES, SOME OF WHICH HAVE CALLED THE REGION HOME FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, WHILE OTHERS ARE STILL MAKING THEIR MARK
Among the area’s mainstays, visit Marynissen Estates, which boasts the oldest commercial planting of cabernet sauvignon in the country; Peller Estates, which also has a sister vineyard in British Columbia’s Okanagen Valley; Château des Charmes, which is owned by the Bosc family whose winemaking roots date back to the 1840s; and Pondview Estate Winery, which has been run by the Puglisi family for three generations.
Other wineries may not have decades of experience, but they take great pride in crafting nuanced vintages nonetheless. Frogpond Farm is the province’s first winery to produce certified organic wines; Southbrook Winery is also an organic and biodynamic-certified winery; Two Sisters Vineyards is set on 76 acres with a beautiful estate; while Cornerstone Estate Winery counts their fruit wines among their best sellers.
Jackson-Triggs is internationally recognized for its award–winning chardonnays and Rieslings among others, but also has an engaging summer concert series at its outdoor amphitheatre with Canadian musicians, such as the Sam Roberts Band (June 9), Steven Page (June 17) and Whitehorse (June 18).
Wine and food are a natural pairing, and select wineries can deliver both in a single visit through on-site restaurants. Each month, The Good Earth hosts the Good Girth Supper Club, a monthly themed dinner at the bistro and orchard (May 25 focuses on soul food while June 11 is a tapas tasting). Trius Winery offers a variety of experiences like sip and snack events, or book a table at its fine dining restaurant where chef Frank Dodd prepares a seasonal menu that compliments winemaker Craig McDonald’s carefully-crafted vintages. Over at Ravine Vineyard, the local eats movement is taken quite literally—in addition to its vineyard, there is also a farm where pigs are raised and organic vegetables are grown for both the restaurant and The Canning House shop.
Treadwell is a much-respected restaurant in the region, co-owned by chef Stephen Treadwell and his sommelier son James. The wine list is comprised primarily of Niagara offerings with an emphasis on vintages from smaller producers, such as Five Rows and Lailey. Chosen as Where Toronto’s Best New Restaurant of 2015, Backhouse is the brainchild of husband and wife team Ryan Crawford and Bev Hotchkiss; she runs the front of the house while as the chef he creates their seasonally changing cool climate menu. Most wineries offer tours of their vineyards, but call ahead to confirm the schedule and fees.
—Linda Luong Luck
RELATED NIAGRA IS FOR EVERYONE STORIES: