The history of winemaking or viticulture dates back thousands of years and while many would argue it was China that began the cultivation of the first grapevines, others would say it was in Europe they originated. Whichever is true, we are thankful they did. Drinking wine has always been used in celebration or as part of a good meal however in recent years, it has become a cultural popularity contest. Wineries and their winemakers have popped up all over the world making the industry burst with variety and new blends, turning the average wine drinker into a true connoisseur overnight.
Niagara’s first commercial winery was founded in 1837 by The Ontario Grape Growing and Wine Manufacturing Company. Since then, the number of growers in Niagara has exploded with a recent count of 200 wineries and counting scattered across the region. That number seems to grow every year as the wine produced here rivals those from the finest regions in Europe and is enjoyed all over the world. To name a few, here are some of our favorites around the region…
Founded in 1878 by Paul Bosc, a fifth-generation French winegrower. The beautiful winery is located along the Niagara escarpment and provides guests with an old world feel and state-of-the-art wine making techniques.
Named for founders Allan Jackson and Don Triggs, they founded the winery in 1993 and has since become one of the most awarded in Canada. Take a tour- The people who work there love their jobs and it shows with every visit!
Six decades of proudly continuing the family tradition of viticulture and winemaking, Gary Pillitteri, owner & proprietor continues to produce stellar and award winning wines year after year.
Niagara’s only lakefront winery, founded originally in 1893 in Germany and transplanted to Niagara on the Lake in 1984. This winery is still owned and operated by the Konzelmann family and the wines they produce are second to none.
As Canada's first estate winery, Inniskillin is internationally renowned for its award-winning wines and for its pioneering role in establishing the Canadian wine industry. Their well-known and recognized for their ice wine around the world.
Awarded by National Wine Awards of Canada 2022. 13th Street Winery creates exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Niagara, specializing in hand-crafted sparkling wines, Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling.
One thing unites all the wine produced by Henry of Pelham, the land. Every bottle captures their unique connection to Niagara. They are the top producer of the Baco Noir in the world and has made the red wine a staple in households across the Region.
Since opening in 1993 with only one varietal, Hernder Estate Wines has over 25 award-winning VQA, fruit wines, late harvest, and Icewines. Their beautiful estate shouldn’t be missed on your next wine tour in Niagara.
Located on 16 Mile Creek at the base of the Twenty Mile Bench, this family owned and operated small estate winery was established in 2010 and produces more than 20 tonnes of fruit annually. Their top-quality wine grapes, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir are making quite a splash across the region.
This is the only winery in Ontario which also features an 18-hole championship golf course. Renowned for the quality, and natural minerals of the soil, Rockway Vineyards wine combines taste and elegance that creates an unforgettable experience.
Famous for his highly awarded estate grown Syrah (Ontario's oldest plantings), Michael Kacaba launched Kacaba Vineyards in 1997. Located on prime bench land of The Niagara Escarpment in Vineland, this winery produces big, balanced, and elegant wines that must be tried to be believed.
The harmony between the winery's Italian heritage and Canadian roots is evident, from the Tuscan inspired tasting room, to the rich, balanced wines and warm hospitality. Their hand-crafted, full-bodied reds are a definite must try.
The picturesque Vineland Estates Winery, owned by Fred DeGasperis, receives over 150,000 visitors annually. As a forerunner in Niagara’s culinary scene, this winery has it all, gourmet food, world class wine, all in a beautiful country setting.
Located at the base of the Niagara Escarpment in the heart of wine country, Stoney Ridge Estate Winery is owned and operated by Bob McCown. The sports talk personality bought the winery in 2013 and they now produce a wide range of VQA whites and reds including the ever-popular Warren Classic series.
True to its name, Hidden Bench is off the beaten track but definitely worth the hunt. Celebrating its 20th vintage in 2023, Hidden Bench is an artisan winegrower that produces premium wines exclusively from its own organic estate vineyards.
Located on the Beamsville Bench, this second-generation, family-owned small boutique winery has it all, a great location, a great story and most of all great wines. Try out their Cuvee Krystyna Chardonnay, you won’t be disappointed.
For a unique farm to table experience right in the heart of Beamsville’s beautiful farmlands, visit Good Earth and sample a vintage of their hand-crafted wines. Making fewer than 3000 cases per year since 2008, Good Earth has mastered the art of delighting the palate.
Sitting just below the Niagara Escarpment and overlooking Lake Ontario, Angel’s Gate’s Australian winemaker Philip Dowell sources his fruit from six local estate growers to create award winning wine year after year.
Offering extraordinary wines and unforgettable culinary experiences, Peninsula Ridge Estates is known for being a destination that shouldn’t be missed. Surrounded by 80 acres of beautiful vineyards on the Niagara Escarpment, this winery is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
As a wine-lover, you're always on the lookout for new places to hit up and discover. But if you're looking for a fresh new experience, it can be hard to know where to start. If you're looking for a break from your everyday routine and some time in nature, we've got just the place for you, The wineries of the Niagara region.
The region has long been known as one of Canada's best places to make wine, in fact, it was named an official Canadian Geographical Indicator (CGI) in 2010 due to its long history in winemaking. It was also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique geological formations that lend themselves so well to growing grapes! So, whether it's just getting away from it all or trying something new, Niagara Region Wineries are definitely worth checking out!