It's summer now, but soon enough the kids will be back in their classrooms, eagerly (we hope) awaiting the lessons of the upcoming school year. If you're a teacher, no matter how much you love the kids and your job, you know the level of stress that comes with them. Why not treat yourself one more time before school starts with a Niagara wine tour at some of Niagara-on-the-Lake's renowned wineries?
Of course, it's wise to hire someone to take you on the wine tour so everyone in your group can fully enjoy the product, but a good wine tour company can also set up a selection of vineyards to visit. If you'd rather sit back and let someone else decide where to go, you can certainly find a variety of Niagara wine tour packages designed to give you a varied taste of what the region has to offer. Whether your preference is a scenic tour of the wineries with the most incredible vineyard views, a wine tasting with a healthy dose of chocolate samples on top, or just checking out the best Niagara wines, there's a tour designed for you.
But if you want a little more say in the locations, you can always create your own custom wine tour.
With dozens of wineries to choose from, the only problem you might have is the day not having enough hours for you to visit them all! Since you'll have to choose, here are a few suggestions for where to start your winery list.
1. Inniskillin Wines. Founded by Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser, Inniskillin was granted the first winery license in nearly fifty years when they set up shop in 1975. Honouring the history of the farm with their name (the original owner, Colonel Cooper, was part of an Irish regiment known as the Inniskilling Fusiliers), Inniskillin sparked the growth in Niagara wineries that continues to this day.
Inniskillin produces a wide variety of both white and red wines, at several qualities, serving a substantial range of customers. Their most notable products are their ice wine styles: Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Vidal. Not only are these wines a specialty of the vineyard, their efforts have helped identify the Niagara region as a whole with sweet ice wines.
As a major name in Niagara wine, Inniskillin is easier to find than most brands; however, they're still worth visiting if you're interested in the history, and future, of the region.
2. Frogpond Farm. Just down the road from Inniskillin, Frogpond Farm boasts of being "Ontario's first organically certified winery". As their website states, they craft premium organic wines using only environmentally sustainable practices—a big plus for the environmentally-conscious wine fans out there. In addition, after opening in 2001, the winery switched over to renewable energy sources, and since 2006 has been "Bullfrog Powered", running completely off wind and water sources.
Of course, none of that would matter if they made mediocre wine, which is fortunately not the case. They balance their offerings between red and white, and offer two hybrid wines as well. For good wine and a chance to see what true environmental consciousness in action looks like, they're the place to go.
3. Ravine Vineyard. A bit south from Frogpond, Ravine Vineyard is a fairly recent addition to the Niagara region (2008) built from a one hundred and fifty year old farm that has been in the owner's family for generations. Winemaker Martin Warner works with the owners, Norma Jane and Blair Warner, to create a wide range of internationally-recognized wines.
Even more notable, however, is Ravine's farm-to-table restaurant. They're a perfect mid-point on any Niagara wine tour; the restaurant is open daily from 11 am to 8:30 pm, and offers a range of salads and sizable entrees. Their wines will make you happy, and their farm-fresh food will keep you going for the whole day.
Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Doesn't a late-summer Niagara wine tour sound like a great idea? Contact our office at 289-296-1966, or send us a message HERE. Gather your friends, and let's get you to Niagara for a summer day none of you will forget.
Our party of 7 had a blast on the tour. We made it to 5 wineries and 2 breweries. Tour guide was very knowledgeable and very familiar with each establishment. The tour only got better as the day went. Ended up coming home stocked with a variety of beverages.Mississauga See More
I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone looking to spend a great day with friends enjoying what Niagara has to offer.