Warm weather and wine go together like . . . well, warm weather and wine! Whether you’re looking forward to patio sipping, winery hopping, or thirst quenching, wine is the perfect companion for summer. However, locals and tourists who look forward to Niagara’s lush wine region, hiking trails, and summer events might find their day planners a little light this year: Our efforts to flatten the curve mean that our beloved wineries and tour companies have closed to the public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an immersive, Niagara experience! Because driving through wine country is one of our specialties, we want to help you create the Wheelz experience you love from the comfort of your own vehicle!
Using Tourism Niagara as your guide, we’ll walk you through some of our favourite routes in wine country! You can explore some of Niagara’s most iconic views, and order curbside pick-up from one, or many, of our award-winning Niagara wineries. With several unique and scenic drives to choose from, you can create your own Niagara Wine Tour whenever you like! So, pack a hearty lunch, grab your camera, and make sure you’ve got an empty box or two to accommodate the wines, beers, or spirits that you’ve ordered, plus any extras you might call in along the way!
You can indulge in stellar views and marvel at the history of both Niagara-on-the Lake and Fort Erie. The Niagara Parkway will guide you from Niagara-on-the-Lake and through Niagara Falls. The picturesque views will make your drive to Fort Erie more pleasurable. Although this drive can be accomplished in a under an hour, there’s ample opportunity to make quick pit-stops for an impromptu picture, a historical demonstration, or to purchase a bottle of your favourite vintage, along the way! Use Google Maps to fine-tune your journey, and to scope out possible wineries that you can drive by along the way. Make this journey yours!
Things to See:
· Fort George: Built between 1796 – 1802, this historical site will whisk you back to 19th century, where you can discover Niagara’s military history, and learn about how Niagara’s troops defended the Fort during various battles, and will delight in the military demonstrations and architecture of the period. Hours may vary depending on season and restrictions, so make sure you book ahead!
· Botanical Gardens: Niagara’s botanical gardens, first established in 1936, offers visitors about 99 acres of flowers and foliage. Its world-famous rose garden makes this impressive floral space a must-visit for anyone passing through Niagara Falls. With many varieties of perennials, herbs, and vegetables, you will literally stop and smell the flowers. Don’t forget to check out the Niagara Parks’ website ahead of time to find out what’s in bloom so you can pack your camera!
· Dufferin Islands boasts 10 acres of winding trails, paths, and footbridges that will provide you with a tranquil escape without leaving Niagara. With many self-guided nature paths to explore, all you have to do is park your car and start hiking!
After all that fresh air and exercise, you might find yourself feeling a little parched. Luckily, Niagara is famous for its beverages! After all, did you really spend an afternoon in Niagara if you didn’t go on an iconic Niagara wine tour? Make some time in your day, and some room in your car, for a couple of curbside pick-me-ups to break up your sightseeing.
A scenic tour through Niagara can double as a Niagara wine tour if you know here to go. Every bend in the road, every street you encounter can add to your adventure. And our team knows first-hand how challenging it can be to choose “just a few,” we wanted to get the ball rolling with a few of our favourites. If you don’t get to visit all of the Niagara wineries you love in one go, you can always try again next weekend! Although most wineries are not situated directly on the Niagara Parkway, you can easily exit, and then hop back on the Parkway to enjoy all the perks of a Niagara wine tour and Niagara’s spectacular scenery.
· Konzelmann Estate Winery, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, is one of the only wineries in the region that offers lakeside-views. Although it’s not your typical starting point, Konzelmann is an excellent starting point for any adventure. Hailed for their fruit forward and aromatic varietals (inspired by German-style winemaking), whether you’re there for their service or to purchase some of their famous peach wine, you won’t be disappointed!
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery: Ravine Vineyard’s roots in Niagara go back many generations. With 34 acres in St. David’s Bench, Ravine’s proud history is entwined with the unique terroir of this sub appellation. If you’re passing by Thursday through Sunday, call ahead to pick up a meal, and a bottle of their Sand & Gravel series, to taste the fruits of the Lowrey family’s legacy in their fam-to-table cuisine. Missing your favourites during the week? Place your order online now and enjoy free delivery! Queenston Mile Vineyard: Queenston mile combines its winemaking expertise with St. David’s terroir to produce small batch, big personality wines. Take a detour off the parkway to discover the exceptional wines at Queenston Mile. As you tour through Niagara, reap the rewards of curbside pick-up by calling Queenston Mile to order something special, or enjoy free delivery on six or more bottles of wine. If you plan on taking a few road trips around Niagara, visit their vineyard in the fall for their spectacular sunset views of the surrounding vineyards. Remember to make this trip your own by consulting the Scenic Drives portion of Niagara Tourism’s website to start your adventure. Capture your favourite finds by documenting your day-trip with a few photos, or by re-visiting that perfect, sunny spot and celebrating with the pop of a cork or a twist of a bottle. So, where will your inspiration take you? Maybe Twenty Valley? Or, how about a trip to Port Dalhousie? Let your taste buds be your guide for your custom Niagara wine tour.
Make Your Journey the Destination!
At Wheelz, we believe that every journey starts with you. We hope that you enjoy exploring Niagara as much as we do, and we can’t wait to get back out there and continue to experience it with you, especially as the weather gets warmer! Keep us up to date on your adventures by tagging us is your Instagram photos, or purchase a gift certificate to use on a future Niagara wine tour! We’ll be waiting for you.
Steve was our driver for our custom private tour to Niagara on the Lake. He showed up on time & was a wonderful informative driver. We liked his suggestions & would 100% recommend this company.Jill See More