Niagara Peninsula Ontario Canada

     My wife and I visited the Niagara Peninsula Wine Country of Ontario, Canada in September during their harvest. We stayed in the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake which sits on the shore of Lake Ontario where the Niagara River enters the lake. There are numerous wineries and vineyards in the area, which makes having a plan essential to maximizing your time and enjoyment while touring the region.  Our plan included the well know wineries of Trius, Stratus, Jackson-Triggs, Two Sisters, Peller, Konzelmann and Rief.

This area is definitely a cool climate grape growing region. The wineries and vineyards are among the most beautiful we have ever visited. We tasted at all the wineries that I mentioned and found the wine, even though well made, to be lean and lacking complexity. The varietals displayed crisp acidity, a light body and short finish. I was looking forward to trying their blends or should I say “Assemblage”, but found the same characteristics I found in the varietals predictably repeated in these wines both red and white. It’s not surprising the wine would exhibit these taste profiles simply because those are the traits you expect from cool climate grapes. After giving it some thought I believe that even with reduced yields the grapes couldn’t ripen fully and develop the complexity they needed. The 2016 Harvest may be different because it was a very hot dry growing season which put stress on the vines while the sunshine warmed the berries ripening them more fully.

     Many of the estates have excellent fine dining restaurants. They focus on fresh farm to table ingredients that really makes a big difference in the quality of your meal. We had dinner at the outstanding Kitchen 76 restaurant at the Two Sisters Vineyards. The view from our table was amazing, it afforded us a stunning view of the vineyards that were full of fruit waiting to be gathered. A long lane leads you through the Two Sisters vineyard to the large château that houses their tasting room, restaurant and other facilities.

     We had a wonderful time on our trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Niagara Peninsula and would recommend it. If you are traveling there from the U.S. there are some things you need to consider before you go. Be sure to have a valid passport, check with your cell phone carrier for an international plan when you are there (roaming fees are insanely expensive ), most credit cards charge a fee every time you charge so get some Canadian bills for pocket cash, most GPS won’t work after you cross the border, ask about the laws that pertain to bringing back alcohol and be truthful about it because the border guards don’t like cheaters. 

     If you do some preparation you can relax and enjoy your time in the Niagara Peninsula.  

    

View from Kitchen 76 Restaurant @ Two Sisters Vineyard

View from Kitchen 76 Restaurant @ Two Sisters Vineyard

      

Two Sisters Vineyards view from River Bend

Two Sisters Vineyards view from River Bend

Advertisements

About wpawinepirate

Wine lover from Western Pennsylvania that wants to tell everyone how far the winemakers here have come and what they are doing now. Contact me at wpawinepirate@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Wine news and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Niagara Peninsula Ontario Canada

  1. Duff's Wines says:

    I agree with you that the wines of Niagara down by NOTL can come up short. The better wineries are located on the Beamsville Bench and Twenty Valley area. Particularly, Tawse, Malivoire, Flat Rock, Westcott, Southbrook and a few others. As you probably determined the cool climate makes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir solid with a nod to Riesling in some areas. All said though, it’s a beautiful little area to visit and it sounds like you enjoyed it.

    • Thanks for the comment and the tips on other wineries to visit in the NP. That kind of information is invaluable because now I don’t have to sort them out myself. We really did enjoy NOTL but next visit we’ll be exploring these new areas.

  2. I agree that it is a wonderful part of Ontario to visit, and the number of wineries keeps increasing.

    • We had a great time in NOTL. The early fall weather was beautiful, the people were friendly and it was harvest in the vineyards. We live in Southwestern Pennsylvania so it is a nice trip to take since it is less than a 5 hour drive. This was our first trip to the Niagara Peninsula, other than a few trips to the casinos in Niagara Falls.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s