Check Out These Great Niagara on the Lake Wineries!
Today, we’re going to talk about wine in Ontario. Why? Because Ontario does a pretty good job of making wine! Aside from Prince Edward County, the premier wine region in Ontario is the Niagara Region, and you’ll find some of the best wineries in Niagara on the Lake. A visit to the area makes a great weekend getaway in Ontario!
That said, within the Niagara on the Lake wine region, there’s huge diversity among the wineries. Some of them are smaller and cozy while others are large estates. Some have been around for decades and passed through generations while others are newly built. Whatever your style, the whole region is a worthwhile place to explore in Ontario!
Some of the Niagara on the Lake wineries with restaurants make a great place to visit because next to great wine you get great food, too. We’ll mention below if the wineries we list offer food. Whichever you choose, you’re bound to have an amazing day tasting amazing Canadian wine.
If you’re exploring the Niagara Region, here are a few more posts to help you trip plan!
- Awesome Niagara on the Lake Wine Tours
- Great Things to Do and See in Niagara on the Lake
- Niagara on the Lake Accommodations: A Hotels and Inn Guide
- Great Things to Do in Niagara Falls!
- Our Guide for Niagara Falls Hotels, B&Bs, & Motels
- How to Go From Toronto to Niagara Falls – All Ways
Things to Know About Visiting Niagara on the Lake Wineries
If you are planning to visit Niagara on the Lake (and the Niagara region in general), here are a few details to know and things to consider!
Where is Niagara on the Lake?
The Niagara Region is a large area in Southwestern Ontario – geographically it’s also called the Niagara Peninsula. This area has a very unique climate (due to the Niagara Escarpment) and for that reason it’s known as a prime area for growing grapes. As such, there’s a variety of wineries on the Peninsula if you’re driving west towards Hamilton.
Niagara on the Lake is a specific area (and also a town) situated to the east side of St. Catharines, north of the famous Niagara Falls, and exactly west of the Niagara River, which lies as the border to the United States. Makes a great day trip from Toronto!
Fun Fact: The area is globally recognized as a major producer of ice wine – wine made from grapes that have been left out to freeze to just the right temperature. Wineries can thank the unique climate of Ontario for allowing for the perfect conditions to produce the sweet and delicious wine!
Where to Stay in Niagara on the Lake
Staying over in Niagara on the Lake is a great idea since the area is lovely and the town itself is gorgeous. We’ve explored the town during the day scouted out the best places to check into – which we are writing a guide for as we speak.
To get you started, you can check here for Niagara on the Lake inns and hotels. If you want to stay in the hotel in the photo above, the Prince of Wales Hotel is top-rated and located in the heart of the town. Eric has also stayed at The Pillar and Post Inn & Spa and really loved his stay!
Niagara on the Lake Wine Tours
If you are unfamiliar with the area, a great way to see (and taste) the region is on a wine tour. There are loads of tours to choose from – and we’ve written a guide on Niagara on the Lake wine tours which has all the details about top tours as well as all the details of the wine tasting tour we did!
We really loved our day wine touring, so if you’re looking for a classic wine tasting tour in Niagara on the Lake, you can check out that wine tour we did here!
Great Niagara on the Lake Wineries
When we visited Niagara on the Lake, we learned a ton about the famous wine region. Officially, there are over 90 wineries that have sprung up over the decades – with more and more developing each year!
With this in mind – there is no “best” winery in Niagara on the Lake. The wineries all do things different, have different operations, methods, and strengths. We certainly preferred ones over others but saying which is best would be like comparing apples to wine grape!
Below you’ll find many of the details about visiting these wineries like prices, hours, tour times, and more. Be sure to check the websites of the wineries you want to visit since thee important details can change depending on the season!
Also keep in mind that we have been to many of them – but not all of them. This list is designed to give you a sample of the most popular ones, smaller ones, and ones that we’ve explored ourselves. We will continue to add to this list as we discover new ones!
(We’ve also included a Niagara on the Lake wineries map of the ones listed below!)
Known for producing some of the bolder reds in the area, Stratus has the sleek and modern architecture that’s sure to please the contemporary lover/wine drinker! Stratus also puts an emphasis on the sustainability of their operations and their product – with none of their wine ever being pumped between stages and barrels during the process.
Stratus utilizes “gravity flow” – the wine moves entirely by gravity – and is one of only a handful of wineries in the world to do this. With a French winemaker at the helm, Stratus is dedicated to preserving tradition while not being afraid to cross into new territory.
The winery is along the main wine route and very close to the heart of Niagara on the Lake (the actual town), making this a great stop for the end of a day’s long tour. Eric attended a private wedding at Stratus in the autumn season and the venue was absolutely gorgeous.
The staff did an amazing job with the food and drinks – the dance floor was even surrounded by main wine shelves which was very cool. You can learn more about Stratus at their website.
Address: 2059 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
Known as a family-run small estate winery, Ravine was easily one of our favourite wineries visited in the whole area. We really liked Ravine because when we did a tasting we got to sample anything on their extensive menu. This is compared to other wineries where it’s a set wine tasting list (and usually comes with a tour).
They have a great tasting room in an old house, an onsite restaurant, a cozy country store in the back of the tasting room, and a patio area for the summer season! We’d definitely recommend checking out Ravine if you visit Niagara on the Lake! You can learn more about Ravine here.
Address: 1366 York Rd, St. Davids, ON L0S 1P0
Peller Estates Winery & Restaurant
Peller Estates bears the name of Andrew Peller – a man credited with bringing wine-making to Ontario. This grand winery has a reputation that speaks for itself. Peller makes a point of paring great food with great wine – and guests can find a calendar full of events throughout the year.
The onsite food options make Peller an easy pick – choose between dinner in the barrel cellar, fine dining in the Winery Restaurant, or out on the patio at the Barrel House Grill.
Looking to try ice wine? Peller is the place to do it. They take you into an igloo-like tasting room where you put on a parka and taste ice wine at -10 degrees Celsius. There simply is no other way.
The grounds are also bike friendly in case you’re partaking on a wine tour that’s self-organized. We wandered inside and headed to the left – that’s where you find the store front and tasting bar. We didn’t taste (we were wined out for the day) but bought a bottle of Baco Noir to take with us!
You can find out more about booking a tour, the hours, restaurant reservations, and the events at the Peller website.
Address: 290 John St E, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Pillitteri Estate Winery
Located right on the main road heading into the region, Pillitteri started as a small farmer’s market founded by immigrants to Canada. These days, the winery has grown to an award-winning Niagara on the Lake winery!
No, seriously, when you first walk inside they have all their awards in glass cases on display. We visited Pillitteri and want on a winery tour to learn all about the history of the winery. An authentic wooden “fruit cart” (hence their logo and history) is on display in the entrance way.
When the tour was finished, we got to sample a few of their wines (a red, a white, and an ice wine) in the tasting room. This room doubled as a shop filled with Canadian souvenirs like honey and maple syrup! You can learn more about Pillitteri here.
Address: 1696 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Trius Winery and Restaurant
Trius Winery is another one of the pioneers in the Niagara region. Having been at it for over 30 years, it’s easy to see why!
Trius prides itself in being able to provide guests with both an amazing wine experience and an amazing food experience. The facility is large, with a tasting room that emphasizes an “unrushed enjoyment”.
The wine tours are interesting and offer guests a thorough understanding of the wine-making process! If you’re into sparkling wines, Trius has the largest underground sparkling cellar in the country! To learn more about experiencing Trius, visit their website.
Address: 1249 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Known as Canada’s original estate winery, the brand derived its name from the land on which the grapes are grown. Over 35 years later, Inniskillin stands proud as an industry leader with operations in Niagara on the Lake as well as in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.
The estate itself is one of the largest in the Niagara Peninsula – so expect it to be rather busy when you arrive! It wasn’t too bad when we went but you can tell by the number of tables and outdoor seating that the place gets busy.
Nonetheless, you’ll get to experience their full range of Premium Estate Wines and their famous Ice Wines. Inniskillin is known for its food and wine pairing experiences.
We did a tour of the winery and got to see their machinery as well as storage cellars filled with vintage bottles. The guide was passionate about wine so we had a great time. It was our guide who then led the tasting of four wines – a white, red, and then two ice wines (one still and one sparkling).
Overall, we had a nice time at Inniskillin. It was nice to get to know the backstory of one of the larger operations and could compare that to smaller, newer ones! The grounds are covered in classic Muskoka chairs for you to lounge in if the weather is nice. To learn more about Inniskillin in Niagara on the Lake, check out the Inniskillin website.
Address: 1499 Line 3, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
The Hare Wine Co.
As one of the newest wineries in the Niagara on the Lake region, The Hare Wine Co. has made its presence known to the wine region! The name is derived from the Hare – a symbol for fertility and good fortune. You can find it on the massive iron gates that greet you when you arrive!
Guests rave about the amazing experience they have – from the great service they receive from the knowledgeable staff to the tasty wines they get to try and buy.
The Hare is known for its well-balanced wines and ice wines. Open daily, guests don’t require an appointment for a tasting. To learn more about the Hare, you can visit their website.
Address: 769 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Jackson Triggs Winery
This place is the powerhouse winemaker of the region. How does 47,000 square feet of wine-making goodness sound? Jackson Triggs provides guests with a complete winery experience.
Their tour is known as a “visitor education program” where you visit the vineyard and a variety of “behind the scenes” areas in the warehouses to see just how wine is made on that grand of a scale. The best part is that you get to sample wines along the way!
Their “Entourage Room” and the patio are open during the warm seasons for food samplings that pair with their wines. Tours and tastings run daily except for Christmas Day but larger groups are asked to call ahead. You can learn more about Jackson Triggs here.
Address: 2145 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Reif Estates Winery
We just had to include the German winery on the list! Reif Estate was founded in 1982 by Ewald Reif, a German-born winemaker who came to Canada decades before. Today, wines are produced from the vineyard that was first planted in 1977.
Over 125 acres of wine growing goodness await you when you visit Reif Estates. The Sensory Wine Bar allows for tastings that pair with chocolate – or even let you taste them blind!
They have a newly added outdoor kitchen that serves up wine gelatos and grilled pizzas as long as the weather is good! Wine-making tours and tastings run daily and come with a few samples of their delicious wines – notably, their ice wine.
We visited Reif while on the wine tour we did and loved the private tasting in the private room that we got. The girl who led the tasting was super knowledgeable and their ice wine was really good!
Overall, you’ll have an experience filled with learning about the past and the history of wine-making. The front shop is large and spacious – full of bottles and other items to take home. The regular tasting counter is right in front of you so just walk up and get tasting! Learn more about Reif Estates here.
Address: 15608 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Château des Charmes
Founded in 1978 by a fifth generation French winegrower, the Estate Winery model has been a core value of the Château ever since. Château des Charmes believes in sustainable practices to produce its wine. They produce more than 30 different vintages and strategically grow their grapes to produce the best results.
Guests come back again and again for the great service they experience from the staff. Public tastings and their Discovery Tours are available daily and groups should book in advance just to be safe. As one of the most stunning estates in the area, you’ll certainly have a nice outing! To learn more about the Chateau, click here.
Address: 1025 York Rd, St. Davids, ON L0S 1P0
Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery
Wayne Gretzky is widely considered to be the greatest ice hockey player of all-time. So, we can count on “Number 99” to be “the great one” at something else in his lifetime! Not only did he co-found a winery but a successful distillery as well.
Whiskey lovers – you’re in luck. The newly built grounds are gorgeous and feature state-of-the-art facilities to discover both kinds of beverages. Guests rave about how knowledgeable the staff are when they are completing their wine tastings.
They also rave about the “mixology” class where you learn about whiskey-based drinks and try them, as well! There’s an ice skating rink outside (seasonally used, of course) so you can bring your own skates or rent a pair there.
All in all, you’ll have a very Canadian experience at Gretzky Estates. Tours and experiences run daily and reservations are recommended but not required. Here’s the website if you want to visit Gretzky Estates!
Address: 1219 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
And there you have it – some of the best wineries in Niagara on the Lake! What do you think? Did we put together a list you can raise a glass to or did we miss one or more of your favourites? Get in touch and let us know! We’d love any excuse to check out more wineries and promote Canadian goodness!
As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
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