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While the Canadian wine industry may be in its infancy compared to Old World wine-producing regions in other parts of the world, it is now famed across the globe for producing some of the best wines that you can taste.
Two regions in Canada are famed for producing and exporting wines and these are Ontario and British Columbia. Both regions are popular destinations for fly drive Canada holidays as there are so many attractions in both provinces, but something people should add to their bucket list is to go wine tasting at both locations.
Okanagan in British Columbia and Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario are two of the best destinations to go wine tasting and explore the vineyards in Canada. In this article we talk about both destinations, what you can do there, vineyards to visit and lots more.
Explore Canada’s Winelands
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Wines to try: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Auxerrois blanc, Marechal Foch and Cabernet Franc
British Columbia is home to a wine region that covers more than 10,000 acres, but the most iconic wine-making region in the province is the Okanagan Valley.
The Okanagan Valley stretches over 150 kilometres from Osoyoos to Vernon and is home to more than 200 vineyards and 150 wineries.
Cody Hammer, who is the writer behind the travel blog Exploratory Glory, told us a bit more about why Okanagan Valley is such a renowned wine-making area.
“The arid landscape and superb growing conditions of the Okanagan Valley allows for some of the best wine-making in the world and is proud to have around 183 licensed wineries. The region’s unique geography and weather patterns lend to the creation of a multitude of different microclimates, each with distinct soil and growing conditions. An abundance of wine tours throughout the valley will allow you to dance with your taste buds and enjoy delicious sun-ripened reds, crisp cool whites, and a plethora of unique fruit wines.”
READ MORE: Wine and Wellness in BC’s Okanagan Valley
Best wineries in Okanagan Valley
If you would like to go wine tasting or would like to explore some wineries in Okanagan Valley, there are lots of places you can visit. Here are some of the best wineries in Okanagan:
Other great activities to enjoy in Okanagan Valley and British Columbia
Okanagan Valley is one of the best locations in Canada to go on a tour of a vineyard and to go wine tasting.
Whilst wine tasting is the top activity to do if you are heading to Okanagan Valley, there are lots of other attractions you can visit and activities you can do on a holiday in the area.
Cody Hammer adds: “The Okanagan Valley is not only an excellent destination for wine connoisseurs but also offers many activities for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 50 lakes in the valley, it should come as no surprise that boating, swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding are some of the favourite activities in the region. Being surrounded by mountain ranges also means that the valley has excellent hiking trails with splendid panoramic views that rival other wine regions such as Tuscany or Napa Valley.”
If you are on a fly drive holiday in British Columbia, then there are lots of other places you can visit and activities to try such as enjoying the stunning wildlife on Vancouver Island, walking on the Capilano Suspension Bridge, skiing in Whistler during the winter months and whale watching in Victoria just some of the things you could enjoy in one trip.
RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: BC Spa & Winelands Circle Holiday
Wines to try: Icewine, Cabernet Sauvignon
Niagara-on-the-Lake is commonly described as the prettiest town in Ontario as the 19th-century village is home to a historic centre that can be explored on a horse-drawn carriage ride.
The town is even more famous for its wineries as it is in the heart of Ontario wine country and it is just a short distance away from the iconic Niagara Falls.
Ontario is a great province to visit all year round as there is always something to do or go and see and if you are planning a trip here, then you should look at the great deals which are on offer for flights to Toronto. From Toronto, you can either enjoy a city break in Toronto for a few days or opt for a fly-drive holiday so you can explore more of Ontario.
Melanie Schaffer, the blogger behind the BRB Travel Blog, tells us a bit more about Niagara-on-the-Lake being one of the top wine tasting destinations in the country: “Niagara on the lake is close to 2 major Canadian must-do: Niagara falls and the most diverse city in the world, Toronto. After you finish visiting these 2 main attractions, you should head to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the region is a wine and foodie must-do.
“The region, due to the micro-climate of the peninsula, is the oldest and best wine country in Ontario and in Canada. Niagara-on-the Lake has 50 wineries to delight your taste buds. The most common grape types are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Franc. Some of the wineries also have farm-to-table restaurants that will pair perfectly with your wine.”
RECOMMENDED HOLIDAY: Niagara-on-the-Lake Romantic Getaway
Best wineries around Niagara-on-the-Lake
Wine tasting is a must if you are heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake and there are lots of wineries that you can visit. Here are some of the best wineries in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake:
READ MORE: Wineries of Canada: top 7 in the country
Other great activities to enjoy around Niagara-on-the-Lake
There are a plethora of wineries and wine tasting tours that you can enjoy in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake, but there are lots of other activities you can also enjoy if you are on a holiday in this part of Canada.
Melanie Schaffer from BRB Travel Blog tells us what she loves to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake outside of going wine tasting at the wineries.
“The town of Niagara-on-the Lake has more than wineries, it is also a historical centre. Fort George is a historic site where Upper Canada set a military post against the Americans in the 19th Century. The town lives through its main commercial street – Queen Street- with small shops offering local products and its pretty Victorian buildings. There is even an apothecary which has recipes from the 19th Century. The town borders a beautiful waterfront. The town is also known for the Shaw Festival, it is the second-largest repertory theatre company in North America.”
If you are looking for other activities to enjoy in Ontario, then, of course, there is Niagara Falls. The natural wonder is the most popular attraction in Ontario with lots of people going on Niagara Falls holidays year-round. With it being around a 1-hour and forty-five minutes’ drive from Toronto airport, it is also easily accessible and you can experience the falls in many different ways, including by helicopter or up close by boat.
If you are staying around Niagara Falls for a few days then you should also visit Niagara’s Skylon Tower, which offers a 360-degree view of the city.
If you are hiring a car for your trip to Eastern Canada, then you should spend some time in the vibrant city of Toronto. Some sightseeing stops you should add to your itinerary include the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame and some top museums.
This article looks at some of the top wine regions in Canada, what you can do there and some of the wineries that you can visit during your holiday. For more articles like this, check out the blog section of our website.