Canada is famous for its wine making. Not only do they produce some of the finest wines, they also produce Icewine in abundance too.
If you are partial to a glass of wine or are a huge wine enthusiast, there are plenty of wineries you can visit.
Two regions in the country have a long-standing tradition in producing wines. The Niagara Peninsula is famed for producing Icewines, and Okanagan is a famous wine region in British Columbia. Here we are going to guide you through some of the best wineries in the country.
1. Château des Charme
Founded by a fifth generation French winegrower, Paul Bosc, the Château des Charme has been growing its own grapes and producing some of the best Canadian wine since the 1970s.
Balanced, structured and delicious are just some of the words used to describe the wines produced in the four different vineyards at the estate.
Cool climate wine regions are renowned for producing great red wines. Being located at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, this winery boasts perfect conditions. This means that true grape maturation is achievable and therefore quality red wines can be produced.
The Château des Charme has two premium vineyards; Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard and St. David’s Bench Vineyard, and these are located in the Niagara peninsula, the St. David’s Bench.
Our favourite wine: 2014 Cabernet Icewine
Inniskillin has been credited with putting Canadian Icewine on the international map. It first rose to fame after picking up the prestigious Grand Prix d’Honneur award at Vinexpo in Bordeaux during the early nineties.
If you want to taste some of the best Icewine in the world then you have come to the right place. Inniskillin Icewines have won Gold and Best in Class awards at international competitions throughout Europe, Australia and North America.
But what is Icewine? Something amazing happens at Niagara-on-the-Lake when the temperature dips to -8°C or lower. The grapes left on the vine freeze and the water inside the berries turns to ice, but the natural sugars do not. These conditions mean the start of the Icewine harvest.
The estate itself is stunning as it features several restored and redesigned historic buildings, including the Brae Burn Barn, circa 1920.
Head on a guided tour of this winery and you will not only learn about how the award-winning Icewine is produced, but you can also eat some fabulous foods that are cooked by Inniskillin chefs.
Our favourite wine: 2014 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine
3. Reif Estate Winery, Niagara Peninsula
The Reif Estate Winery has been producing wine for nearly half a millennium and first started producing wine in the Rhine River Valley.
In 1977 founder Ewald Reif bought some land on the banks of the Niagara River and the doors of the Reif Estate Winery officially opened in 1983.
This estate really showcases the colours, aromas and flavours of the many grape varieties in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It produces white and red wines as well as boasting a long tradition in producing Icewine.
The Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling section of their vineyards boast light foliage and flowers such as honeysuckle, grapefruit, mint and coriander. By contrast, the red section of its vineyard highlights the robust nature of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with lush floral displays.
Go on a tour of the winery and you will see how the different wines are produced and will also get to enjoy a nice lunch. And, of course, lots of wine!
Our favourite wine: 2013 Vidal Icewine.
4. Peller Estates Winery, Niagara Peninsula
If you take advantage of car hire services in Canada for your holiday, then you can easily drive from the Reif Estate Winery to the Peller Estates Winery, located at Niagara-On-The-Lake.
The Peller Estates Winery is renowned for offering visitors an innovative wine and food experience. Winemaker Katie Dickieson creates wines inspired by food, while resident gourmet chef Jason Parsons helps to produce arguably the best food and wine experience in Canada.
Tour this winery and wake up your palate as you learn about the winemaking process including growing, tasting, pairing, serving, buying and cellaring. Visitors can taste Peller Estates wine from its vineyard and buy wines that are produced at the winery, including its famous, award-winning Icewines.
While their individual wines have won awards, the Peller Estates Winery has also been awarded the title of Winery of the Year.
Our favourite wine: Peller Estates Riesling Icewine.
5. Nichol Vineyard, Okanagan Valley
The Nichol Vineyard, located in the famous Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, is definitely one of Canada’s best wineries.
The first vines for this family-run business were planted in 1989, making Nichol Vineyard one of the first three wineries to appear in the Naramata Bench region.
It is the last and most northerly winery of the Naramata Bench and all of Nichol Vineyard’s wines are grown within 900 metres of the winery.
This winery also has a Syrah vineyard, the first to be planted in Canada. It now consists of 17 rows planted on granite.
Visitors heading to the Nichol Vineyard should also take some time to explore the Naramata Bench area. Whilst the wine produced here is often the main draw, you can enjoy spectacular views over Okanagan Lake. What’s more, Naramata Bench is home to one of the most beautiful stretches of the Kettle Valley hiking and biking trail, so there is plenty to do after visiting this winery.
Our favourite wine: 2015 Nichol Vineyard Pinot Gris
6. Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Valley
Many wine connoisseurs say that Mission Hill Family Estate in West Kelowna, British Columbia is quite simply the winery in Canada.
The venue is breathtaking, located on a hill overlooking the Okanagan Valley and spectacular mountain ranges.
This winery is huge and has won numerous international and national awards. Guests can tour the cellared tasting rooms and learn about the practices the winery uses to produce its delicious wines.
Mission Hill’s commitment and passion to produce the best wine hasn’t wavered over more than three decades. Today visitors can learn about the beauty and history of the Okanagan Valley, such as how its glacial lakes provide a moderating influence on its climate.
If you visit the winery you should also try to see more of the Okanagan Valley. It is breath-taking, nestled between the snow-capped Coast Mountains to the west and the Monashee Mountains to the east. There is so much to see in the area, including the Sonoran Desert, which is Canada’s only desert.
Our favourite wine: Anything from their extremely limited Terroir Collection, available exclusively at the Mission Hill Family Estate.
7. Fielding Estate, Niagara Peninsula
This winery, located in the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, has been named one of the top 10 wineries in Canada by experts.
Visit this great winery and you can go inside the tasting bar and enjoy a glass of wine while looking out over the Toronto skyline.
Fielding Estate produces great Cabernet Sauvignons and those heading on a tour at this winery will be able to see just how they produce their wines. Visit their winemaking facility and see how they store their wines in the barrel cellar.
Our favourite wine: 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Image Credit: Craig Hatfield, monica renata, Shelby Steward