When you think of Niagara you may think of Niagara Falls. However, did you know just outside of Niagara Falls there is a little place called Niagara on the Lake where you can spend a day (or weekend) wine tasting?
How to Get to Niagara on the Lake?
Niagara on the Lake is located about 15 miles away from Niagara Falls. By plane, you can fly to Toronto or Buffalo. Most people opt for Buffalo as it is closer at just under an hour and is usually cheaper.
How many wineries are in Niagara on the Lake?
There are over 88 wineries in the Niagara region however approximately 20 are located specifically in Niagara on the Lake. Even then there are still so many options right outside of Niagara on the Lake.
Most of the wineries are anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes away. If you choose to visit a winery just outside of Niagara on the Lake it maybe 2o minutes.
The proximity between wineries makes it an ideal place to sample wines during a day trip or even a weekend getaway.
What are the best wineries to visit in Niagara on the Lake?
With so many wineries to choose from it is no wonder it can be a bit overwhelming. But being that we really like the wine we decided to make it easy for you by sharing our favorite wineries (that we actually visited) and why you should consider visiting them too.
So let's get started.
Konzelmann Estate Winery
This winery will come up on most lists. And the biggest reason why is because of the views. I mean what is better than sipping on a nice Rosé while overlooking the vineyards and Lake Ontario.
Go ahead. I dare you to find something.
But just in case you need more convincing Konzelmann makes an excellent peach wine which what most people come here for.
You can opt to do a tasting here in that tasting room or sign up for a guided tour which includes a tasting.
Tasting Fee: $10 for tasting and tour
Reservations Recommended but not Required for Tastings
Pondview Estate Winery
We actually chose to visit this winery after trying their Rosé at our hotel lobby bar. And it truly does not disappoint. The hosts here are very well versed in wine so this is more than just a tasting. This is a true education.
During our visit, we had an opportunity to try a few reds and a few whites. The 2017 Bella Terra Fumé Blanc was a fave and definitely worth a try if you enjoy white wines.
Tasting Fees: Starting at $12
The Lakeview Wine Co.
The Lakeview Wine Co. is one of the larger wineries in the area and the reason why is it is actually home to four different wineries. What brings people here is the Red Ice Wine which is very unique and not made in many places.
We had our tasting in the Cellar which was a nice treat. The tasting experience was very informative and great for those that are new to wine and winemaking.
Tasting Fees: $10 for a Cellar Floor Tour and Tasting
Home to one of the first facilities in the area to be LEED-certified, Stratus is truly a fascinating place to visit. The tasting room is modern and airy. And the wines are just as amazing.
During our visit, we learned more about the wines and winemaking process which is very unique. They offer tastings as well as wine by the glass.
There is also a Tesla charging station for those that need to charge up their vehicle.
Tasting Fees: $20
Strewn makes the list as their wines are definitely a must-try. They are exactly what you wouldn't expect. Their Robust Rosé which is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Gewurztraminer tastes like an amber or orange while. While the Pinot Grigio looks like a Rosé but tastes like a refreshing summer white.
While we did not try the reds we have heard that they are just as amazing.
Tasting Fees: Starting at $15
The Hare Wine Co.
The Hare Wine Co. Estate is absolutely stunning. From the architecture and the courtyard to the views of the vineyards you will not be disappointed.
The tasting room is not as intimate as others on this list however do not let that fool you. Despite how busy we were our tasting lead by Maureen was one of the most intimate we have experienced. She made sure to take her time sharing the wines we tried and made us feel at home. It was almost hard to leave.
After you have tasted the wine, and make some purchases don't forget to take some pictures. This estate is absolutely beautiful.
Tasting Fees: Starting at $7
Lundy Manor Wine Cellars
This is the place where you come for a tasting and stay for a glass of wine by the fireplace. Their lounge is amazing. Especially in the winter. Sit by the fire while enjoying views of the vineyards.
You can opt for a tasting at the tasting bar or in the lounge. Or you can enjoy a glass of wine. Or opt for the wine and charcuterie or cheese boards. It is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in wine country.
Tasting Fees: Starting at $10
Colaneri Estate Winery
If you're looking for a taste of Italy then Colaneri is your place. While not technically located in Niagara on the Lake this Winery deserves a mention on this list because of the unique style of winemaking.
The property also truly makes you feel like you are in Tuscany which is a bonus.
But back to wine.
The wines at Colaneri are made in the appassimento style. The appassimento style involves the drying of grapes prior to fermentation which is usually done in a greenhouse. This method is found in Italy so it is a treat to see it here in Niagara.
It is definitely worth checking out as the wines are amazing.
Tasting Fee: $10
Get Inspired with our list of Best Places to go in Italy.
Château des Charmes
Talk about feeling at home. Visiting Chateau des Charmes was like going to your best friend's house. Galina was our host and she did a fabulous job. You have a few options here. You can do a tour and tasting for $15 or you can create your own tasting flight with 1 oz. pours ranging from $1 to $5.
Some of our faves were the 2017 Aligoté and the 2017 Rose, Cuvée D'Andrée.
Oh and before you go ask Galina to share some of her wine cocktail recipes. She is a genius.
This was our first stop on our wine tour and just in case you're wondering, yes we started drinking wine at 10:30 am. Caroline Cellars is the best place to start your wine adventures. Not only are the wines excellent but they have varietals such as Foch which you will only find in colder regions such as the Finger Lakes, Niagara, and Minnesota just to name a few. It is definitely worth a try.
If you visit Caroline Cellars during lunch be sure to try their restaurant. While we didn't have a chance to enjoy (as we were there practically for breakfast) I hear the poutine is out of this world.
What is the best winery tour in Niagara?
If you prefer to do a wine tour there are plenty to choose from in the Niagara area. We opted for Niagara Fun Tours however here are some additional options that come highly recommended:
They offer a number of tours including an Afternoon Charcuterie Wine & Beer Tour.
This is one of the most inexpensive tours we found. We visited 4 wineries, the chocolate factory, and a peanut factory. We also had an hour break for lunch in Niagara on the Lake.
Where to Stay on Niagara on the Lake?
During our time at Niagara on the Lake, we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn-Niagara on the Lake. The location was perfect for exploring wine country with wineries within a few minutes drive.
The hotel also has a few Electric Vehicle charging stations including a Tesla Charging Station.
If you are looking to stay in the heart of Niagara on the Lake then consider Prince of Wales.
Where to Eat on Niagara on the Lake?
You can't go wine tasting and not eat. That is a bad bad idea. And not only will you not make it past the first couple of wineries but you will most likely hate yourself the next day. So make sure you have a full tummy.
Here are some of our faves:
The heartier your breakfast the better your day will be.
Don't forget to take a break from wine tasting for some lunch
The Farm House Cafe– Try the poutine
The Irish Harp Pub– Fish and Chips are excellent. Also a great after-dinner place if you're looking for something to do in the evening.
Odd Bird– This place is very popular so expect a wait. It is well worth it though.
Bricks and Barley– This was a local recommendation and did not disappoint. We had the pizza and wings which is the best kind of dinner after a day of wine tasting.
Wine Tasting in Niagara on the Lake
If you have never been to Niagara on the Lake it is definitely worth the detour. Even if you just go for the day it is a great place to visit for wine, food and to really get to know the area.
So will I see you on Niagara on the Lake?