There are several amazing wine regions all across Canada, offering hundreds of different wines to be tasted and enjoyed. Ontario is Canada’s largest producer of wine, with the Niagara region known for being the most diverse and for having the highest quality. Chardonnay is produced the most, but the region is also known for cabernet franc and Riesling. The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia features over 100 wineries. No matter which side of the country, a winery tour is a great idea for both visitors to Canada and residents alike.
1.Pillitteri Estates Winery
© Pillitteri Estates Winery
Three generations of the Pillitteri family are involved in the operations at Pillitteri Estates Winery. Each bottle of wine produced is a product of the passion this family has for winemaking. The site of the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake is on the same grounds that were home to the original family farm and fruit market. Tours take place on a daily basis, allowing visitors to see the winery’s unique barrel cellar, winemaking facility, and vineyard. Guests at the winery are encouraged to take part in a complimentary wine tasting of some of the popular varieties, and icewines and tasting flights are available as well.
1696 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Phone: 905-468-3147
2.Black Prince Winery & Canadian Cellars
© Black Prince Winery & Canadian Cellars
Black Prince Winery is one of the oldest wineries in the county. The winery’s 10-acre vineyard features merlot, cabernet franc, pinot gris, and chardonnay, along with a few hybrids. Visitors will find the area’s largest selection of wine at the winery’s well-appointed tasting center. The property spans 50 acres of land in Picton and includes an on-site barrel maker, a restored 19th century barn that is used for events, and a barrel house that offers daily tastings of barrel-aged wine vinegars as well as fruit vinegars and reductions. Black Prince Winery now also serves gourmet wood-fired pizza on select days.
13370 Loyalist Parkway, Picton, ON, Phone: 613-476-4888
3.Chaberton Estate Winery
© Chaberton Estate Winery
Situated among rolling hills on 55 acres, the Chaberton Estate Winery is only 45 minutes away from Vancouver. The winery is one of the largest in British Columbia, as well as Fraser Valley’s oldest and largest vineyard. Chaberton produces more than 20 wines using grapes sourced from the Fraser, Okanagan, and Similkameen Valleys. The tasting room offers samplings of a variety of wines as well as daily tours of the winery. Wines produced include chardonnay, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot among other varieties of white and red wines.
1064 216 Street, Langley, BC, Phone: 604-530-1736
4.Cooper's Hawk Vineyards and The Vines Restaurant
© Cooper's Hawk Vineyards and The Vines Restaurant
Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards is an estate winery situated on 67 acres just to the east of the town of Harrow. The vineyards produce a variety of fruit-forward wines, including whites, reds, and rosés. White wines include pinot grigio, chardonnay, Riesling, and icewine. Red wines produced include cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and pinot noir. The Vines Restaurant serves dishes made with ingredients sourced from local farms that are paired with the vineyards’ award-winning wines. The restaurant can seat 50 indoors and 40 people on the patio and offers a delicious and calming lunch or dinner while enjoying the view of the vineyard.
1425 Iler Rd, Harrow, ON, Phone: 519-738-4295
© Hillside Winery
Led by Winemaker Kathy Malone, the well-equipped cellar of Hillside Winery produces several Okanagan Valley wines of top quality. The winery is the first winery in British Columbia to produce muscat ottonel, which is an aromatic and unique white wine that has acquired quite a following. Other wines produced by Hillside include gewürztraminer, Viognier, pinot gris, merlot, Syrah, and cabernet franc. The winery also produces Mosaic, its trademark Bordeaux-style blend. The tasting room and gift shop offer samples of the wines as well as unique gifts. The bistro includes two patios that offer amazing views of the vineyard and other surroundings.
1350 Naramata Rd, Penticton, BC, Phone: 250-493-6274
© Jost Vineyards
Spread out across over 100 acres, Jost Vineyards is situated just off the Sunrise Trail and just minutes away from the ocean. The vineyard offers daily wine tasting, tours of the vineyard, shopping in the vineyard boutique, and gourmet fare inspired by the region at the Seagrape Cafe. Visitors can relax by the indoor/outdoor fireplace with a glass of wine, hike or bicycle into the vineyard, or sip wine and enjoy a charcuterie board outside in the open patio. Live music is often heard in the patio on summer Saturday afternoons, along with monthly festivals and other events.
48 Vintage Ln, Malagash, NS, Phone: 902-257-2636
© Kacaba Vineyards
Kacaba Vineyards, situated along the Niagara Escarpment, is known as a premium small-batch winery. Small batch sizes help ensure that the focus of the wine production is on producing wines of merit. The vineyard focuses on producing wines deep in character and color with velvety finishes and rich in aromas. Wines produced at Kacaba include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Gris, and Riesling, among others. A silver bridge on the property crosses over a ravine planted with one of the first significant plantings of Syrah in Ontario. The other side features rows of mostly Bordeaux reds.
3550 King St, Vineland, ON, Phone: 905-562-5625
8.Marynissen Estates Winery
© Marynissen Estates Winery
Marynissen Estates Winery was bought by John Marynissen in 1953. In 1976, he planted the varieties of chardonnay, Riesling, merlot, gewürztraminer, and gamay. Just two years later, what are now Canada’s oldest commercial cabernet sauvignon vines were planted. The winery became the first vineyard in the Niagara region to produce cabernet sauvignon, and now produces a range of reds, whites, and icewines. The greatest variety is in the whites, which include chardonnays, Rieslings, and the award-winning gewürztraminer. There is a smaller range of reds, but the winery is known best for its Cabernets as well as Syrahs and red blends.
1208 Concession 1 Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Phone: 905-468-7270
9.Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
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Mission Hill Family Estate Winery produces a wide variety of wines and offers wine tastings and tours throughout the year. Visitors can learn first-hand about the philosophy of winemaking at the Mission Hill Winery, along with insight into what exactly makes the wine produced in Okanagan Valley wine country so special. Tours allow guests to explore the exclusive underground barrel cellars of the winery and see its vast art collection, which includes unique sculptures. Every tour ends with a sampling of award-winning wines produced by Mission Hill in one of the property’s private tasting salons. Visitors can also do a wine tasting outside of tours.
1730 Mission Hill Rd, West Kelowna, BC, Phone: 250-768-7611
10.Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard
© Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard
Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard is located in rural and beautiful Prince Edward County, about a 2-hour drive away from Toronto and 4 to 5 hours from Montreal and upstate New York. This makes it a great stop during a weekend getaway thanks to many local accommodation options. Visitors can sample several of the wines produced by Norman Hardie Winery as well as have lunch on the property’s patio. The winery produces cabernet franc, pinot noir, chardonnay, gamay, and aromatic whites among other varietals. The winery is open daily throughout most of the year but is typically closed on Sundays during the winter months.
1152 Greer Rd, Wellington, ON, Phone: 613-399-5297
11.Painted Rock Estate Winery
© Painted Rock Estate Winery
Painted Rock Estate Winery dedicates itself to producing terroir-driven, ultra-premium Okanagan wines. The winery produces an array of single varietals as well as its signature Bordeaux blend. Painted Rock believes that the wine it produces represents the remarkable potential of the Okanagan Valley, along with the potential of its vineyard. John and Trish Skinner started the winery out of a belief that the valley had a large amount of unrealized potential. The site of their vineyard was once known as “The Black Hawk,” an amazing 60-acre bench along Skaha Lake. These grounds were formerly the British Commonwealth’s largest apricot orchard.
400 Smythe Dr, Penticton, BC, Phone: 250-493-6909
12.Devil's Wishbone Winery
© Devil's Wishbone Winery
Devil’s Wishbone Winery is framed by a picturesque landscape located near Lake on the Mountain. This family-run winery features rolling vineyards spanning 15 acres overlooking the Bay of Quinte. The property’s century barn is home both to the winery and the tasting room, in which visitors can sample several of the wines produced on-site. There are also several patios. The winery took its name from the name the early settlers of the area gave the land due to its poor soil conditions. While the soil isn’t great for farming, it is great for grapes!
1014 County Rd 7, Picton, ON, Phone: 613-476-1199
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13.13th Street Winery
© 13th Street Winery
13th Street Winery specializes in handcrafted Riesling, chardonnay, gamay noir, and pinot noir as well as sparkling wines. Visitors can stop at the tasting bar to take part in a guided tasting of several of the wines made at the winery. Guests can also relax with a glass of wine on the seasonal verandah and take in the peaceful setting of the property’s beautiful surroundings. Strolling around the expansive grounds of the winery, visitors can view several sculptures and other artwork that decorate the property. The on-site 13th Street Bakery offers freshly baked goods, including legendary and delicious butter tarts.
1776 Fourth Ave, St. Catharines, ON, Phone: 905-984-8463
14.Pondview Estate Winery
© Pondview Estate Winery
While Pondview Estate Winery may be one of the Niagara-on-the-Lake area’s newer wineries, it is perhaps one of the most steeped in the traditions of the Old World. When winery owner Lou Puglisi’s father, Giuseppe, emigrated to Canada, he brought along his knowledge of growing grapes and then handed it down to his son. The winery is relatively new, however, and so its portfolio is still quite small. Nevertheless, these wines have already been winning awards. Visitors are likely to be taken on a tour and served wine samples by a member of the Puglisi family.
925 Line 2 Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Phone: 905-468-0777
© Quails' Gate
Quails’ Gate Winery is situated along the shore of British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake, right in the heart of the Okanagan Valley wine country. The winery produces more than 50,000 cases of wine every year. The portfolio of wines at Quails’ Gate is known best for its chardonnay and pinot noir. The Old Vines Restaurant and Wineshop at Quails’ Gate is open daily throughout the year and is rated as one of Canada’s top 100 restaurants, offering farm-to-table cuisine for all seasons. The chef at the Old Vines Restaurant creates delicious dishes using fresh, local ingredients.
3303 Boucherie Rd, Kelowna, BC, Phone: 250-769-4451
16.Reif Estate Winery
© Courtesy of Markus Mainka - Fotolia.com
The Reif Estate Winery possesses a rich history of producing icewine. Ten acres of the 125-acre winery estate are used to produce its Vidal Icewine, of international acclaim. The icewine is sweet with intense aromas and flavors. Even through icewine was first produced in Germany, Canada has since become the best and largest producer of the wine. The winery also features an interesting wine sensory garden, in which guests can explore the flavors, aromas, and colors used to describe the region’s wine. Light snacks and wine gelatos are available at the winery’s outdoor kitchen, along with local charcuterie and artisan cheese plates.
15608 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Phone: 905-468-7738
17.Sandbanks Estate Winery
© Sandbanks Estate Winery
Sandbanks Estate Winery gives visitors the opportunity to try several of their award-winning wines at the property’s tasting boutique. The tasting boutique is also home to a contemporary art gallery featuring artwork by Rita Thivierge, the winery’s resident artist. Visitors can also try different wines at the tasting bar in the winery’s outdoor gazebo. Complimentary tours of the vineyard are offered three times a day and provide insight into the vineyard and the various wines produced at Sandbanks. An outdoor picnic area overlooking the vineyard offers the perfect setting for a picnic lunch or even just a glass of wine.
17598 Loyalist Parkway, Wellington, ON, Phone: 613-399-1839
18.Small Talk Vineyards
© Small Talk Vineyards
Small Talk Vineyards is spread across 27 acres and features 11 varieties of grapes among its vines, including cabernet sauvignon and Riesling. Small Talk is a small production boutique winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake and offers an array of reds, whites, and icewine as well as its Shiny Apple Cider. The lush gardens and bright colors of the vineyard will catch the eyes of visitors as soon as they pull into the site’s parking lot. Guided tours of the vineyard are available aboard a wagon, offering guests a chance to hear about the property’s history and the types of grapes grown there while sipping a glass of wine or cider.
1242 Irvine Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Phone: 905-935-3535
19.Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery
© Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery
The family-run Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery first opened to the public in 2006, becoming the region’s 13th winery. Spanning 52 acres of grounds, Sprucewood Shores features a retail center within a stunning Old World Tuscany-style building. The building features extensive balconies offering amazing views of Lake Erie and the vineyard. Inside, there is a welcoming setting with chandelier lighting, and the 17-foot custom bar is the main focus. Thirty-five acres of vines surround the winery, offering grapes for producing a variety of reds and whites, including merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, pinot noir, gamay, Riesling, Vidal, pinot gris, and chardonnay.
7258 City Rd 50 West, Harrow, ON, Phone: 519-738-9253
20.Summerhill Pyramid Winery
© Courtesy of Rido - Fotolia.com
Summerhill Pyramid Winery claims to produce some of the world’s most beautiful wines. Wines produced here use grapes that are biodynamically and organically grown in the pristine Okanagan Valley. The wines are finished in the winery’s Pyramid Cellar, which was constructed using precision sacred geometry and is aligned with the stars to build a structure of harmony and stillness. The wine portfolio at Summerhill includes a variety of whites and reds as well as icewines and sparkling wines. Summerhill has won several awards for its wines from France and other parts of the world, including “Canadian Wine Producer of the Year.”
4870 Chute Lake Rd, Kelowna, BC, Phone: 800-667-3538
© Courtesy of Mark - Fotolia.com
Located on the Okanagan Valley’s eastern slopes, Tantalus Vineyards overlooks the City of Kelowna and the shores of Lake Okanagan. Formerly known as Pioneer Vineyards, the first grapes were planted on the site back in 1927. The vineyard today is British Columbia’s oldest continuously producing vineyard. Tantalus features beautiful lake views, a state-of-the-art winery, and an historical vineyard setting, all providing a unique winery experience. Visitors can enjoy premium single-vineyard wines in a stunning gallery-style tasting room that features artwork by some of the most acclaimed artists in Canada. Wine produced here include pinot noir, chardonnay, Riesling, and icewine.
1970 Dehart Rd, Kelowna, BC, Phone: 877-764-0078
© Tawse Winery
Tawse Winery is located on the Niagara Escarpment’s lower slopes and is a family-run biodynamic and organic winery established in 2000. The fruit used in the Tawse wines are harvested by hand from the vineyard’s low-yield vines and then hand-sorted to ensure only the highest quality wine is produced. Wines made at Tawse Winery include chardonnay, Riesling, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet franc, and icewine. The winery produces one of the Niagara region’s largest portfolios of biodynamic and organic wines. Tawse was also named the “Canadian Winery of the Year” in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
3955 Cherry Avenue, Vineland, ON, Phone: 905-562-9500
23.Thirty Bench Wine Makers
© Courtesy of Maurizio Di Gio - Fotolia.com
Thirty Bench Wine Makers produces premium wines from grapes exclusively grown on estate vineyards within the Beamsville Bench appellation. This area is considered to be a superior area for winegrowing on the Niagara Peninsula and contains some of the region’s oldest vineyards. The focus at Thirty Bench is on what their vineyard does best, which is growing classic red varietals, in addition to Riesling. The vines are managed for low yield as well as maximum fruit intensity. Wines are produced in small batches by a skilled winemaker, ensuring that each bottle possesses exceptional flavor and quality.
4281 Mountainview Rd, Beamsville, ON, Phone: 905-563-1698
24.Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
© Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Visitors to Tinhorn Creek Vineyards can come and try samples of wines produced at the vineyards in the tasting room, take a self-guided tour, or take a private tour and tasting for even more in-depth information about the vineyard. Among the wines produced by Tinhorn Creek are merlot, cabernet franc, and gewürztraminer. The on-site Miradoro Restaurant features rustic and elegant dishes made with fresh, local ingredients accompanied by spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Guests can also take a hike along the Golden Mile Trail during their visit. The vineyard is next to a larger network of hiking trails.
537 Tinhorn Creek Rd, Oliver, BC, Phone: 250-498-3743
© Courtesy of Rostislav Sedlacek - Fotolia.com
Traditional winemaking meets artisanal craftsmanship at Unsworth Vineyards, a family-run award-winning winery. Visitors at Unsworth are welcome to come and explore all the vineyard has to offer, from sampling a variety of wines in the tasting room to strolling through the grounds of the property, including the gardens that overlook the vineyard. Guests can also experience extraordinary hospitality and tastes at the Unsworth Restaurant. Several years ago, the vineyard planted the lesser known Blattner varieties, which are used in the winery’s Symphony and Allegro blends. These varieties may cause wine enthusiasts to pause until they actually try a taste.
2915 Cameron Taggart Rd, Mill Bay, BC, Phone: 250-929-2292
25 Best Canadian Wineries
- Pillitteri Estates Winery, Photo: Pillitteri Estates Winery
- Black Prince Winery & Canadian Cellars, Photo: Black Prince Winery & Canadian Cellars
- Chaberton Estate Winery, Photo: Chaberton Estate Winery
- Cooper's Hawk Vineyards and The Vines Restaurant, Photo: Cooper's Hawk Vineyards and The Vines Restaurant
- Hillside Winery, Photo: Hillside Winery
- Jost Vineyards, Photo: Jost Vineyards
- Kacaba Vineyards, Photo: Kacaba Vineyards
- Marynissen Estates Winery, Photo: Marynissen Estates Winery
- Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, Photo: Courtesy of edcorey - Fotolia.com
- Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard, Photo: Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard
- Painted Rock Estate Winery, Photo: Painted Rock Estate Winery
- Devil's Wishbone Winery, Photo: Devil's Wishbone Winery
- 13th Street Winery, Photo: 13th Street Winery
- Pondview Estate Winery, Photo: Pondview Estate Winery
- Quails' Gate, Photo: Quails' Gate
- Reif Estate Winery, Photo: Courtesy of Markus Mainka - Fotolia.com
- Sandbanks Estate Winery, Photo: Sandbanks Estate Winery
- Small Talk Vineyards, Photo: Small Talk Vineyards
- Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, Photo: Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery
- Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Photo: Courtesy of Rido - Fotolia.com
- Tantalus Vineyards, Photo: Courtesy of Mark - Fotolia.com
- Tawse Winery, Photo: Tawse Winery
- Thirty Bench Wine Makers, Photo: Courtesy of Maurizio Di Gio - Fotolia.com
- Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, Photo: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
- Unsworth Vineyards, Photo: Courtesy of Rostislav Sedlacek - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of egiadone - Fotolia.com