Looking for some Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries to visit? The picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is famous for wines, due to the unique appellations found here. Therefore, the region is home to many wineries that have sprung up in the past 50 years, which make the most of the perfect climate and terroir for grape-growing. With so many VQA-accredited wineries to choose from, many featuring historic buildings, a strong winemaking legacy, and farmlands that have been in families for generations, it can be a hard task to choose the best to visit for a tour or a wine tasting session.
This guide to the top 10 Niagara wineries includes a select list of the best, including a brief introduction to each winery and its story, notable wines and products to try, opening hours, as well as tasting and tour information.
Where is Niagara-on-the-Lake?
Ontario’s southern town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is situated on the banks of Lake Ontario, right at the mouth of the Niagara River. The region has been designated by the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) as a distinct area, with nearby sub-appellations including Niagara River, Niagara Lakeshore, Four Mile Creek, and St. David’s Bench.
How to get to Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries
There are no direct trains to Niagara-on-the-Lake and there are limited bus services, therefore the best way to get to and explore the area is by car. If public transport is your only option, the best route is to get to Niagara Falls by bus or train, then take a taxi or shuttle to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake (ask at your accommodation if they offer a shuttle service).
Where to stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Riverbend Inn and Vineyard, 249 John St E, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
What better way to explore wine country than to stay in an inn that also boasts 17 acres of vineyards? This Georgian mansion, dating back to 1820, is comprised of 21 elegant guest rooms and suites, a fine dining restaurant, and the ornate Antique bar, which is the best place to try Riverbend’s own wines.
Top 10 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries to Visit
1. Chateau des Charmes
1025 York Rd, St. Davids, ON L0S 1P0, Canada
Chateau des Charmes was founded by fifth-generation French winegrower Paul Bosc in 1978, and was the first commercial vineyard in the country to open to visitors. This estate winery was also the first to experiment with European vitis vinifera grapes, which are said to produce the finest wines. The wines produced by the Bosc family are known for balance, finesses and structure.
Chateau des Charmes is open daily from 11am to 6pm, and the Tasting Bar closes at 5.30pm. There are tours available in English (2pm) and French (12pm), and reservations required. Tours cost CAD10 and this price includes a CAD5 credit towards wine products purchased on the same day. Tastings starts at CAD15 for a tasting flight of four VQA wines (including a notable Icewine), though there are other packages available. Reservations can be made between 11am and 5pm.
2. The Hare Wine Co.
769 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
The Hare Wine Co. was founded by John Hare, though the name “hare” was also chosen as a symbol of fertility and good fortune. John originally dreamt of opening a brewery, but switched to winemaking when he met his wife, the daughter of a local winemaker.
The brand’s wines are balanced and bold, produced using premium vinifera grape varieties, which are grown alongside tender fruits. There are four series of wines in the Hare collection: the Jack Rabbit Series, Crown Land Series, Frontier Collection and Noble Collection, as well as some Icewines.
The Hare Wine Co. is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Tastings start at CAD10 per person for a selection of three samples from the Jack Rabbit series; a white, a rosé and a red wine. Reservations are encouraged, but not required.
3. Inniskillin Wines
1499 Line 3, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
The historic Inniskillin Wines is Canada’s original estate winery and played an important role in establishing the modern Canadian wine industry. This was the first winery in the country to receive a winery license after prohibition and pioneered the VQA system.
The picturesque winery looks out to the Niagara Escarpment and consists of the heritage Brae Burn barn houses (dating back to 1920), a Visitor and Tour Centre (guided public tours, self-guided tours and private tours are all available), a wine tasting bar and a boutique.
The winery is particularly noted for its Icewine, though the table wines are also award-winning. There are public and private tasting options, including Icewine tastings. Tasting experiences start at CAD15 per person for a 25-minute outdoor session with two premium tables and one Icewine, or four premium table wines. Inniskillin Wines is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
4. Jackson Triggs Estate Winery
2145 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
Boasting the title of Canada’s most awarded winery, Jackson Triggs was established in 2001 and is known for its large size and technologically advanced approach to winemaking. For example, the winery uses a gravity-flow assisted system that replaces pumping. The chardonnay, pinot noir and rieslings are some of the best products to look out for.
The Jackson-Triggs Winery is also home to an amphitheater, which hold various concerts and other performances in the region’s warmer months. There are also monthly Savour the Sights dinners, which consist of five food courses and fine wines served in different locations around the winery.
Jack Triggs Estate Winery is open daily from 10.30am to 5.30pm. Tasting experiences start at CAD15. The tasting is a 25-minute outdoor presentation of two premium table wines and one Icewine, or four premium table wines. Reservations are required.
5. Konzelmann Estate Winery
1096 Lakeshore Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
The scenic Konzelmann Estate Winery lies right on the lakefront and was founded by winemaker Herbert Konzelmann, who aimed to establish a Canadian winery under the Konzelmann name, bringing over his expertise from Stuttgart, Germany.
The large and deep winery is home to a series of microclimates ideal for wine production, while Lake Ontario moderates vineyard temperatures, which prolongs the growing season well into the autumn. This allows the grapes to mature and develop a constant nature sugar level, plus the morning mists and dew give the wines delicate fruity characters.
If you’re looking for the best of the best, try the premium Winemaster’s Collection. These wines have been crafted from grapes sourced from the oldest vines on the vineyards. The grapes are handpicked, then sorted for quality three times before the winemaking process begins – showcasing Konzemann’s unparalleled expertise.
Konzelmann Estate Winery is open Monday to Friday from 11am to 5pm, then 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tasting experiences start from CAD10 and include three samples of premium wines of your choice, ranging over red, white, rosé and even a peachwine. Reservations are required.
For something completely different, try the “Junk Food and Wine Experience” from CAD20, which pairs three different junk food items with wines that complement the flavors best!
6. Peller Estates Winery and Restaurant
290 John St E, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
The elegant, luxurious and critically-acclaimed Peller Estates Winery has been producing wines for over half a century and is known for immersive wine and culinary experiences. Winemaker Katie Dickieson and Winery Chef and TV personality Jason Parsons work in tandem to craft wines that complement food, and food that complements wine.
The estate includes two restaurants – The Winery Restaurant and the Barrel House Grill – as well as the 10Below Icewine Lounge, which is an igloo-like venue constructed from 13,607 kilos of ice.
Peller Estates Winery and Restaurant is open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 6pm, then to 8pm Friday to Sunday. Tastings are available from CAD10 for three samples, but it’s recommended to splurge on the CAD36 “The Greatest Winery Tour.” This includes a tour of the estate vineyard, a visit into the underground barrel cellar and the 10Below Icewine Lounge, concluding at the winery boutique – with tastings throughout the experience, in each location. Reservations are recommended.
7. Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
1366 York Rd, St. Davids, ON L0S 1P0, Canada
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery is a family-owned farm that has been in operation since 1867. Five Lowrey-Harber family generations later, the land now includes an organic winery that offers tastings and tours.
The 34 acres of rolling vineyards are located in Niagara’s St. David’s Bench sub-appellation, which has temperatures that are 20% higher than the surrounding areas. This rise in temperature results in refined and elegant wines.
Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery is open daily from 11am to 6pm. Tastings start at CAD15 and guests can pick four samples from a selection of Sand and Gravel, and Ravine Estate wines. There’s also a restaurant on-site, which specializes in wood-fired pizzas.
8. Reif Estate Winery
15608 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
Reif Estate Winery is one of the region’s founding wineries, having planted its first vineyard in 1977, and is known for its eclectic varieties and educational tasting experiences, including themed flights, blind tastings, tastings with food pairings, and trips around a sensory wine garden.
The winery was established by Edward Reif, who had winemaking roots back in Germany. The vineyards feature solely vitis vinifera grapes, and the wines produced are noted for their maturity – choose from the First Growth Collection for wines crafted from the oldest vines. The Vidal Icewine is also one of the best in the Niagara region, having won over 100 Gold Awards.
Reif Estate Winery is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Tastings start from CAD10 and include a flight of four red or white wines, though the Artisan Wine and Cheese tasting option for CAD25 comes highly praised. Reservations are recommended.
9. Trius Winery and Restaurant
1249 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
The Trius Winery and Restaurant also belongs to the Peller family, captained by 2016 Winemaker of the Year, Crag McDonald. The winery is known for the largest underground sparkling wine cellar in the country, the most Instagrammable wine tour, as well as the signature Trius Red – a Bordeaux blend-inspired wine that became the first Canadian vintage to win the coveted title of Best Red Wine in the World.
There’s even more than wine to enjoy at Trius, as Executive Chef Frank Dodd heads up Trius Winery Restaurant and its menu of “country cuisine.” There are also outdoor movie nights in the summer and monthly themes such as Yes Way, Rosé (takes place in June) to keep visitors coming back.
Trius Winery and Restaurant is open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 6pm, then 11am to 8pm Friday to Sunday. Tastings start from CAD10 for three samples from the Trius portfolio, including sparkling wines and Icewines. Reservations are recommended, and there are non-alcoholic options for younger guests or those who prefer not to drink.
10. Wayne Gretzky Estates
1219 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
Wayne Gretzky Estates is a winery and distillery that produces wines, beers, and whiskey. There’s also a skating rink on-site, which is apt, as you may tell by the name, this place was founded by hockey star Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky, who brings the same passion and commitment to winemaking as he did to the sport.
Wayne Gretzky Estates is open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 6pm, then 11am to 8pm Friday to Sunday. Tastings start from CAD10 for three samples (wine, whiskey, or beer, depending on what you like) and non-alcoholic beverages can be substituted. Reservations are recommended. There are also tours and cocktail making classes available.
More Niagara Wineries
As Niagara-on-the-Lake is a prime wine-growing country, there are plenty of other wineries to choose from around the Niagara Escarpment, to Niagara River, to Lake Ontario, in addition to the select list above. If you have any recommendations for Niagara wineries to add to the collection, especially if you’ve visited and enjoyed a tasting session or tour, then let us know in the comments below.