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by • July 30, 2020 • Family Lifestyle, Health & Nutrition, Travel & LifestyleComments (0)

The Ultimate Guide To Niagara Wine

For those of you who follow along with me on social media, you’ll have seen that I recently took a trip to Niagara Falls Tourism, – click here to read how you can recreate the best itinerary for yourself. While we were down there, my #BubbleBuddies and I visited some of my favourite Niagara wineries. Inspired by the weather, the trip and the wine industry that I love so much I decided to make the ultimate Niagara Wine list for you to enjoy this summer.

Having chatted with wine makers this past weekend, I had the time to sit in the sun and enjoy some wine with friends. But not just any wine – Canadian wine, made right here in Ontario. For a long time even just uttering “Canadian Wine” got you scoffed at for thinking it was good. Boy oh boy, things have changed!

Niagara Falls and NOTL (Niagara-On-The-Lake) are well known for wines that we all know and love. But I thought I’d dive a little deeper into some you may not have heard of, and which bottles you should enjoy with your bubble buddies and loved ones this summer.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, let’s jump in and talk about wine! And of course, if you’re visiting, grab a Snap E-Bike and go see them in style with one of my favourite memories from our recent trip!

13th Street Winery

I remember the first time I heard that a winery was making a “burger blend” I probably rolled my eyes. But trust me when I saw that when you try the blend with your next burger fresh off the BBQ, you’re gonna see wine in a whole new light.

“Owners, partners, and friends Doug and Karen Whitty and John and June Mann share a common love of wine, food, art, and a genuine heart for hospitality. It was this shared appreciation that brought them together and inspired the vision for 13th Street Winery. .. Both families have established roots in Niagara and a strong commitment to the community. Doug Whitty is the third generation to be operating the family farm in St. Catharines, which was originally established in 1908. John Mann has been involved in farming for over 30 years, while also building a very successful automotive dealership network in St. Catharines and the surrounding areas.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.13thstreetwinery.com to learn more and order today

Back 10 Cellars

I love a scrappy small business – and this one holds a special place in my heart. It’s one of those stories that starts off as a dream and becomes a reality – and tbh it sounds an awful lot like what I would imagine my journey would be if I ever decided to become a wine maker. Maybe one day!

” “We wanted to build something from scratch”, “something gratifying”, “but we were afraid that vineyard ownership was out of our reach”. The Brooks’ had no experience in farming or agriculture, but clung to the dream of starting a vineyard from the ground up. Back 10 Cellars started with a big dream , pure will, gumption and determination. “This isn’t a generational family business”. “This entire vineyard was purchased by us, two twenty somethings ,who were willing to take the big leap of faith and put in the Blood , Sweat and Years to make their dream a reality.” “

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.back10cellars.com to learn more and order today

Jackson-Triggs

I think that Jackson-Triggs may have been one of the very first wines I drank when I came of age. Almost (oh gawd…) twenty years later I know that I can still turn to this Canadian icon in the wine world for a consistent product and easy drinking bottle of wine.

“Awarded “Best Canadian Winery” an unprecedented number of times in international and domestic competitions. Our wines pair well with any of life’s moments, large or small. We’ve got a wine for that.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.jacksontriggswinery.com to learn more and order today

Lakeview Wine Co.

You’ll of course recognize this name from the instagram post above where I announced that you can order a #DoTheDaniel case of wine – yes, that’s right, I have my own case of wine being sold and you can click here to see the HUGE savings that come along with it when you order it.

“The winemakers at Diamond Estates share a passion for our beautiful Niagara region, and for creating the incredible wines available at the Lakeview Wine Co. that have made it a household name worldwide.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.lakeviewwineco.com to learn more and order today

Marynissen Estates Winery

Photo by @francisluta 

Proudly the home of the oldest vines in NOTL, this winery quickly stole my heart for both its heritage and it’s history. Sitting down with Seth, the boys and I had a chance to take a tour of the wine portfolio on a hot summer’s day. From floral whites to chewy reds, the versatility of this wine is one that makes me excited to pair the following wines with #BubbleBuddies dinner parties this summer.

“Marynissen Estates has its roots deeply embedded in the soil of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Located in the Four Mile Creek sub appellation, the estate is home to the oldest commercial planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in Canada. The property, an old pig barn, was purchased in 1953 by viticulture pioneer John Marynissen and his wife Adrianna. John and Adrianna began growing their own grapes in 1976, planting the classic European Vitis vinifera grape varietals Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Merlot and Gamay Noir.  

At Marynissen Estates, we focus on small-lot winemaking showcasing our wines in a rustic yet modern style. We focus on gentle handling at each stage of the winemaking process to ensure wine of the highest quality and value. We want to pay respect to our deep history while continuing to learn, grow and move our winemaking forward.

Must have wines for me include

Tell Seth I say hi!

Head to www,marynissen.com to learn more and order today

Pearl Morissette

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Opening night! Thank you

A post shared by Restaurant Pearl Morissette (@restaurant_pearlmorissette) on

The name exudes elegance for me. Sipping a delicious bottle at sunset with Julio, staring lovingly into his eyes. It’s a wine I often celebrate a special occasion with, and try my best to keep it in our wine fridge as often as possible. Award winning, trend setting, the team at Pearl Morissette recently just celebrated the launch of (above) the outdoor Restaurant Pearl Morissette space which has me wanting to visit as soon as possible.

A brand ethos that I can only describe as romantic, this winery specifically speaks to the romantic part of my soul. And I truly do love everything they do.

“In this parcel of Niagara, we honour authenticity in everything we do. In wine, in food, and in life. There is no dogma. There is no premeditated outcome. We take a pragmatic approach in seeking what nature has intended. Which is why these wines are based less on what we do, and more on what we don’t do.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www,pearlmorissette.com/ to learn more and order today

Peller Estates Winery & Restaurant

One of my first jobs was being a server at a restaurant, and I remember I used to sell a lot of Peller Estates wine because they make some of the most food friendly wines. A long standing name in the Canadian wine industry, most people don’t know the rich heritage that goes into each bottle of wine.

“In March 1927, twenty-four-year-old Andrew Peller sailed into Halifax with five dollars in his pocket. While he had plenty of time to think about his future during the long journey from Hungary aboard the R.M.S. Ausonia, finding his definitive calling in a land of such great opportunity would take time. It wasn’t until years later, when he planted his first vineyards in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, that his ultimate dream would take root: he would create a culture across the country where Canadians, much like Europeans, would appreciate and share quality wines with family and friends.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.peller.com to learn more and order today

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

Having been a fan of Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery for some time, this was the first time I had been in person to see what the team is up to. From their stunning outdoor dinning space, to a private tasting with wine maker (and my new best friend) Lydia, I am head over heels in love with this winery.

I got a chance to nerd out with her on all sorts of topics, and saw the versatility of her wines while we nibbled on charcuterie and laughed in the sun. That’s the magic of these wines, and the winery itself, in my opinion. To make moments more memorable, and I will always smile when I open a bottle of Ravine Vineyard wine. Trust me when I say you will too if you have the pleasure to visit the winery and feel the heart and soul of Niagara in person.

“Norma Jane (Lowrey) Harber grew up on this farm and has always been sensitive to the subtleties of its terrain. Ever since her great-grandfather David Jackson Lowrey bought the upper farm in 1867, it has been a source of pride for the Lowrey family. This pride has been fostered within our Head Winemaker, Lydia Tomek who has a deep desire to lovingly preserve the property and showcase our unique terroir. 

In a gesture of respect for the land and the family, and to keep it free from imminent urban development, the family built the Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery. The land was happy when Norma Jane’s ancestors grew the ripest cherries, pears, peaches, grapes, plums and vegetables in the peninsula. It has now proven itself perfect for fine wine. In this we have learned a lot, attracted some great people and extended our passionate family. The result is not only great wines from our mother, Lowrey Farm, but a wonderful lifestyle that we are eager and proud to share.”

I’m quite enamored. If you haven’t tried their wine yet, I cannot encourage you more to do so this summer.

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.ravinevineyard.com to learn more and order today

Reif Estate Winery

I remember being introduced to Reif at an event and thinking how much I loved that they didn’t do things the same way others do. Sometimes thinking a little differently allows you to shine and get the attention you deserve – and that’s coming from a loud, outspoken and full of energy person. So I definitely vibe with this wine.

“One of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s founding family wineries, founded in 1982 by Ewald Reif and later acquired by nephew Klaus W. Reif. Today, Reif produces wines from its vineyard first planted in 1977. Our 125 acre farm is located in the Niagara River sub-appellation where sun-loving grape varieties grow best. The easterly facing slopes and long growing season are moderated by the river as air currents ward off early spring and late fall frosts. Our vineyard is located in Ontario’s warmest sub-appellation, ideal for the production of rich full-bodied wines.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.reifwinery.com to learn more and order today

Rosewood Winery & Meadery

Rosewood Wines are like the cool kids, and this time you can sit with them. I’m a sucker for well branded products so when I see immaculate branded honey, wine and products from their team, it makes me so happy. Not to mention they have some of the coolest wines I have ever had the pleasure of sipping – adventurous is a good word. This is fun wine for everyone, and even more so for those of you like me who enjoy talking about wine.

“The Rosewood story begins over 80 years ago when R.W. Roman’s passion for beekeeping and mead began as a teenager in Ukraine. After arriving in Canada, he continued keeping bees alongside his son, Eugene Roman, who quickly fell in love with the craft. Years later, during Eugene & Renata’s honeymoon to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the two fell in love with the region for its natural beauty, people and wines. Here the concept of Rosewood began, as Eugene promised his new wife that one day he would build a winery with her. After years of planning, planting and a decade of harvests, our team is made up of a diverse group of talented and passionate wine-loving individuals.

Honest wine. Innovative mead. Local honey.

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.rosewoodwine.com to learn more and order today

Southbrook Organic Vineyards

I remember the first time I learned about biodynamic wine and being so impressed by the amount of time and effort it would take to be certified. The above graphic is a great one to save to your phone or desktop to review the intimate details, but essentially is comes down to a profound understanding and respect for nature. Then turn that way up to produce some of the most elegant wine I’ve sipped.

It started simply enough: To make the finest wines possible in a respectful, local, light-on-the-land fashion. From there, things became something of an epic journey marked by hurdles and many industry firsts. Becoming growers strengthened these principles, as the control over the quality of the most vital ingredient, the grapes, shifted to the Redelmeiers’ hands. Bill also shared a belief that wine should be about pleasure, and that the job of winemaking is about creating wines that express the story both of the grapes and the ground that nourishes them.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.southbrook.com to learn more and order today

Trius Winery & Restaurant

My love affair with Trius Wines is by no means a secret. For years I have celebrated the brand and have had it be a part of special occasions both personally and professionally. I couldn’t miss the chance to visit the winery on our last trip because it was the first time for some of our group. In my mind and in my heart, when I hear the word Rosé, they come to mind first. But don’t think they are just a one trick pony – the new Baco Noir was magical.

Not to mention if you do have the chance to visit the winery, they have some of the most Instagrammable settings and areas to share your love of wine with.

“Trius Winemaker, Craig McDonald, blends art and science to craft award-winning wines using innovative techniques. Our Trius Showcase series features wines from Niagara’s best vineyards made with an unrushed approach to winemaking that shines through in every bottle. Our Trius series wines are smooth and refined reds and whites that showcase the unique, rich terroir of Niagara. Trius Sparkling wines are made in the traditional method, aged in Canada’s largest underground sparkling cellar and always add a little something extra special when they’re poured. As Niagara’s Icewine pioneer, the Trius Icewine collection features varietals that regularly bring home medals from across the globe.

Each year our winery welcomes thousands of passionate wine enthusiasts to grow their love of wine and food through one-of-a-kind winery tours, Chef Dodd’s delicious farm-to-table dining experiences and signature events like vineyard music festivals and film screenings.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.triuswines.com to learn more and order today

Two Sisters Vineyards

When it comes to Two Sisters, I am always left with a sense of elegance and whimsy. Their wines are both beautiful to look at and to sip with friends on a warm summer’s night. I have yet to visit the estate in person but when I do, I have no doubt that it will be as gorgeous as I dream it to be.

“Our family shared a vision. One of creating a beautiful place to visit and to produce premium Niagara wines. Being sole proprietors, we were able to bring our vision to fruition as to how we want our guests to enjoy their experience here on our estate. As an extension of our Marotta family, we have grasped at the opportunity to settle roots in the Niagara Region, particularly Niagara-on-the Lake, and to do our best to produce the finest wines from its beautiful and unique terroir.

Our future here is rooted within these vines and the passion to please the palate in both wine and food will stand the test of time. It is an extension of our family home, a place where people could savour life’s little moments and celebrate occasions. Two Sisters Vineyards is a unique destination; beautiful and timeless.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.twosistersvineyards.com to learn more and order today

Vineland Estates

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDKGEkTjg_C/

When I think about Niagara, I think about wineries that can be enjoyed all year long. Known for it’s four seasons and experiences therein, Vineland wine stands strongly like it’s iconic tower does to show the world and Canadians what quality wine can be. A perfect blend of old tranditions and modern innovation, their wines are a fun way to travel to Niagara from the comfort of home until you can make it out there personally.

“Open all year, Vineland Estates Winery is not only the home of fine wine and cuisine, but an unmatched touring facility and wine country destination. At this picturesque venue, extensive vineyards on the bench of the Niagara Escarpment provide the stunning backdrop to a unique cluster of carefully restored historic buildings.

Our landmark stone tower stands proudly over a former Mennonite homestead with structures that date back to the 1840s. These include the former farmhouse, now The Restaurant with its panoramic views of the vineyards; the century barn that houses our retail store and wine tasting bar under soaring wood beams; and the charming stone Carriage House, with its intimate surroundings for private events.”

Must have wines for me include

Head to www.vineland.com to learn more and order today

And that’s my comprehensive list of Niagara – it’s a long one, but these wine makers, wineries and brands all deserve our attention and support. As I have shared here, Niagara Falls Tourism is a magical place to visit and explore. Be that in person, or by sharing memories with those you love with beautiful wines all year long.

This post is not intended to be seen by persons under the legal alcohol drinking age or in countries with restrictions on advertising on alcoholic beverages. Please remember to enjoy responsibly and never drink and drive. 

For more behind the scenes of this and other amazing brands I’m working with around the world, make sure to follow along with the #DoTheDaniel Instagram account. I’d love to have you join on the adventures.

Photos: Daniel Reyes & All Social Media accounts listed above

Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year

Daniel Reyes

Mobile photos were taken with my Mobile Device of choice on the Rogers network.

*Please note that this may be a sponsored post and promotional consideration may have been offered by participating brands – our disclosure can be found at all times by clicking here.

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