15 of the best wineries in Canada

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We love the opportunity to take advantage of late summer weather, don’t you?

As the grapes are harvested and our natural surroundings start their transformation from green to yellow to orange to red, a trip through any one of Canada’s wine regions is a great way to softly end the season and take in picturesque fall landscapes.

Wine tours are the most fun because, essentially, you can choose your own adventure: depending on your interest level in wine and the size of your budget, there are a lot of variables. There are plenty of well-run and reviewed guided tours offered through each of Canada’s wine regions, but we suggest a DIY road trip. Trust us, you will appreciate the freedom of exploring these areas on your own. Either take a bike tour or select a designated driver, who can still taste and take part in the wine-guru spittooning process (this is where you sniff, swish, and spit the wine quite literally into a spittoon, which sits on all tasting counters).

Though recognition has come in more recent years, Canadian wineries have had a hard time being taken seriously in the wine market, competing against century-old producers in Italy, France, and Portugal. But there is no denying that our landscape and soil create the perfect environment for lush, artisanal wine venues and vine growth. There’s the small communities and businesses of Southwestern Ontario, the lake and mountain views of the Okanagan Valley, the above-climate temperatures by Lake Erie, the valleys of Nova Scotia, and the lush farmlands of Quebec to name just a few.

1

Fielding Estate, Beamsville, Ontario

Named one of Canada’s top 10 wineries, Fielding Estates sits on the Beamsville Bench at the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment. Unsurprisingly, three quarters of Canada’s grapes are produced in the popular Niagara region, which has had somewhat of a monopoly on Ontario wines for quite a while. The open-concept high-ceilinged building has a gift shop and tasting bar inside, as well as a back deck with sweeping lake views and outdoor tasting bar that allows you to have a casual glass of wine while staring out over the Toronto skyline. As one of the most temperate regions in Ontario, the winery is able to produce great Cabernet Sauvignons, which are typically more in line with the regions of the Southern West Coast. It is best to visit the Beamsville region in September and October when the air is cool but summer temperatures still linger. Prices are very reasonable with tours ranging from $5 to $15. The latter price even includes food samples.

More info: www.fieldingwines.com

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