Sunday, January 17, 2016

Uncork Ontario's Wine Region in 2016

Looking for things to do this year? Make 2016 a year to experience all of the fabulously fine wines of Ontario! I've been there myself and wrote a piece about my travels a couple of months ago but now it's time for you to experience it yourself.
If touring wineries, meeting passionate winemakers, or tasting award-winning vintages is on your list of resolutions this year, look no further than Ontario, Canada. A wide variety of established and emerging wine regions abound in the Canadian province, offering opportunities for exciting new experiences around every barrel. With a favorable exchange rate and healthy airlift that will transport U.S. travelers to the province in no time, this is one resolution that’s well within reach this year.

Hectares of scenic vineyards, stellar winemaking traditions, state of the art facilities and culinary treats are ready to be discovered in Ontario's wine producing regions. Here are a few places to start:

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Escarpment and Twenty Valley
Nestled in the postcard picturesque countryside and protected by the ridges on the Niagara Escarpment are the wineries of the Niagara Peninsula, the Twenty Valley and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Here, visitors will find and enjoy mouth-watering wines all year round, with popular late harvest batches produced in the fall and Ice-wine available in the winter. And, also in this region, discover the inner working of Canada's only teaching winery, Niagara College Teaching Winery and Culinary Institute.

The Niagara Escarpment, a ridge carved by ancient glaciers is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve for good reason: while providing a habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species, it’s responsible for wondrous Niagara Falls; is the backbone of Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, the Bruce Trail; and is vital to the distinctive microclimate that supports Ontario’s most active wine region. Charming and unforgettable, this destination boasts a growing culinary scene, and boutique wineries that are both laid-back and approachable.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, the birthplace of Ontario’s modern wine industry, is a place where rural pleasures blend seamlessly with sophisticated entertainment. You can relax in charming B&Bs, replenish with indulgent spa experiences, and delight in delectable local food paired with delicious VQA wines, made from 100% Ontario-grown grapes. From antique shopping to challenging golf to internationally celebrated theatre, it’s a world of endless fun and flavors.

Prince Edward County
One of Ontario's newest, and most popular winery destinations, Prince Edward County gained national acclaim when it was named to Travel + Leisure’s 2015 list of “50 Best Places to Travel.” As Eastern Ontario’s vacation playground located just west of Kingston, “The County” (as the locals call it) boasts sensational vistas of Lake Ontario in every direction. Grab a map and graze your way along the Taste Trail where you can find just-picked fruits and vegetables, locally-raised meats, artisan cheeses, homemade treats and signature sweets to pair up with award-winning Prince Edward County wines, ciders and craft beers.

Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island
The oldest commercial grape-growing area in Canada and Ontario's most southerly point, the Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island region shares the same latitude as northern California and Bordeaux, France. Located along Lake Erie’s north shore, this region combines beach-front beauty and Ontario’s longest growing season—the intense summer heat and moderating lake breezes are perfect for producing full-bodied wines. Between sips, explore manicured gardens and meandering bike trails, fresh-produce stands and playful summer festivals, even majestic Carolinian forests and a renowned bird sanctuary.

Wine Festivals & Unique Experiences
One of the best ways to discover Ontario wines is to attend one of the province’s annual wine festivals. Visitors can celebrate the harvest with Niagara's grape and wine industry at the Niagara Wine Festival held over the last two weekends of September each year or for three weekends in January – this year January 15-17, 22-24 and 29-31, 2016 –  as the Niagara Region is transformed into a wintry wonderland during the Niagara Icewine FestivalOr, discover the diversity of Ontario’s wines at the Toronto FOOD & Wine Festival held annually in early fall.

In addition, Ontario’s wineries are always looking for new and exciting ways to enhance the consumer experience.  This year at Peller Estates Winery, one of the over 100 wineries in Ontario, visitors are able to experience the chill of Niagara’s premium Icewine harvest year-round, thanks to the all-new 10Below Peller Icewine Lounge. Visitors are wrapped in a Peller Estates parka as they step inside Peller’s igloo-like lounge, constructed from almost 29,000 pounds of ice, where temperatures are set at 14° F all twelve months of the year. Those who enter can sample Peller Icewine and snap sub-zero selfies set against a glistening backdrop of unique ice objects, including sculptures, an ice lounge chair, and even an ice chandelier.

Wanna know more about travel to Ontario’s wine regions? Visit: and


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