One of the best things about a campervan or RV holiday is the ability to use the campgrounds as a base to explore nearby places. The Niagara Falls are one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world and a fair share of people drive from all over North America to see this natural wonder. If you do take your campervan to one of the many camping grounds at Niagara Falls, do not miss out on the opportunity to visit some of the local wineries. Niagara-on-the-Lake has firmly established itself as one of the best wine producing regions in the world and a tour of Niagara wine country is something that should not be missed. With so many wineries dotting Niagara-on-the-Lake, here are 4 of the best wineries that are definitely worth visiting.
The one thing that makes Chateau des Charmes stand out from the rest of the wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake is their use of modern science to create the best wine possible. Founded in 1978 by Frenchman and fifth-generation winegrower Paul Bosc, Chateau des Charmes has always been at the forefront of viticulture research, and it certainly shows in their wine. The winery only uses grapes grown in one of their four vineyards, spread over two sub-appellations. Besides viticulture research, Chateau des Charmes is also an industry leader in sustainable farming. All these factors combine to ensure that the winery produces some of the finest wines you will ever taste and that the winery itself is a wonderful place to visit.
If you are looking for some of the best red wines from the Niagara region, then Lailey Vineyard is the place to be. Under the stewardship of viticulturalist Donna Lailey and master winemaker Derek Barnett, Lailey Vineyard has consistently produced an amazing range of deep and sturdy reds. The award winning wines are the product of bottle aging and the use of Canadian oak barrels. The beautifully maintained vineyards are herbicide-free and are perfect for small groups to visit. The winery’s Cheese Tour is of particular interest as the winery sources the cheese from local shops and introduces visitors to the joy of pairing different cheeses with the right kind of wine.
The organic food and drink movement has taken the world by storm and even winemakers are not immune to the growing demand. While many wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake have practiced responsible farming and winemaking for decades, Ravine Vineyard is the first certified organic vineyard in the region. Established in 2008, Ravine Vineyard stands on a historic farm and is renowned for making elegant and complex premium wines that will give your nose and taste buds a thorough workout. The winery also has a restaurant that boasts seasonal menus and is the ideal place for trying out some of the best wines produced at Ravine Vineyard, especially the 2009 Reserve Merlot.
Sometimes, a wine can be so good that it is impossible to find a bottle anywhere else other than the winery itself. That is true for quite a few of the wines produced at Stratus, one of the most sustainable wineries in the world. The first winery to be certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Stratus is one of those wineries that places a greater emphasis on quality over quantity. Master winemaker J-L Groux is a pioneer and legend in the Niagara winemaking scene and lends his expertise to create exquisite wines that are best sampled at the winery’s Cheese and Charcuterie tasting tour.
If you are planning to drive all the way to Niagara Falls, then a tour of Niagara-on-the-Lakes’ wineries is something you cannot afford to miss.