12 Gift Ready Ontario VQA Wines We Love | Ontario Culinary
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12 Gift Ready Ontario VQA Wines We Love

What do you get someone who already has everything? A really good bottle of Ontario VQA wine.

Here’s 12 ways to say cheers to VQA and make your friends and family smile this season. We’ve scoured our collections for suggestions that are appropriate for those new to local wine and those already deep in their world alike. Enjoy!


For those who love big, bold reds

2017 Cabernet Franc ‘Decant’

Stratus Vineyards
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Trust us when we say this wine is even more beautiful than the bottle. Designed by Karim Rashid to reflect the layers and stratification of glacial soil within the 55-acre Stratus vineyard, the deconstructed shape also traps the lees as the wine is poured – acting as a ‘decanter’.

For those love crisp whites

2019 K.J. Watson Vineyard Pinot Gris

Closson Chase
Prince Edward County, ON

This beautiful wine is floral, but not overwhelming so. It pairs with all the Pinot Gris classic – seafood, shellfish, bright citrusy foods – and has cellaring potential, unlike many whites in it’s class. It’s made in Prince Edward County with grapes grown near Four Mile Creek in Niagara.

For those who love bubbles


Château de Charmes
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Is there anything Chardonnay can’t do? This pretty sparkler is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes using the traditional method. It’s an instant classic and pairs with just about everything – the hallmark of a good bottle of bubbles.

For those who love pink

2019 Cabernet France Rosé

Honsberger Estate WInery
Jordan, ON

This tiny winery is producing some huge wines. The rose quickly became one of our favorites, but anything that is still available from the limited releases is sure to impress even the biggest grinch on your gift list.

For the wine nerd

2019 le Maillot

Clearview, ON

This is the definition of a hard to find wine. They’re brand new, they can’t sell it to you (still working on their winery sales license) and they’re super small batch. None of that matters though because their wines are impeccable. Le Maillot is funky, crisp and supremely drinkable. You can find it at restaurants across the province and when you do – stock. up.

For those new to Ontario wine

2019 Small Lot Gamay

Beamsville, ON

This wine punches above it’s weight and is consistently impressive. On the nose, it’s got plenty of fresh Niagara cherries in the glass without being too complicated or fussy. A great introduction to the excellence found in bottles made with Ontario grown grapes.

For those who take their wine very seriously


Big Head Wines
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

This is a beautiful, complicated, appassimento wine. It requires serving ritual and appreciation. One read of the winemakers description and you’ll see why. This is a wine that should be shared and savoured.

… and for those who don’t

Frisky Beaver

Bad Ass Baco
Port Dover, ON

Baco Noir is the black sheep in the wine world – but Frisky Beaver has embraced that. This is a dark smokey wine that’s a unique reflection of where is was made. It’s meant to be enjoyed heartily and repeatedly; like most good wines.

For those who love to share

2017 Syrah

Redstone Wines
Beamsville, ON

This is one of a few wines available in 3L and 5L sizes from Redstone Wines. For large formats, you have to call the winery directly – but they have no problem shipping them. This wine has all the notes a good Syrah should: cassis, cherry, black pepper, oak and joy. The kind we used to experience when group gatherings were the norm. Gift this bottle with optimism and concrete plans to enjoy it together soon.

… and for those who don’t


Trail Estate Winery
Prince Edward County, ON

This is a wild-fermented, unfiltered and unsulphured orange wine that goes down like OJ in the morning. It’s a fun and pretty wine but it disappears quickly. We really can’t complain though, as long as there’s more then one bottle.

For those with a sweet tooth

2019 Caberent Franc Icewine

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

This is the first attempt by Adnan and Elif Icel to make icewine – and their skill and dedication to the craft shows. It’s luscious. The Icel family (with their adorable pups in tow) harvested these grapes at -12 degrees celcius before pressing. The result is an excellent taste of Ontario.

For those who skip dessert

2019 L’Imparfait Under the (La) Crescent Moon

Hinterland Wine Co.
Prince Edward County, ON

L’Imparfait Under the La Crescent Moon is a collaboration by David McMillan and the Hinterland family. It’s a bizarre but thoroughly enjoyable wine – just like all those friends who don’t love dessert. Quirky, fruity and you love them for it.

Keep it local with our All-Ontario Gift Guide!