Is there anything better than waking up early on a Saturday morning, getting in your car and driving somewhere — anywhere! — just to take in all the fall colours? Yes, fall colours paired with fall wines!
If this sounds like your kind of weekends, it’s time to take an autumn road trip through Ontario Wine Country.
So, without further ado, here is our guide to chasing autumn in Wine Country:
Lake Erie North Shore & Pelee Island
Need some southern exposure? Canada’s southernmost point provides Ontario’s longest growing season—the intense summer heat and moderating lake breezes are perfect for producing full-bodied wines — and a plethora of long lasting colours.
We particularly like the view from Colio Estates, a 200 acre vineyard near Harrow, Ontario. Tours of the winery are available daily, year-round; but there’s no need for a guide if you’re just taking in those colours (and a mulled wine!) from their Muskoka chairs.
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Here are some other wineries that you can visit along the way: Colchester Ridge Estate Winery, Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, Mastronardi Estate Winery, Muscedere Vineyards, North 42 Degrees, Oxley Estate Winery, Pelee Island Winery, Pelee Island Winery Pavilion, Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, Viewpointe Estate Winery.
Prince Edward County
The County has been hailed as one of Ontario’s most popular tourist destinations, with so many up-and-coming wineries, restaurants, breweries, and accommodations – and it is a great place to take a drive if you’re looking for breathtaking fall colours.
Our favorite view? The rolling hills surrounding Norm Hardie Winery — especially when they include a wood-fired pizza and a salad chalk full of Vicki’s Veggies late autumn greens!
Here are the some other wineries you will find in Prince Edward County: Black Prince Winery – Canadian Vinegar Cellars, Broken Stone Winery, By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery and Vineyard, Casa-Dea Estates Winery, Classon Chase, Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery, Harwood Estate Vineyards, Huff Estates Winery, Karlo Estates, Lacey Estates Winery, Redtail Vineyard, Rosehill Run, Sandbanks Estate Winer, Sugarbush Vineyards, Three Dog Winery, Waupoos Estates Winery.
Twenty Valley & Niagara Escarpment
Just an hour from Toronto, the Niagara Escarpment and Twenty Valley is home to a very unique microclimate, which is what makes for such unique wines. Plus this is also where you’ll find the Bruce Trail, so if you need a break from driving, and want to explore the fall colours on foot – this is the place for you!
We love the view as you roll into Hidden Bench Winery. It’s where you’ll find this iconic barn, but also a great (and totally walk-able!) cluster of wineries scattered amongst the hills.
Here are some other wineries you can tour while you’re there: Vieni Estates Wine and Spirits, Vineland Estates Winery, Westcott Vineyards, 13th Street Winery, 16 Mile Cellar, Angels Gate Winery, Aure Wines, Back 10 Cellars, Cave Spring Cellars, Mike Weir Winery, Mountain Road Wine Company, Organized Crime Winery, Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery, Good Earth Vineyard and Winery, GreenLane Estate Winery, Harbour Estates Winery, Puddicombe Estate Farms – Wines and Cider.
HINT: Windows by Jamie Kennedy is located on the 13th floor of the Sheraton on the Falls hotel, and will give you a view of the fall colours that you can’t get on the ground!
NOTL, a hub of new-age wines, a charming downtown, elegant Bed & Breakfasts, plus food offerings, and entertainment galore! This makes a great road trip destination, especially during the autumn months.
Our favorite view is from Peller Estates, as all their neighbours are wineries providing a 360 view of the colours.
There are a TON of wineries to visit while you’re here (why not make a weekend out of it?): Between the Lines Winery,Caroline Cellars, Cattail Creek Estate Winery, Château des Charmes, Coyote’s Run Estate Winery, Frogpond Farm Organic Winery, Icellars Estate Winery, Inniskillin Niagara Estate Wines, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate, Joseph’s Estate Wines, Konzelmann Estate Winery, Lailey Winery, Niagara College Teaching Winery, Riverview Cellars Estate Winery, Small Talk Vineyards and Shiny Apple Cider, Southbrook Vineyards, Stratus, Strewn Winery, Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery, The Hare Wine Co., The Ice House Winery, Trius Winery and Restaurant, Two Sisters Vineyards, Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery.
HINT: Peller Estates Winery also serves some incredible food, so if you’re planning to stop somewhere for dinner, make your reservations there!
Enjoy your road trip – we don’t need to tell you to enjoy the vino, we know you will. Just do so responsibly.
For a full list of wineries located in Ontario Wine Country, information on wine tours, as well as wine route planner, click HERE.