Chasing Fall Colours in Wine Country

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.

Here are some other wineries that you can visit along the way: Colchester Ridge Estate WineryCooper’s Hawk VineyardsMastronardi Estate WineryMuscedere VineyardsNorth 42 DegreesOxley Estate WineryPelee Island WineryPelee Island Winery PavilionSprucewood Shores Estate WineryViewpointe 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!
 
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Here are the some other wineries you will find in Prince Edward County: Black Prince Winery – Canadian Vinegar CellarsBroken Stone WineryBy Chadsey’s Cairns Winery and VineyardCasa-Dea Estates WineryClasson ChaseGrange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate WineryHarwood Estate VineyardsHuff Estates WineryKarlo EstatesLacey Estates WineryRedtail VineyardRosehill RunSandbanks Estate WinerSugarbush VineyardsThree Dog WineryWaupoos 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.
 
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Here are some other wineries you can tour while you’re there: Vieni Estates Wine and SpiritsVineland Estates WineryWestcott Vineyards13th Street Winery16 Mile CellarAngels Gate WineryAure WinesBack 10 CellarsCave Spring CellarsMike Weir WineryMountain Road Wine CompanyOrganized Crime WineryPeninsula Ridge Estates WineryGood Earth Vineyard and WineryGreenLane Estate WineryHarbour Estates WineryPuddicombe 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!

Niagara-on-the-Lake

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 CellarsCattail Creek Estate WineryChâteau des Charmes,  Coyote’s Run Estate WineryFrogpond Farm Organic WineryIcellars Estate WineryInniskillin Niagara Estate WinesJackson-Triggs Niagara EstateJoseph’s Estate WinesKonzelmann Estate WineryLailey WineryNiagara College Teaching WineryRiverview Cellars Estate WinerySmall Talk Vineyards and Shiny Apple CiderSouthbrook VineyardsStratusStrewn WinerySunnybrook Farm Estate WineryThe Hare Wine Co.The Ice House WineryTrius Winery and RestaurantTwo Sisters VineyardsWayne 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

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