Canada has three main wine regions; The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Lake Erie in Ontario, and the Niagara Peninsula also in Ontario.
Okanagan Valley, BC
Photo Attribution: By Darren Kirby (Flickr: Golden Mile) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Okanagan has three main wine districts; Kelowna, Naramata Bench, and South Okanagan.
Blue Mountain Vineyard, Okanaga Valley
Kelowna, the hub of the Okanagan, offers more than 30 wineries within 20 minutes of each other and most don’t require a reservation during the summer season. Off-season, most wineries are still open but calling ahead for a tour (if not doing a guided one) is a good idea. Guided tours come highly recommended so you can really sit back, relax and enjoy your day to its full extent.
Guided winery tours typically start at $129-$169. Most guided tours include 3-6 wineries and a lunch including artisanal meats, cheeses and of course, wine!
Burrowing Owl Winery, Okanagan Valley
Photo Attribution: By Darren Kirby [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The best wine tour companies offer pick-up and drop-off service to your campground.
Niagara Peninsula is a narrow strip of land connecting Southern Ontario and New York State. On its northern shore is Lake Ontario and Lake Erie on the south. This area of wine is known for their ice wines.
Wineries of note:
- Inniskillin Wines
- Pillitteri Estates Winery
- Reif Estate
- Henry of Pelham Winery
- Vieni Estates Inc. Wine & Spirits
Other things to do on the Peninsula
Visit Niagara Falls, of course! Catch a show at the Shaw Festival Theatre. Walk the Niagara Parks Garden Trail. Shop outlet stores at the Outlet Collection or buy Lavender from Niagara Essential Oils & Blends.
Museums & History: Fort George Historic Site of Canada, Brock’s Monument National Historic Site, Niagara Apothecary Museum, Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum.
Essex including Pelee Island
In Canada’s southernmost tip, across the border from Detroit, is a collection of VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wineries. This wine making region is bordered by Lake Erie on the south, the Detroit River on the West and Lake St. Clair to the North.
For a list of Wineries in Essex County
check out this website: http://www.essexcountywineries.ca/wineries.htm
Other Things to do in Essex County:
- Visit an art gallery such as Gallery of Windsor, Gibson Gallery, or Leamington Arts Centre.
- Take in Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village or Kingsville Historical Park – Charlie Campbell Memorial Museum.
- Enjoy the outdoors in John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area, Odette Sculpture Park, or Point Pelee National Park.
- Wander around Colasantis Tropical Gardens or watch a performance by Windsor Symphony.
- Squeeze in more wine with an art and wine workshop by For Art’s Sake.
Take the 90-minute ferry to Pelee island (in Lake Erie) from the mainland. Just outside of the ferry terminal is a bike rental store, which makes for a great way to see the island. Visit the light house in Fish Point Nature Reserve before heading to the winery where they offer tours and BBQ lunches. Pelee Island Winery Pavilion offers three tours a day; 10 am, 12 pm and 2 pm. No reservations required, just show up at tour times. If you still have time in your day, visit the Pelee Island Bird Observatory by the Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve.
For a wine-filled holiday, rent your RV in Toronto and catch both of Ontario’s wine regions after seeing Niagara Falls. If you are looking for a little wine with your holiday, make sure to put Okanagan, BC on your itinerary. This list of Canadian wine regions shows the main 3 regions but there are many smaller regions and wineries around the country!
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