Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Niagara Wineries


Gul_Dekar
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just went to Niagara Falls today and visited a couple of Niagara on the Lake wineries too. Had no idea which ones were good when going. So was just wondering what are everyone's favourite wineries for the Niagara region? :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was most impressed by Eastdell. In Beamsville.

New winery with a restaurant. Moderately priced food. And wine.

Unoaked Chardonnay is a good value for $13.00 Their Bistro line is not that impressive, however.

Eastdell seems to be getting listings at LCBO and was doing a tasting at Davisville/Yonge LCBO last week.

I think they are on their way up in the market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was most impressed by Eastdell. In Beamsville.

Eastdell has a new chef in their Bistro (Guy Gnadinger-Harris, formerly of Biagio in Toronto). I had a splendid lunch there a couple of weeks ago, on the lovely terrace that looks across the lake toward Toronto.

Very fond of Cave Spring Rieslings et al- Angelo Pavan does a great job!!

Ditto. Cave Spring has some terrific wines. I like both the Rieslings, and their Gamay Reserve.

I have some other favourites:

-NCI Teaching Winery Pinot Noir (sold out, but still available at the NCI restaurant). The best Pinot Noir I've had from Ontario, and as good as some from Oregon.

-Malivoire Pinot Gris (on the deck, if the sun ever shines...)

-Daniel Lenko Chardonnay (buttery, not over-oaked)

-Lailey Cabernet Sauvignon (big big big)

-Henry of Pelham and Harbour Estates Baco Noir, especially the Reserves

There are dozens of others that are worth the trip. Living in Niagara can be awfully distracting... :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you like Riesling, my favourite is Vineland Estates. They also have a very picturesque location and a great restaurant. My wife and I stayed in the village of Jordan and just did all the "Beamsville Bench" wineries in and around Jordan. Niagara on the Lake is a whole other area, and we've left it for another weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We also like the Bench for winetouring. In addition to Cave Springs and

East Dell I would also reccomend Thomas Vaughn (very small with some

interesting wines) and Thirty Bench (reislings).

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like to cycle the wineries --- the www.cycleniagara website has some mapped out itineraries on the Bench and other local areas that pass by some of the wineries. Two of the routes begin in Jordan Village, one is for 24 km and one is for 40. Besides Cave Springs, which is in Jordan, the 24 km tour passes Hernder Estates and Creekside.

Creekside is worth a taste for its Sauvignon Blanc and the red Laura's Blend.

Vineland has among the largest variety of wines. Very good quality -- try the very fruity Chenin Blanc. A very surprising wine. A beautiful tasting room. Henry of Pelham is near Short Hills Provincial Park so you can have a hike after your wine tasting. Very good Riesling, Chard, and Baco Noir.

Crown Bench has some amazing dessert wines not far from East Dell, most of which are not available anywhere else. Besides some very good reds and Chardonnay, you might try the jalapeno ice wine, and a white dessert wine (can't remember if it was a vidal or riesling) with a chocolate flavor.

Malivoire's wine maker, Ann Sperling, won winemaker of the year honours recently. Definitely worth a visit.

There are many others, I try to visit a new one each time I go, in addition to old favorites. Have fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am currently camping in the Niagara region. On Friday we did a wine run. FOr Reislings, Reif does a wonderful job and they make a Trollinger that you cannot buy at the LCBO.

I also picked up a couple of their "first growth" bottles of Cabernet, and Merlot. Very nice.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

I've always regretted not having enough time to do Niagara on the Lake properly but I'm usually in a rush to get to Stratford when I'm in the area.

This year I want to set aside time to visit at least one winery in the area.

Which one should it be?

Thanks!

Jennifer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I only visited a few, the one I really enjoyed was Thirty Bench. I have not had better eisweins fom Ontario and few better from anywhere. great balance and complexity within. The people are very friendly as well.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

agreed, and add stratus to that list

getting up into the benchland, 13th street, malivoire, and strewn are worthwhile (arguably in that order)

"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Vineland Estates is a great place to visit. Excellent tasting bar with a wide selection of varietals. Whites are a strength, especially Rieslings, but good Chard and the Pinot Gris just tasted recently was delightful. Good, if pricey resto on the property, reservations a good idea. Beautiful view across the vineyards to the Lake from the terrace. Large enough to accomodate groups and individuals and the people at the tasting bar attentive and enthusiastic. It's not far from Thirty Bench. But there are many many others worth visiting....I can name Peninsula Ridge, East Dell (for its proximity to the Bruce Trail) Henry of Pelham (good for a quick bite, too), Malivoire for excellent Chard, Gamay, Pinot Noir; Crown Bench is in the vicinity for some very interesting small production wines from red grapes, including Cab Franc, Merlot, and you've got to taste the Jalapeno Ice Wine.

The new winery that's created a buzz is not far from the town of NOTL is Stratus. Our first post-modern winery in a pomo building. Very pricey wines, three tastes for ten bucks, but you get served in Riedel glassware. Their signature white wine tastes a bit like an Alsatian blend, but costs 3 times as much. If your in the area, try Lailey, on the Niagara Parkway, with an enthusiastic winemaker on hand to pour you a few samples. The old vines Chard is reputed to be the best in Canada.

And in the vicinity there are many others.

Happy wandering!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

One Winery. How very sad. Stratford is lovely, but have you thought about a longer pause in beautiful Niagara to enjoy the Shaw Festival, and perhaps savour more than one winery?

That said, if you really must hurry past, go to the Niagara College Teaching Winery. It will suit your busy needs, if only because it is right at an exit from the Queen Elizabeth Way. :wink:

But seriously, they are producing some of the most superb product there, including a great Pinot Noir, late harvest Vidal, and two of the nicest Chardonnays that you are likely to find. The "regular" Chard won gold as best white at the 2005 Cuvee, and the "Jim Warren Classic" Chard comes from the hand of a Niagara legend who now teaches at the College.

As an added bonus, the wine store at the College is located beside the beautiful and superb restaurant at the Niagara Culinary Insitute, featuring some of the best, fresh local cuisine, and some of the most talented chefs in a very talented region.

So you can exit the QEW at Glendale, park the car, wolf down lunch, load up on excellent wines, and be back on the highway within an hour. Sorry, but I can't resist telling you they don't have a drive-thru. :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

heading down that way next weekend to stay near NOTL.

most of my favourite wineries are closer to ste catherines in the benchland (13th street, dan lenko, featherstone, tawse, vineland) so these will be unfamiliar waters.

So as of now, what's great near around niagara?

I've heard that stratus is good but expensive, strewn and lailey have been mentioned.

what else? what's particularly good from them?

Any other gems not to be missed out there (food wine or otherwise)?

thanks kindly

"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

heading down that way next weekend to stay near NOTL.

most of my favourite wineries are closer to ste catherines in the benchland (13th street, dan lenko, featherstone, tawse, vineland) so these will be unfamiliar waters.

So as of now, what's great near around niagara?

  I've heard that stratus is good but expensive, strewn and lailey have been mentioned.

what else? what's particularly good from them?

Any other gems not to be missed out there (food wine or otherwise)?

thanks kindly

I'm a big fan of anything from Konzelman, but that is nearer to St Catherines I guess. Chateau de Charmes Late Harvest Riesling was excellent a few years ago, I still haven't finished the case I bought 5 or 6 years ago, when it was much less expensive.

Pick up a few truffles at Chocolates, etc on Welland Ave in St Catherines before you hit your hotel just to give you energy for all your walking. Cindy and Richard make some wonderful truffles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a fan of Hillebrand and their restaurant is top notch. Stratus is expensive but I'm told it's worth it. I'll be in NOTL next month and will buy a few bottles at Stratus. Will also go Peller, the sister winery of Hillebrand. If you're into icewine, don't miss Inniskillin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strewn, Stoney Ridge and Reif are all pretty decent. Stoney Ridge has some excellent reserve wines.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dont waste your time or money at Stratus...their wines are over hyped and such, vastly over priced. My opinion of course.

I would highly recommend NCT (Niagra College teaching winery) they have an amazing 2003 Pinot - $21 (not sure if there's any left) and their Oak aged chard - $17 is fantastic and I dont even like white wine! Oh, and if you are like me and dont like dessert wine because its too sweet, try their late harvest...for $22 its an absolute steal!

I would also suggest Lailey, the lady behind the counter was a bit pretencious, however, their cab/merlot blend is very good, and for $25 quite a bargoon.

I have heard good things about Tawse, and 13th St sounds familiar...I would be interested to see how you compare to some of the wineries in Niagra when you return.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strewn, Stoney Ridge and Reif are all pretty decent.  Stoney Ridge has some excellent reserve wines.

I will note here though that Stoney Ridge is not in NOTL. It's rather in the Vineland/Jordan area. :smile:

True enough. It's worth the detour though. :smile:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks for the responses so far (even if the vast majority are not in niagara on the lake per se - It seems many of us prefer others) (raises a whole other set of discussions - is the land and climate that different 30 minutes away, are other real estate factors attracting/demanding a different approach to winemaking?)

anyways, keeping it to notl, where are good spots for breakfast/coffee/pastries?

"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...