Jennifer is passionate about wine. She has worked in the wine industry for 2 years as well as the restaurant industry for over 10 years.
Ontario's wine country has a range of unique wine regions. The Niagara Escarpment is a natural wonder, and it creates perfect growing conditions for vineyards. The Beamsville Bench is a sub-appellation of the Niagara Peninsula. It has a unique set of growing conditions that are ideal for producing complex wines.
The sloping vineyards provide excellent drainage, and with the escarpment surrounding them, it captures the lake breezes. This helps keep the vines cool in the summer and warm in the early fall. This lengthens the growing season, which produces grapes with a rich and flavorful ripeness.
Below are five of the best wineries that I personally love in Beamsville, Ontario. Trust me—you won't want to miss these if you are in the area.
1. Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery
My favorite parts about Peninsula Ridge Winery are the breathtaking views and absolutely stunning property. With a Victorian manor that sits atop a hill, you can't miss it when you drive by. The old mansion was renovated into a restaurant, which is one now of the best in the area. The restaurant is upscale but with a casual and romantic atmosphere. The tasting room has a very rustic and country feel to it. Take your tastings out to the patio and enjoy the beautiful view of the vineyards or look out over the lake at the Toronto Skyline.
Peninsula Ridge is known for their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and their Bordeaux blends as well as Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Their prices are pretty reasonable with nothing over $30 a bottle (with the exception of the Cabernet Franc Icewine).
If you have time, I would definitely recommend staying for lunch or dinner. The food and service are both incredible. The menu changes seasonally, but you can check their website to find out what they are currently serving. This one of the best wineries and restaurants in the Niagara region, and it is well worth a visit.
2. Vieni Estates
Take the scenic drive up to Vieni Estates and you'll be glad you did. The tasting boutique is small and intimate with many options to try. Vieni produces wines from a wide range of traditional grape varietals as well as hybrids. They have lots of choices, from reds and whites to sparkling and ice wine. They are one of the few wineries in the area that produces spirits from Ontario fruits including Graspa.
Overall, Vieni has great wine and very reasonable prices. If you love sparkling wine, this is the place to go. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. I had a great experience and even got to meet the winemaker. They also have a bed and breakfast on site if you are looking for a place to stay. Relax by the saltwater pool or take a walk down the Bruce Trail, which connects to the property.
3. Thirty Bench Wine Makers
In 2015, Thirty Bench won an award for Best Small Winery of the year at the Wine Align's National Wine Awards of Canada. Their focus is small-batch wines with small yielding vines for a maximum fruit intensity. They have some of the oldest vineyards on the Beamsville bench.
The tasting room has a beautiful view of the bench with large bright windows overlooking the vineyards. They are known for their classic red varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, but their Riesling is also delicious. Thirty Bench produces some of the best Rieslings in the region, so if you are a fan, these ones are exceptional. The wines are a bit pricier than other wineries in the area, but the quality is guaranteed.
The tasting room has recently been renovated and has a modern vibe with a seated tasting experience. The staff is very friendly and attentive. The small-lot wines are delicious. My personal favorite is the Pinot Gris.
4. The Good Earth Food and Wine Co.
I always recommend Good Earth to tourists, and I've heard nothing but great reviews. It is really one of a kind and well worth a visit if you are in the area. It is a family-owned farm, winery, and bistro with organic values and a farm-to-table culinary experience. The Bistro has different features each week made with fresh and local ingredients.
The wines are handmade and harvested from their small-lot vineyards. They produce Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir. They also have an excellent red blend called "Big Fork Red," which was my personal favorite.
It's a great place to stop in the afternoon for wine tastings and lunch. It has an orchard farm atmosphere with a view of the vineyards from the beautiful garden patio. The menu is small and the prices are a bit high, but I guarantee you won't regret the visit.
5. Fielding Estate Winery
Fielding Estate Winery has a more modern atmosphere with some of the best wines in the area. There's an outdoor deck where you can sample wine while checking out the vineyard. The tasting room is 360 degrees of glass with a beautiful view right down to Lake Ontario. There is a breathtaking view of Toronto across the lake.
They produce many different varietals, from Rieslings, Chardonnays Pinot Gris, to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah with several blends available. I recommend the Pinot Gris and Riesling if you are a fan of white and the Cabernet Franc if you like red. They also make icewine, which is a must if you have never tried it. Sit by the fireplace and enjoy the fantastic view while sipping award-winning wines.
© 2018 Jennifer C
Jennifer C (author) on July 11, 2019:
Thanks Peggy. There are so many wineries in Ontario, especially the Niagara region. These are just a few of my favourites. It's a lovely area. I definitely recommend visiting sometime.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 11, 2019:
My husband and I enjoy drinking wine. We have never been up to Ontario, but should our travels ever take us that direction, we will be sure to check out these wineries. They each sound interesting. Thanks for writing about them.
Jennifer C (author) on November 11, 2018:
Thank you for your comment Liz. Yes Ontario is actually quite popular for wine, especially in the Niagara Region. There are 4 wine appellations in Ontario and over 150 wineries I believe. People come from all over the world to try Ontario wine. I don't think you would find any where you live but if you ever see a bottle with a VQA stamp on it, that would mean it is 100% Ontario wine.
Liz Westwood from UK on November 10, 2018:
This is a very interesting article. I did not realise there were wineries in Ontario. It makes sense, as our climate is changing, more wineries are appearing in the UK.