Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, or someone just interested in food and beautiful views, Ontario’s Niagara region has you covered. Its lush, expansive hills and valleys are dotted with some of Canada’s best wineries. This comes as no surprise when you find out that Ontario grows nearly 70% of the country’s grapes, with 93% of that volume coming out of the Niagara Peninsula. With over 50 wineries in the region, each with a unique atmosphere of their own, deciding which ones to visit can seem like a daunting task. Realistically, there is no way to experience all that Niagara wineries have to offer in one day. However, you can visit three or four of them when participating in one of the many available Niagara wine tours. These carefully crafted tours can sometimes be as unique as the wineries themselves. Explore some of the 17,000 acres of vineyards, meet winemakers and try wines crafted to embody the soils and other regional growing conditions. When looking at visiting during the warmer months, consider a two-wheeled experience. Hop on a bicycle and pedal your way around some of Niagara’s top wineries, stopping to sip a few glasses of wine at each location.

Cruise on a Euro-Inspired Bicycle — Tour de Vine

Freely traverse the calm and scenic roadways of Niagara-on-the lake with a self-guided journey by Tour de Vine. Hop on a Euro-inspired bicycle or e‑bike and visit award-winning wineries like Caroline Cellars and Riverview Estate Winery. As a top Niagara wine bike tour, guests can select from several self-guided or guided tours, some of which include food. Enjoy large wineries that supply retail shelves or enjoy small-batch producers with extensive histories — the choice is yours. Best of all, Tour de Vine offers a wine pick-up service. So, if you try and enjoy a glass of wine, purchase the bottle, and they will pick it up and have it ready for you when you return your bike. 

Wine Stop Highlight: Reif Estate Winery 

The story of Reif Estate Winery began in 1982 when it became one of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s founding family wineries. The 125-acre farm is in the Niagara River sub-appellation, an area ideal for grape varieties that require plenty of sun. There is a unique selection of red and white wines here, many of which are full-bodied. A must-try on a Tour de Vine wine bike tour, Reif produces wines that reflect the terroir’ of the land — the climate, soil, and elevation all play a part in the flavors. Besides the great tasting wine, there are also on-site food options — a welcome sight for those participating in long bike tours.

Experience Meet Experience – Grape Escape Wine Tours

In business for more than 15 years, Grape Escape Wine Tours knows a thing or two about the Niagara-on-the-Lake wine scene. They specialize in small and intimate guided tours either by vehicle or bicycle. Their large fleet of Fuji bicycles are available in several sizes and are super comfortable for the journey. Speaking of the journey, be prepared to coast at a leisurely pace along scenic routes between wineries. As you traverse the 15 – 25km route, you will visit three wineries, tasting a total of 9 different wines. One stop includes a cheese and charcuterie dish to keep you fueled for the rest of the ride. 

Wine Stop Highlight: Lakeview Wine Co. 

Included in a Grape Escape Tour is a visit to the Lakeview Wine Co., Ontario’s 3rd largest producer of VQA wines. With their state-of-the-art, on-site wine-making facility, it’s no surprise they produce many brands, including their signature blend — Lakeview Cellars. After touring the property, indulge in some of their wines, including a delicious selection of whites, rosés, reds, and icewines.

Learn Local Secrets – Niagara Getaways

Niagara Getaways hosts one of the top wine tours in Niagara. In addition to van tours, they also offer a self-guided bike tour which includes visits to three VQA Niagara wineries and between nine and twelve tastings. An experience here will offer a tasting of icewine, a specialty of the Niagara region. Visitors will also enjoy a gourmet cheese tray, which pairs perfectly with the wines served at the tasting stops. The staff is knowledgeable about the Niagara region and its wine history, providing local-inspired tips before you hit the road.

Wine Stop Highlight: Pillitteri Estate Winery 

Opening in June of 1993, Pillitteri Estates Winery was many years in the making. Gary Pillitteri immigrated to Canada, from Italy, in 1948. He subsequently spent many years working as a grape-grower in the Niagara region, with the ultimate goal being to open his own winery. Today, his dream is a reality, with the winery being run by the 5th generation of Pillitteri family members. This popular spot focuses on local agriculture and specializes in icewine — a must try (and buy) when you visit. If you’re looking for Niagara wineries with restaurants, look no further. The Barrel Head Pizza Patio is on-site and offers delicious wood-oven pizzas — a great food stop on an all-day biking and wine-tasting tour.

A Unique Way to Explore Niagara’s Vineyards – Niagara Segway

There are many Niagara winery tours to choose from, though one of the most unique experiences is offered by Niagara Segways. Still on two wheels, but not quite a bike, ride a segway through one of Niagara’s most beautiful vineyards — the Henry of Pelham Family Estate. After a 10-minute segway training session, hit the vineyards for an hour-long, guided cruise. The experience is exhilarating, with tranquil moments spurred by the lush greenery and escape from urban surroundings. Once you return to the starting point, it’s time to visit the wine shop to enjoy a wine tasting of four different wines of your choice, including the signature Baco Noir and one of their icewines.

Wine Stop Highlight: Henry of Pelham Family Estate

What began as a property deed to Nichols Smith in the 18th century turned into the Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery today. With an emphasis on sustainable wine-making processes, it’s no surprise they are six-generations deep, continuing to be one of the most notable wineries in the region. After touring the outdoor vineyards, which sit on the Short Hills Bench, a sub-appellation of the Niagara Peninsula, Visitors can head indoors to take in a state-of-the-art wine-making facility that features Canada’s largest underground barrel cellar. Though you may be amazed by their history and sustainable efforts, don’t forget to try their wine varieties, including reds, whites, icewines, and sparkling wines.

Choice Hotels in Niagara Falls