Back in 1974 INNISKILLIN ESTATE WINERY received the first estate winery licence since Prohibition. This was the beginning of the development of the Niagara wine industry and today, the number of wineries located in Niagara-on-the-Lake continues to increase, offering visitors an unparalleled opportunity to learn about, taste and enjoy local wines.
Hans and I went on the wine-tasting tour here and it was excellent. Not only did we get to sample some of their fine wines, we learned a lot about grape growing, picking and bottling the finished product. We bought a bottle of Riesling to take home with us. (that's the whole idea).
To get there from Niagara Falls, follow Niagara River Parkway north towards Niagara-on-the-Lake. It's on Line 3 and you can't miss the big sign at the Parkway.
The British built Fort George here between 1796 and 1799 to guard the strategic river mouth and Niagara-on-theLake. The headquarters of the British Army and Canadian Militia, FORT GEORGE became a major battlefield and played a key role in the struggle for the Niagara Frontier during the War of 1812.
The historic earthworks, authentically refurbished buildings and staff in period costume recreate the lifestyles and activities of the period. Demonstrations of military musketry, cooking, black-smithing and carpentry.
Children 6 to 16: $4.00
Under 6 free
Open daily from April 1 to October 31
Located at 26 Queens St. Niagara-on-the-Lake
While we were staying in Niagara, the tour party visited the winery of Chateau des Charmes. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about this family run business, and took us right through the process from grapes, - bottle.
It was facinating to see the huge vats the wine was stored in, how they make the red/white/rose wine, but I was intrigued about the process of producing Ice Wine.
Since 1978 the Bosc family, has been producing wines.
There is a lot of family history, members of the family etc., on the web site, so I would urge you to take time to read it.
Location - 1025 York Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Public tours. 11am. and 3pm,.
French Tours 12p.m.
Facilities include , wedding receptions in a marquee, outside courtyard, etc. please see website for information.
This is one of many wineries that one can find between Niagara Falls and Nigara-on-the-Lake. This just happened to be the one that we turned into and it was a good choice. Like a lot of the wineries, from what I hear, if you want to taste the famous ice wine, you have to pay around $3 but at Riverview, if you decide to buy it you don't have to pay for the tasting. So we bought it, expensive as it was, because it was pretty good stuff. I'm not one that usually goes for sweet desert wines but this wine was different. There was the second pressing which was too sweet for us but the late harvest bottle, which we bought, was pretty good. A bit grassy on the nose with some flavors of bosc pear and dates mingled in there. I recommend it highly. We also tasted their 100% Cabernet Franc bottle which was great. I think this was the first time I had Cabernet Franc when it wasn't blended with Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. The manager who worked here was a nice guy as well, very informative. unfortunately at the time of year we visited (March) they were not doing tours as there was not much to see.
As we were biking downtown towards the marina, we happened to pass William Kirby's home. Kirby (1817-1906) is the author of The Golden Dog (1877), a historical novel set in Quebec City.
Kirby moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1839 and once wrote that this town was "as near heaven as any town whatever.”
On the picturesque Niagara Parkway, there is a tiny chapel called the Wayside Chapel. It is the only Miniature Chapel in the Niagara area and it is actually in use for weddings - I got married there!