This post was originally published on the Ontario Travel blog.
Passionate wine lovers will adamantly agree that an hour-long tour is not nearly enough time to truly appreciate Ontario’s award-winning wineries and dreamy vineyards. That’s even more the case in fall, when nature transforms from backdrop to centre stage.
So round up your squad or your snuggle buddy, pull out your coziest cardigan and grab a pair of boots for a totally chill, wine-inspired getaway during Ontario’s most dazzling season. Here are 7 places to wine, dine and doze among the vines.
Sandwiched between Hiller and Wellington in the heart of wine-soaked Prince Edward County, Trail Estate is a laid back, stylish, small batch boutique winery focusing on single varietal wine. Enjoy this idyllic property with a stay in their on-site Nordic-style Vintner’s cottage. Perched on the edge of the vineyard, you can soak in the scenery as you sip a Chardonnay. A complimentary bottle of wine and tasting tour provide that extra touch.
This striking, Georgian-style mansion is located along what many consider to be Ontario’s prettiest drive, the Niagara River Parkway, just outside historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. The 21-room, restored 1860 inn is surrounded by 17 acres of vineyard and gardens; quite the view from the lounge, restaurant and patio. Sample Riverbend’s own wine at the bar, a flight tasting includes a Sauvignon Blanc, Vidal and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Score brownie points with boo; arrange a romantic dinner for two in the garden gazebo.
Another sophisticated vineyard digs; the Inn at Huff Estates is directly adjacent to the winery, nestled amongst the vines just north of Bloomfield. There are a number of different lodgings; including the winemaker’s suite complete with fireplace and a wrap-around patio guaranteeing you optimal vineyard views (um, yes please). Huff Estates will customize all kinds of packages, and of course, your stay includes a wine tasting and tour.
One of the most scenic vineyards along the Niagara Bench, Vineland invites you to make yourself at home in either the one-bedroom B&B cottage, perfect for the ‘plus one’ kinda hideaway, or the three-bedroom Estate Guesthouse for a full-crew getaway. Both units feature self-catering kitchens, but Vineland’s renovated circa 1845 farmhouse restaurant is right next door. A complimentary bottle of award-winning Riesling, combined with expansive vineyard vistas courtesy of Mother Nature, create the perfect wine sipping atmosphere.
Ease into the off-beat charm of Three Dog Winery just 15 minutes outside of Picton. The winery exudes the essence of The County culture; laid back, artisanal-focused and eco-minded. The open concept, studio loft apartment is a peaceful retreat that affords gorgeous views of the vineyards below. Plus it’s directly above Three Dog Yoga Studio, so add some downward dog to your vineyard vacation. Prerequisite: must love dogs.
Set in the lush, rolling hills of Northumberland County, just outside the artsy town of Warkworth, this 100-acre property features a guesthouse with a full-size swimming pool (poolside sipping: anything better?), 360 degrees of vineyard views, an inviting restaurant serving fresh, authentic Italian fare, and a small posse of farm friends including rabbits, sheep, a pony and an alpaca.
Jordan is a little village that’s really big on wine vibe. Inn on the Twenty, an upscale boutique hotel on Main Street is directly across the road from the celebrated Cave Springs Cellars, producers of award winning Riesling and home to the oldest functioning wine cellar in Ontario – imagine the stories. Unwin(e) in one of the inn’s country chic guestrooms; between the fireplace, soaker tub and giant bed you might want to consider room service.
Ready to go? Plan your fall vineyard vacation in Ontario’s wine regions.