The Niagara Peninsula

Imagine that you could produce your perfect wine destination.  Give it a small town to use as a "base of operations" that is beautiful and has a unique character, but isn't constantly overrun by tourists.  Create world-class hotels and restaurants highly rated by reputable travel organizations.  If you prefer a bed and breakfast, include over 150 establishments that give you a wide variety of styles and price ranges to select from.  Include art galleries and shopping boutiques to find unique items to bring home.  In the event you get "wined-out," include historical sites to visit.  To work off the wine and food you consume, make sure there are outdoor activities to enjoy like golfing or biking paths. 

Also, make sure to include something that will give you a little adrenalin rush in the event you feel you're getting too relaxed.  And most importantly, include, world-class wines that cover a wide variety of palates.  Create this destination, and you have created the Niagara Peninsula, located only an hour flying time from most of the North American population.

Niagara-On-The-Lake and the surrounding Niagara Peninsula are a little known destination that can provide the wine traveler with an incredible wine experience that has all the extras you could ask for.  Although "Canadian" is not typically a word thought of in connection with fine wines, the Niagara Peninsula  in Ontario (just 30  minutes from Buffalo, NY)  has been producing legitimate world-class wines for decades.  Located on the same parallel as the Lower Rhone Valley of France and Chianti of Italy, the Niagara Peninsula is a unique microclimate that is a refuge from the adverse weather conditions afflicting most of the region around the Great Lakes.  Known for years as the Banana Belt of the North for its cornucopia of produce, the Peninsula benefits from Lake Ontario to the north, Lake Erie to the south and an escarpment that forms an east/west spine across the peninsula.  These bodies moderate Canada's extreme temperatures year-round, providing gentle winds that minimize humidity and keep fog and frost from developing during key periods of grape growing.  In fact, the Peninsula has been declared as a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations for its rare and diverse ecosystem.

The resulting world-class wines include:



Chardonnays that are similar in style to those of Chablis
Pinot Noirs that are similar to those of Volnay in Burgundy
Rieslings that would be categorized in degrees varying from Kabinett to Beerenauslese in Germany
Cabernet Francs that are comparable to those of Bordeaux and the Loire Valley

The true gem of the Niagara Peninsula, however, is the Icewine.  Year in and year out, conditions drop below 18F and remain there long enough for the remaining grapes to freeze on the vines.  The resulting liquid gold is an incredibly balanced wine that is both high in sugar and acidity and has been recognized for their extreme quality around the world.

For the traveler, the Niagara Peninsula offers a wide variety of attractions in addition to the wines and foods of the region.  Using the small, picturesque towns like Niagara-on-the-Lake or Jordan as a base of operations, the wine traveler can experience the cultural (the Shaw Festival), the historical (Fort George), the natural (Niagara Falls), and the outdoors (the Niagara River Recreation Trail), as well as excellent boutique shopping and art galleries - all within 30 minutes of Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON.

Click HERE to request assistance in planning a trip
to the Niagara Peninsula or send us an e-mail.