BERRIES HAVE THE BEST MOUTHFEEL, the way you can feel each one individually in your mouth—like tapioca, or really well-cooked sushi rice. But people have lost some important berry vibe. These days everybody wants them to be sweet. I think they should be sour. That’s what I liked about saskatoons when I first encountered them in Newfoundland, where they call them serviceberries. I also like how the harvest window is so small. They’re not exactly rare. But commercially, you don’t see them that much. The last thing is that they’re really good for you—rich in anti-oxidants and very healthy. —J.C.
Whites, reds, still, bubbly, sweet – Wine Country Ontario has it all.
Ontario grows many wine grapes you know and love, including Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Pinot Noir. Local conditions support strength in these varieties that are traditionally grown in more moderate climates, allowing for intriguingly balanced, complex and elegant wines.
Within wine culture, local wines will always occupy a special place as they are the perfect fit for local food and a great match for the cuisines on offer in multicultural Ontario.
The smart people at Wine Country Ontario have just made it a heck of a lot easier for you to find and enjoy local VQA Wines of Ontario. All you have to do is go to their excellent site for meticulously up-to-date wine country travel tips to cool destinations like Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island, Niagara-on -the-Lake, Niagara Escarpment & Twenty Valley and Prince Edward Country.
You’ll find their VQA Wine Restaurant locator indispensable: just look up a restaurant by address or search your destination to find all participating restaurants within 15 kilometres of wherever you are.
So this summer while you are out and about celebrating Canada’s 150th by going hyper-local, don’t forget to use this list for finding VQA Wines at Farmers Markets across Canada (and around the world).
Other Places to Find Ontario Wine
goLocal at the LCBO
Ontario wines rule at LCBOs goLocal microsite: You’ll find wine information, recipes, videos, blogs, contests and more at lcbogolocal.com.
Want to enjoy local when dining out?
We Love Wine Country Ontario identifies restaurants that proudly serve local VQA wine. Look at this list to find local wine when dining out.
To Find Local Fare & Adventure
For locals and travelers alike, Feast ON is a criteria-based designation program that recognises businesses committed to showcasing Ontario’s unique tastes of place through their procurement, partnership, and participation activities. From food trucks to fine dining establishments, Feast ON helps consumers learn about, find, and experience restaurants of all shapes and sizes that have become “Certified Tastes of Ontario.”
Looking for a farmers’ market in your area? A U-pick? A local fair? Find it at harvestontario.com.
International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration Niagara
A group of wineries dedicated to raising the profile of cool-climate Canadian Chardonnay. Seriously cool, indeed. Find them at coolchardonnay.ca.
Lake Erie North Shore – EPIC Passport
If you are planning a visit to the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) Wineries, this is an excellent way to go. The EPIC Passport provides special offers from each of the ten participating wineries as well as from select restaurants, Bed & Breakfast accommodations, and local tours. Other features of the passport include an easy to use mini-map with winery details and the chance to win a $400 VIP Wine Country experience.
Niagara Region Bicycling Map
Cycle to vineyards and wineries, through trails and off the beaten road to find hidden treasures. Plan your next Niagara cycling adventure by viewing the Niagara Region’s Bike Map. The Niagara Region Bicycle Map is also available in an app for iPhone users that uses GPS to show your location on the map.
Niagara Wine Festival
Choose from three annual ‘Wine Country’ celebrations of Niagara’s internationally acclaimed grape and wine industry; January’s Icewine Festival, June’s New Vintage Festival, and September’s Niagara Wine Festival. From Twenty Valley to Niagara-on-the-Lake, our calendar of events will keep you coming back and exploring Niagara. Visit niagarawinefestival.com for details.
Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance
Food serves to connect us with the land, our heritage and the people around us. It is a diverse and dynamic channel for sharing stories, forming relationships and building communities. By combining local food and drink with travel, culinary tourism offers both locals and tourists alike an authentic taste of our bountiful province while contributing to a sustainable world economy. Visit ontarioculinary.com for more information
For more about Wine Country Ontario, click here.