When you think of Ontario wine regions, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Prince Edward County are likely the first ones that come to mind. However, the boundaries of wine country are being redrawn as new areas are emerging as fine wine destinations. Winemakers are combining science and creativity, producing wines that are catching the attention of wine connoisseurs near and far, and these new areas are only expected to grow. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur yourself, or simply enjoy a day full of vineyard-hopping, here are 4 of the biggest emerging wine regions of Ontario that you need to check out!
1. Eastern Eerie Shore
The Eastern Eerie Shore near Long Point Provincial Park enjoys summer temperatures that are warmer than Niagara, making it an appealing place to winery-hop, not to mention produce exquisite reds and whites. The good soil and warm conditions make it ideal for growing rich, flavourful wine. Not to mention, the area is ripe with farmers filled with pride and love for the land, who tend to the grapevines with care. Notable wineries in the Eastern Eerie Shore area include Burning Kiln, Blueberry Hill Estates and Inasphere.
2. The Oak Ridges Moraine
The orchards of the Oak Ridges Moraine are located just north of Toronto in York Region, a somewhat surprising area for fine wine. The soil and climate in the Oak Ridges Moraine is similar to Ontario’s premier wine destination, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and has caught the eye (and taste buds) of wine connoisseurs. The grapevines also experience the breeze from Musselman’s Lake, giving them vibrant flavours. Make sure to check out Willow Springs Winery and Gallucci Winery to see what all the fuss is about.
3. Georgian Bay
Located North of Toronto on Lake Hudson’s east side, you’ll find Georgian Bay, an area that’s also making a name for itself in the world of wine. Here, growers are experimenting with vinifera and hybrid plantings, giving the region lots of diversity. It’s a true cold climate wine region with long summers and cold winters, requiring grape varieties such as L’Acadie Blanc and Prairie Star for white, and Baco Noir and Pinot Noir for reds. Check out wineries like Coffin Ridge and Georgian Hills Vineyards when you visit the area.
4. Northumberland County
Northumerland County, situated just east of Prince Edward County has also seen new wineries popping up. Right near Lake Ontario and nestled in rolling hills, Northumberland is a picturesque county, with a vibrant community, ideal for growing wine. Also home to spas, art galleries and antique shops, Northumberland County is a great place to stay for a weekend. And when it comes to wineries, Villa Conti and Karlo Estates are must-stops in the area.
If you’re looking to explore new wine regions in Ontario, check out these amazing vineyards and all they have to offer!