The Best Vineyards To Visit In Canada In 2023

Nestled within the pristine and diverse landscapes of North America, Canada’s vineyards have been quietly carving their path to global recognition. This vast and geographically varied country, with its northern latitude and unique terroirs, offers a tapestry of wine regions, each with its own distinctive character and varietal specialties. While perhaps not as well-known as some of their international counterparts, Canadian vineyards have been steadily gaining prominence for their exceptional wines, often defined by their crispness, complexity, and elegance. In this introduction, we embark on a journey through the lush vineyards of Canada, exploring the rich history, varied regions, and the remarkable wines that have established the nation as a rising star in the world of winemaking.

  1. 13TH STREET WINERY

  2. CLOSSON CHASE

  3. MALIVOIRE

  4. MASON VINEYARD

  5. NK’MIP CELLARS

  6. QUAILS’ GATE

  7. MISSION HILL FAMILY ESTATE

  8. WESTCOTT VINEYARDS

  9. CLOUDSLEY CELLARS

  10. CHATEAU DES CHARMES

* The wineries have been listed without a specific order.

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1. 13TH STREET WINERY

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Founded in 1998 by a group of wine enthusiasts, 13th Street Winery has become a cherished institution with a remarkable 25-year journey in the captivating Niagara region. In 2008, the winery found new stewards in the Mann and Whitty families, who breathed fresh life into this establishment, transforming it into much more than a winemaking destination. Beyond the production of exceptional wines, 13th Street Winery has become a welcoming haven where visitors are invited to become a part of the family. It reflects the essence of Niagara’s unique terroir and offers a truly immersive experience that transcends the traditional boundaries of wine tasting.

The accolades bestowed upon 13th Street Winery underscore its unwavering commitment to quality and innovation. In 2022, it received the prestigious title of No.1 Winery in Ontario and ranked second across all of Canada at the National Wine Awards. The winery’s excellence extends beyond its wines; it also earned the Outstanding Achievement in Architecture at the Niagara Biennial Design Awards in 2020. These honors bear witness to the winery’s dedication to providing the very best experiences to its discerning patrons, marking its place as a beacon of excellence in the world of Canadian winemaking.

2. CLOSSON CHASE

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While Niagara may be renowned for its Pinot Noir, Ontario’s Prince Edward County has emerged as a distinctive and exciting destination for lovers of this varietal. Closson Chase, one of the pioneering wine brands in the region, has played a significant role in elevating Prince Edward County, affectionately known as “The County,” to its current status as a thriving wine destination.

At the helm of Closson Chase is the talented winemaker Keith Tyers, who is dedicated to capturing the pure essence of what Mother Nature provides in every bottle. The Churchside Pinot Noir, a single vineyard offering, encapsulates the character of Prince Edward County, offering a symphony of rich red fruit aromas, earthy undertones, and a savory quality. On the palate, it reveals a robust strength and intensity, serving as a compelling testament to the potential of this remarkable wine region.

3. MALIVOIRE

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Founded by Martin Malivoire in the Beamsville Bench VQA region, Malivoire Winery is a celebration of “somewhereness.” Martin’s background in the film industry infuses the winery with creativity, dedication, and an unrelenting energy that sets it apart. At the helm of the winemaking operation is Shiraz Mottiar, a masterful winemaker who crafts an extensive range of wines from a diverse array of grape varietals, including both international and hybrid grapes. The Farmstead Gamay, one of their notable offerings, is a testament to their commitment to regional expression. It is carefully created from a blend of vineyards spread across the Niagara Peninsula, showcasing the character of this remarkable winemaking region.

Malivoire Winery’s dedication to producing wines that speak of their origin and reflect the unique qualities of the Niagara Peninsula is an embodiment of their passion for winemaking. The Farmstead Gamay, in particular, is a delightful exploration of regional diversity and the possibilities that the vineyards of this fertile land offer. With each bottle, Malivoire Winery invites wine enthusiasts to experience the harmony of artistry, terroir, and tradition, making it a compelling destination for those seeking the quintessential flavors of Ontario wine.

4. MASON VINEYARD

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In the world of Ontario wines, Kelly Mason has emerged as one of the most prolific and influential winemakers, leaving an indelible mark on the region’s viticultural landscape. With a career that has seen her crafting exceptional wines at some of the most renowned wineries in Niagara, she embarked on a new and exciting wine journey just a few years ago by launching Mason Vineyard. A specialist in the art of Cabernet Franc, Kelly Mason exemplifies the remarkable potential of this grape within the unique terroir of Ontario.


Kelly Mason’s wines are a testament to her deep-seated passion for crafting exceptional wines, drawing upon her vast experience and expertise. The 2020 Cabernet Franc from Mason Vineyard reflects her unwavering commitment to producing wines that both honor the grape’s intrinsic qualities and showcase the unique character of Ontario’s terroir. For those seeking a wine experience that embodies boldness and depth, Kelly Mason’s Cabernet Franc serves as an inviting and delectable choice, offering a taste of the outstanding craftsmanship that defines Ontario winemaking.

5. NK'MIP CELLARS

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The Osoyoos Indian Band, established as a reserve in 1877, encompasses 32,000 acres of the Sonoran Desert landscape, featuring ancient mountains and pristine lakes. This vast territory has left its mark on the region, with towns like Osoyoos, Keremeos, Penticton, and Kelowna taking their names from the Indigenous language. The Osoyoos Band members, numbering over 500, hold a deep respect for the environment and a legacy of hard work in this hot and arid part of Canada.

“Nk’Mip,” meaning “Bottomland,” is a significant location at the southern end of the Osoyoos reservation. The Osoyoos Indian Band’s efforts have led to financial independence through various initiatives, including Nk’Mip Cellars, demonstrating their commitment to self-sufficiency and community development.

6. QUAILS' GATE

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Nestled within the picturesque hills of Luján de Cuyo, in the heart of Mendoza province, is a well-guarded secret in the world of winemaking. Here, Constantino and Silvina Krontiras have lovingly cultivated their passion for wine, creating a winery that stands as a testament to their devotion. This hidden haven is surrounded by biodynamic vineyards, a haven where wines are meticulously crafted to reflect the purest essence of the terroir. What sets this winery apart is not just its exceptional wines but also its unique integration with the Lunlunta vineyard, where the principles of sacred geometry are seamlessly incorporated into the winery’s architecture, reflecting a deep connection with the land and its natural rhythms.

At the break of day, a gentle breeze descends from the towering Andes, tracing the path of the Mendoza River, tenderly caressing the 120-year-old Malbec and Tempranillo vines. Alongside these vines, a flourishing orchard of fruit trees adds to the charm of the vineyard. The beauty of the vineyard extends beyond grapevines; it’s also home to a diverse range of animals, including cows, sheep, horses, donkeys, and llamas, creating a harmonious ecosystem.

7. MISSION HILL FAMILY ESTATE

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Nestled in the picturesque Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Mission Hill Family Estate stands as a celebrated icon in the world of winemaking. This renowned estate is known not only for its exceptional wines but also for its stunning setting and architectural grandeur. Set against a backdrop of majestic mountains, a tranquil lake, and flourishing orchards, the winery’s dramatic architecture harmonizes with the natural beauty of its surroundings.

Mission Hill Family Estate is not only a place for exquisite wine and gourmet dining at the Terrace Restaurant but also a haven that pays homage to the art of winemaking, organic viticultural practices, and a commitment to preserving the environment. With a deep-rooted respect for the family’s European heritage, this winery offers visitors a sanctuary where they can sample fine wines, savor breathtaking vistas, and ponder a winemaking process that dates back through the annals of time.

8. WESTCOTT VINEYARDS

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Grant Westcott and Carolyn Hurst, a Toronto couple with a shared passion for winemaking, embarked on a remarkable journey in 2008 when they sold their home and wholeheartedly embraced their winemaking dreams. Their dedication led to the creation of a unique winery located in the Vinemount Ridge VQA appellation. At their winery, they demonstrate an exceptional skill in capturing the essence of Niagara’s primary grape varieties, particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Under the guidance of Winemaker Casey Kulczyk, The Block 76 Chardonnay is born, a testament to their commitment to crafting wines of distinction.

This Chardonnay, aged and fermented in oak, defies the notion of being an oak bomb, instead offering a delightful bouquet of bosc pear, apple, lemon zest, and flinty minerality. The palate follows with a subtle touch of spice, creating a generous wine with a fresh and crisp finish. The Block 76 Chardonnay is an exquisite choice for those who hold a special place in their hearts for this beloved grape variety.

9. CLOUDSLEY CELLARS

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Cloudsley, the brainchild of Adam Lowy, operates from a humble converted garage building, but its wines are anything but ordinary. This boutique winery is dedicated to showcasing the essence of terroir in every glass, offering a wine experience that resonates with authenticity. One of their standout creations, the Twenty Mile Bench Pinot Noir, stands as a memorable choice and serves as a gateway to the world of Niagara Pinot Noirs. A meticulous blend of grapes sourced from various single vineyards, this wine bursts with vibrant red fruit notes, including sour cherries and cranberries, complemented by a hint of earthiness. The palate is equally lively, making it an exquisite choice for those seeking an entry into the world of Ontario wines.

Cloudsley’s commitment to translating terroir into their wines is evident in the distinctive character of the Twenty Mile Bench Pinot Noir. Adam Lowy’s approach to winemaking encapsulates the true spirit of Niagara, and this particular Pinot Noir offers an authentic introduction to the region’s winemaking excellence.

10. CHATEAU DES CHARMES

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Château des Charmes, founded in 1978 by Paul Bosc, represents a legacy of winemaking that spans five generations of French winegrowers. Paul and his young family’s arrival in Niagara in the 1960s marked the beginning of their journey to create fine wines through grape cultivation. Their steadfast belief in the Estate Winery model remains unshaken, as they continue to make wines exclusively from grapes they’ve cultivated themselves.

On the other hand, Góes Winery, while cherishing tradition, is also dedicated to growth and evolution. The introduction of the CASA DO VINHO, a spacious and well-curated showroom, is a testament to their commitment to showcasing their diverse range of products to visitors. This new space provides tourists with insights into the millennia-old tradition of winemaking, from the manufacturing processes to the winery’s inner workings, family history, and the origins of this cherished product in São Roque. Visitors also have the opportunity to savor and acquire wines from the Góes and Quinta Jubair brands, marking a harmonious blend of tradition and progress in the world of winemaking.

The vineyards of Canada, particularly in regions like Prince Edward County and Niagara, have made a remarkable impact on the global wine stage. With their unique climate, diverse terroir, and unwavering commitment to producing exceptional wines, Canadian vineyards have gained recognition and respect from wine enthusiasts around the world. These wineries have masterfully combined tradition with innovation, consistently crafting high-quality wines that reflect the character of their respective regions.

* The wineries have been listed without a specific order.

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FAQ Edition

The Ultimate Guide To Canadian Vineyards

1. What are the most famous wine regions in Canada?

Canada boasts several renowned wine regions, but two of the most well-known are Niagara in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. These regions are celebrated for their diverse terroirs, producing a wide range of grape varieties, from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

2. What is Icewine, and why is Canada famous for it?

Icewine, or "Eiswein" in German, is a sweet dessert wine made from grapes that have naturally frozen on the vine. Canada, particularly in the Niagara region, is famous for its Icewine production due to its cold winters, which provide the ideal conditions for freezing grapes. The resulting wine is characterized by its intense sweetness and concentrated flavors.

3. Can you visit Canadian wineries for tastings and tours?

Yes, many Canadian wineries offer tastings and tours to visitors. In regions like Niagara and the Okanagan Valley, you'll find a plethora of wineries open to the public. It's advisable to check the winery's website or contact them in advance to confirm their visiting hours and any specific requirements.

4. What grape varieties thrive in Canada's climate?

Canada's climate varies from region to region, but some grape varieties that tend to thrive in Canadian vineyards include Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Icewine-specific grape varieties like Vidal and Riesling.

5. Are Canadian wines available internationally?

Canadian wines are increasingly gaining recognition on the international stage. While not as widely distributed as wines from some other countries, you can find Canadian wines in select international markets, particularly in regions with a strong interest in high-quality, cool-climate wines.

6. What makes Canadian wineries unique compared to other wine-producing regions?

Canadian wineries are known for their dedication to producing cool-climate wines that showcase the unique terroir of each region. The cold climate, proximity to bodies of water, and diverse soil types contribute to wines that are often described as crisp, elegant, and expressive of their surroundings. Canadian wineries also excel in producing Icewine, a highly sought-after sweet wine style that's unique to the country.

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