It’s safe to say that Niagara wine country is romantic year round, but when there’s snow on the ground and the air is crisp, the region takes on a whole new ambiance. Between tours and tastings, festivals and events, you could find something to do every weekend in Niagara’s wine region this winter. We’ve highlighted just a few options for a wintry weekend getaway.
Twenty Valley is considered the gateway to the Niagara Region, and it’s just a short drive from Burlington or Oakville. It’s the largest wine producing region in Niagara with over 50 vineyards and many of the province’s best boutique wineries. Many of them are family-run award-winning estates set on beautiful varied landscapes.
Events & Happenings
Twenty Valley’s Winter Wine Fest, from January 12 – 14 aims to please oenophiles with Niagara’s top winemakers, chefs and premium VQA wines. Take to the streets of Jordan Village to enjoy this outdoor event that offers live entertainment, food, wine (red, white, sparkling and icewine, of course) and cozy fire pits and warming stations to keep you going. Plus, there’s no shortage of boutique shops in the historic shopping district.
Get a taste for culinary adventure at Winter Downtown D’Lish. From January 19 – February 3, various downtown restaurants in St. Catharines are offering fixed price lunch and dinner menus. A list of participating restaurants and their D’Lish menus is available online.
Options range from $15 – $40.
The big wintertime event is the ever-popular Niagara Icewine Festival. For three weekends in January, from January 12 – 28, the Niagara region is transformed into a wintry wonderland, in celebration of one of Canada’s most cherished products,: Ontario icewine. Here’s your chance to sip over 20 different local icewines, enjoy live music and great food. To extend the experience even further, buy a Discovery Pass and partake in eight unique pairings at your choice of over 35 wineries across the Niagara Region.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is as pretty as a picture during the winter. Hop on a horse and buggy ride and explore the many boutiques and historic streets of this quaint town. Add Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery to your list of must-visits because it’s the perfect place to sip and skate. The backyard rink will be open from 12 – 6pm daily, and the heated outdoor Whisky Bar is where you can warm up with a tipple.
Where to Stay
The Twenty Valley offers varied accommodations, many of which are within very close proximity to the wineries. The Inn on the Twenty’s cozy fireplace suites will tempt you, as will its onsite restaurant. Historic Jordan Station has the casual accommodations of the Jordan House Hotel. Scattered throughout the area and into Niagara-on-the-Lake are many more inns and B&Bs. The Orchard Croft Boutique Retreat (also in Jordan) is set amongst, what else, an idyllic orchard location. It delivers charm and elegance and personalized service for all guests. In Beamsville, the House By the Side of the Road is a B&B ideally situated near award-winning wineries and trendy shops. If you’d prefer to stay nearer the Falls and the Icewine Festival, try the Old Stone Inn Boutique Hotel. Located in the Entertainment District on Fallsview Boulevard, you’ll find historic elegance and modern magnificence.
This winter, make the most of what the Niagara Region has to offer, whether it’s a festival, an organized tasting tour, or your own itinerary wining and dining on a getaway weekend.
by Becky Dumais
Downtown D’Lish, St. Catharines
Niagara Icewine Festival
Wayne Gretzky Estates
Brewery & Distillery Tours Niagara
Niagara Wine Tour Guides
Wine Country Ontario
Inn On the Twenty
Orchard Croft Boutique Retreat
House By the Side of the Road
Old Stone Inn Hotel