Rows of grapes line a drive heading towards a large estate house at Peller Estates.

Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Photo © Wang Shein, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

There are several ways to enjoy a tour of wine country if you’re staying in Niagara Falls: You can drive yourself, let someone else drive for you, or take a bike tour.

Many transportation companies like Grape and Wine Tours and Grape Escape Wine Tours offer bus or van tours of wineries, which usually include visits to 3-5 wineries and a meal. Escorted bicycle tours are another popular way to tour the area. As you cycle through the countryside, visiting wineries along the way, tour guides provide narration about the region. Niagara Getaway, Grape Escape Wine Tours, and Niagara Wine Tours International provide bike tours of the winery region as well as bike rentals.

Morning

From your hotel in Niagara Falls, make the 20-minute drive to Fort George and be transported back to the War of 1812 with costumed docents, period music, and musket demonstrations. Plan on spending 2-4 hours here. Head to Niagara-on-the-Lake for an early lunch of authentic British pub grub at the (allegedly) haunted Olde Angel Inn.

Afternoon

After lunch, head south out of town to Peller Estates, a stunning French château that is large, yet homey. Couches surround a fireplace, making for a cozy wine-tasting experience. Continuing south along the gorge, stop at Inniskillin Winery, which boasts some of the region’s best ice wines. Return north to visit Stratus Vineyards and Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery. Each provide an excellent introduction to the diverse vintages in the Niagara region, including ice wine, chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling, and gewürztraminer.

Evening

Make your way back to Niagara-on-the-Lake for dinner at Zees Grill. Sit out on the patio if the weather is nice. Zees’ wine menu features selections from Inniskillin, Peller Estates, and Jackson-Triggs. Test out your new skills in wine pairings by choosing one of these local wines to complement your meal.

After dinner, walk along Queen Street to browse some of the shops. If you love sweets, stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, where chocolate lovers will be overwhelmed by the number of tempting goodies.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Niagara Falls.