Riesling is the wine lover’s wine: a pristine, transparent reflection of place, zesty and food friendly, as refreshing as a summer shower.
Start your tour at Vineland Estates, where you’ll see some of the oldest Riesling vineyards in Ontario. Brian Schmidt crafts Riesling in an off-dry style, the best of which is the St. Urban Vineyard. The winery restaurant has a beautiful view of the Lake Ontario and Toronto. The gourmet market above the wine shop has a great selection of artisanal Canadian cheeses.
Quaint Jordan Village and Cave Springs located in Twenty Valley are a short Drive away. Angelo Pavan makes no fewer than eight Rieslings, from sparkling to Icewine. If you’re limited to just one, make it the old vine CSV, a dry full-bodied essence of Escarpment limestone. The main street in Jordan is lined with boutiques and cafés, ideal for meandering after your tasting.
Next, make your way to Flat Rock Cellars, perched on top of the Escarpment overlooking Lake Ontario. Proprietor Ed Madronich’s focus was clear from opening day in 2005: the winery only makes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Here you’ll want to try the Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling, named after Ed’s mother, a wine of shimmering purity and quivering acidity. Gourmet food trucks are regularly spotted at Flat Rock on summer weekends, giving you more reasons to try another sample.
Your Riesling itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a taste of Canada’s signature style: Icewine. Head to Niagara-on-the-Lake and the birthplace of Icewine. Inniskillen, founders Don Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser made some of their first wines from frozen grapes in the mid-eighties and have led the pack every since. They produce four Icewines, but the Riesling in the class of the lot.
The Niagara Region has over 75 award wining wineries check out your next must sip wineries.