With its cold climate, Eastern Ontario may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of wine regions, but it’s known for holding some of the best wineries in Canada.
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Ottawa conveniently has a circle of vineyards within easy reach, inviting visitors to take a guided tour, taste new wines and soak up the scenery on a warm summer afternoon. Sip your way through Culture Trip’s pick of the best, all within an hour’s drive of the city.
A similar distance from Ottawa, Domaine Perrault is known for its relaxed atmosphere and selection of red and white wines. Situated in Navan, this is a great place to learn more about winemaking, with packages ranging from a short presentation with samples to more in-depth sommelier-guided tastings. The wine tasting with a cheese platter is a popular favorite. You can also purchase a bottle from the shop to enjoy on the patio.
Smokie Ridge Vineyard
This family-owned and operated winery, established in 2007, specializes in northern varietal grapes and has raised over 10,000 vines from infancy. The vineyard itself stretches over 43 acres (17ha) and invites visitors to enjoy a refreshing glass of wine on the patio or take a stroll around the venue. Choose a tasting package with bread and cheese, or bring your own food to enjoy alongside some wine. Smokie Ridge Vineyard is about a 50-minute drive from the city.
If you have a Sunday to spare, visit KIN Vineyards’ Supper Club to enjoy food, wine, live music and scenic views; it runs from 6pm to 9pm. Alternatively, book a Private Vineyard Tour and Tasting Experience, where you’ll learn what’s grown here and how the vineyard adapts to Ottawa’s cold winters. The winery also offers tastings during its opening hours. It’s about 25 minutes from Ottawa.
Vignoble Clos Du Vully
Growing cold-climate grapes on five acres (2ha), Vignoble Clos du Vully offers tastings of its wine during business hours. Thousands of cold-climate vines thrive on the venue’s clay-loam slope, with five varieties of grape grown on the farm itself and others purchased from two Niagara-on-the-Lake producers. The winery is located about 35 minutes from Ottawa in Navan.
Green Gables Vines
Despite being less than an hour from the city, Green Gables Vines, which gets its name from the traditional Victorian farmhouse on-site, has all the charm of a country setting, surrounded by forest. With soil similar to France’s Bordeaux region, this vineyard is home to over 4,000 vines, carefully selected to flourish in Ottawa’s climate and withstand temperatures of below –31F (–35C). Sample a selection of the vineyard’s wines and learn from the experts about winemaking. Call to make a reservation.
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