Five world-class Canadian wine trails you don't want to miss

Author: Canadian Living


Five world-class Canadian wine trails you don't want to miss

Kettle Valley Rail Trail, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
Dubbed "Napa of the North", the Okanagan Valley is known for its long growing season and award-winning wines, including pinot gris, pinot noir and chardonnay. With more than 100 wineries operating in the region, there are plenty of touring options.

For cycling enthusiasts, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail offers a scenic path through the wineries in and around the town of Penticton, which is known as the centre of the Okanagan's wine industry. For a downhill ride, hop on the abandoned railway at Chute Lake and ride south to Penticton.

Along the way, stop in for tastings at some of the small-production Naramata Bench wineries, including the award-winning La Frenze and Poplar Grove wineries. Had too many samples to complete your ride? Book a stay in one of the Elephant Winery's charming suites overlooking the vineyards.

Four-Mile Creek Icewine Trail, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

The great thing about many Canadian wineries is that the fun doesn't end when the snow flies. This is certainly true of Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of Canada's best-known wine regions. The area boasts four icewine trails allowing visitors to experience rich, sweeter wines made from grapes that have been frozen on the vine.

Four Mile Creek trail is the longest of the four and lies below the Niagara Escarpment. This trail features eight wineries, including the Hillebrand Estates Winery, the first winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake to produce icewine, and Southbrook Vineyards, reportedly Canada's first certified organic and biodynamic vineyard.

The Taste Trail, Prince Edward County, Ontario

This eastern Ontario county is known for its young vineyards and culinary delights. The Taste Trail allows visitors to combine both local food and wine on a gastronomic adventure to experience the area's best restaurants, culinary boutiques and wineries. The self-guided tour features 31 locations (13 of which are wineries) marked with road signs in and around the towns of Wellington, Bloomfield and Picton.

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The trail includes Closson Chase Vineyards, a winery that is housed in a 1880s farmhouse and specializes in pinot noirs and chardonnays, and the award-winning Huff Estates Winery.

The trail also stops at the critically acclaimed restaurant Harvest, where chef Michael Potter serves up locally sourced food and wines. Those who want something a little more laid-back can stop in at Buddha Dog for a mini-sized hotdog topped with anything from cherry ketchup to brie.

The Wine Trail, Brome-Missisquoi, Quebec
About a 40-minute drive south of Montreal is all the travel time you need to leave behind the bustle of the big city for this bucolic wine region. The signed wine route stretches 120 kilometres through Brome-Missisquoi County and offers visitors a path to 17 local wineries.

Highlights of the route include the certified organic Vignoble Les Pervenches, which is the only producer of chardonnay in Quebec, and Vignoble de la Bauge, which features an exotic animal park with llamas, yaks and emus.

Keen to explore the region on two wheels? This route offers four mapped-out tours for cyclists, a bike park complete with showers and overnight camping, and a Taxi Vélo (bike taxi) service that will pick up tired cyclists and take them back to their campground.

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

When you think of great Canadian wines, Nova Scotia may not immediately come to mind. But the province's Annapolis Valley is gaining a solid reputation as one of the country's best wine-producing regions. Located along the Bay of Fundy, this fertile valley is home to orchards, farms and award-winning wineries.

Start your tour at the Domaine de Grand Pré located just outside the town of Wolfeville for a sip of the local L'Acadie Blanc. Next, head over to L'Acadie Vineyards, which specializes in sparkling wines made with the same traditional methods as those used in Champagne, France. For a perfect end to a day of wine tasting, stop off at Foxhill Cheese House in Port Williams. This working dairy farm and cheese shop offers more than 20 varieties of cheese crafted from the milk they get from their own cows.

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Five world-class Canadian wine trails you don't want to miss