Fall in Canada is truly one of the most beautiful times of the year. From coast to coast the vast regions boast a variety of dramatic landscapes and luscious vegetation that bloom with colour when our natural surrounding’s begin to transform. This is also the time of year that vineyards begin harvesting their grapes, making it the perfect opportunity to take a weekend road trip and explore Canada’s vast wine routes, while also witnessing the wine making process.
Wine tours are so fun and offer a great experience for all occasions from a ladies weekend away, to a celebration of a special life event, or just a relaxing weekend getaway ‘ any excuse to say cheers, really! You are guaranteed to fall in love with the picturesque fall landscapes and beautiful scenery while experiencing a unique opportunity to learn about the region ‘ and tasting a little vino of course.
Best part’ You are able to customize your own adventure to suit your own personal needs and interests! A few helpful hints, though. First, it is important to decide whether or not you wish to venture out on your own and come up with your own route or select one of the many well-reviewed guided tours available. Both options come highly recommended, but choosing the DIY route is the freedom to choose what you see and where you go based on your budget, knowledge and interest level of the wine. As natural explorers, we think this best suits your fancy.
Then be sure to carefully select your mode of transportation on your tour. Biking is always popular, as is selecting a designated driver, who does not mind limiting themselves to the swirl, smell, sip then spit process. Lastly – hiring a driver is a great option, leaving everyone in your party free to taste as much or little as they’d like. Leave the RV at the campsite and you’re ready to go!
From BC to Nova Scotia there are hundreds of magnificent wineries, big and small, to choose from. Here are just a few to get you started!
Boasting 929 vineyards and 248 licensed wineries, this province’s wine country is extraordinary and will leave you squeezing in as many tours and tasting’s as time will allow. Within the province itself there are multiple regions for you to explore, starting on Vancouver Island and following along to the Gulf Islands, Fraser Valley, The Similkameen Valley and of course BC’s largest grape growing region, the Okanagan Valley. Enjoy the picturesque mountain and charming lake views while indulging in BC’s most well known grape varieties, such as a rich Cabernet Sauvignon, a dry Chardonnay or a sweet Riesling.
BC’s thriving wine industry has proudly won over 1,000 awards and has been internationally acclaimed within the global wine market ‘ a milestone for Canadian winemakers.
One of the most famous wineries in Canada, Mission Hill Winery, is located in the heart of the beautiful Okanagan Valley. Here you can tour the estate, sample their fine wines, visit their underground cellars and see first hand the art of the wine making process. Two other beautiful winery estates that are must-sees when you are in this area are Summer Hill Winery and Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. You can also view the full 2016 British Columbia Winery Tour Guide here!
Known for its bright yellow canola, prairie fields and Rocky Mountains, Alberta is fairly new to the world of producing wine. You won’t find much of the traditional grape wines here, rather some of Canada’s finest fruit and honey wine produced on the many farms and ranches scattered throughout the province.
Discover the Birds & Bees Organic Winery and Meadery, located in Brosseau Alberta, a fully operating farm since 1927. This winery boasts a family friendly environment and is known for their certified-organic orchard, which grows a variation of 15 different fruits and also contains a successful honeybee operation. They currently make 9 different wines for you to try, ranging from dry to semi-sweet variances. Another great fruit and honey winery is Barr estate Winery located in Strathcona County.
Ontario is the leading grape producer in Canada and is proudly home to nearly 100 wineries. The fertile soil and moderate climate yield an ideal setting for producing grapes with bold character and excellent quality. The region lies within the ‘northern grape growing belt’ that is of similar latitude to Bordeaux, France and it has often been compared to wine growing regions in both Spain and Italy.
When mapping out your plan for your wine tour by RV the best way to start is by narrowing down the different regions within the province that you want to visit. The two most popular regions are Lake Erie North Shore and Niagara-on-the-Lake, which are home to the famous Jackson Triggs Winery and Oxley Estate Winery. Quai Du Vin Estate Winery is also a great option to explore, as it is the most established winery in the South Coast Region and it ties in many European influences into its wine making process.
Explore different events happening throughout Ontario’s wine regions and take a look at what other wineries they have to offer with this handy guide.
It has only been within the past 20 years that this province has begun to cultivate and develop it’s lush farmlands into operating wineries. The wineries here are smaller and off the beaten path, providing a more intimate experience for those exploring the province’s wine route. The charming properties and family run operations offer you a backstage pass to experience first hand what it takes in every step of the process, from the soil to your glass.
Along the wine route you will discover one of Quebec’s oldest wineries, Le Domaine Des Côtes D’ardoise. Here they specialize in a variety of sweeter wines, such as Ice Wine and Rose, along with a fruity Riesling and two reds unique to their operation. Also, discover Orpailleur Vineyard an Internationally Awarded winery located in Dunham. You can also explore your options and view the other 22 wineries that are located along the 140km Quebec wine route here.
The deep valley’s and coastal airflows that are unique to Nova Scotia, provides a microclimate that allows a distinctive high-quality grape to be produced in this province. Due to it’s vast heritage and rich traditions, wine growers have been growing grapes and perfecting the process since the 1600’s. Here you can find sparkling wines that are comparable to true French Champagne, crisp aromatic acidic whites, and full-bodied dry reds, along with their famous fruit and ice wines.
One of the most popular wineries to visit is Luckett Vineyards, located deep within the Gaspereau Valley with enchanting views overlooking the Minas Basin and Blomidon. It’s position to the Bay of Fundy gives it an advantage due to the unique tidal airflow, which provides them late and early frosts, with mild temperatures year round. You can also visit Benjamin Bridge Vineyard, a hidden gem to the region that uses certified organic growing processes ‘ just be sure to book an appointment before heading down to the vineyard.
Regardless where you end up touring, there is no question these wine route are the prefect RV getaway option, especially during the fall harvest. If you do venture out, we’d love to hear about it. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook Page, TwitterTwitter and Instagram and share your story! Happy RVing.
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