We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

never been to a winery

new jersey
Level Contributor
22 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
never been to a winery

we are going to notl in a couple of days- never experienced a winery-any recommendations for first timers?

Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
452 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: never been to a winery

We live in the Finger Lakes area and go wine tasting all the time, so I hope I can give you some good advice. Most important is to realax and have a good time. I used to be nervous when we first started visiting wineries. But almost everyone I've met working at a winery (in US and Canada) has been so nice. Also important - don't be afraid to ask questions. The people generally enjoy talking about the wine, grapes, wine making process, etc. And tell them what you like - dry or sweet. They will be able to help you much better.

We just returned from NOTL last weekend and we enjoyed the smaller wineries - Caroline Cellars, Mary Nissan, Coyote Run. We also enjoyed Peller and Joseph Estates. In the town of NOTL there are two great wine shops where you can taste wine from several wineries in one stop. We particularly enjoyed the shop on King Street.

London, Canada
Level Contributor
3,759 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: never been to a winery

Hi phillygal,

For first timers, have to agree that the smaller wineries are less intimidating and the staff generally have more time to give you, not being rushed off their feet by bus tours and the like.

If it's not busy we did like Jackson Triggs though, and found some good value wines there. Don't be afraid to give them an idea of budget or to say "we're not wine connoisseurs, but we'd like to learn more." Like nettie, we've found people very helpful and they really want you to like wine, just not so you'll buy from them.

Besides others mentioned, Pillitteri is very good and if you are in the Twenty Valley area, Vineland Estates was a worthwhile stop. Knowledgeable and friendly staff, nice shop, and restaurant as well.

See ~wineriesofniagaraonthelake~ 20valley.ca~

Have fun!

Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
7,553 posts
83 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: never been to a winery

I spent a week visiting wineries on the Niagara this past August and it was wonderful. Not all are open to the public, but some may be in the middle of their harvest season, which is a treat. Just drive along the highway through Niagara and look for the "open" signs and go in. I particularly liked the Peller Vineyards, for both the wine and the food in the exquisite restaurant.

Central Scotland
Level Contributor
2 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: never been to a winery

Hi there,

I know this is too late for you but I was wondering the same thing before I went to NOTL last month.

It is a little intimidating - you have to be a bit brave. The first one we visited was Inniskillen and it was probably the best of the 4 we went to. Managed to get in at a really quiet time.

There's like a bar with prices up and we just went up and asked if he could advise what we should taste. They only have a few out that they are advertising for tasting though if you ask for something different they'll usually dig something else out (or so we found). I felt like a bit of an idiot but asked our server (who was lovely) if there was any particular way we should be tasting it. Didn't want to be really pretentious but wanted to do things properly.

I think it's basically about $1-3 for a taste - which is quite a lot of wine. Iniskillen is also famous for ice wine so they have a separate bar for this - it is a bit more expensive but again the server was lovely.

Didn't enjoy Peller - looked like a grand, empty castle and the woman serving couldn't care less - basically poured our wine and wandered off, barely cracked a smile at all.

Jackson Triggs were lovely too - some of their samples were free though not as many wines on offer. Lastly went to winery right next to JT - had some cool name, can't remember it. Very different type of place - quite austere but impossibly trendy, beautiful girls behind the counter and all that. Still, they were pleasant and the wine was nice, though quite pricey.

All things considered, I had a great time and it wasn't as intimidating as I thought. I think they get so many tourists trooping through that they're usually quite helpful if you express some kind of interest in their wine.

St. Catharines...
Level Contributor
967 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: never been to a winery

I sure wish I could help more, but I can't other than suggesting that perhaps the hotel that you booked at may have a wine tour that can be done through the tour desk.. I know a lot of hotels in the area offer that. :>

Cheboygan County...
Level Contributor
133 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: never been to a winery

Do all the wineries charge for tastings?

Do any of them have Dry/Red bottles for sale in the 10.00 range?

Thanks

P&Q

London, Canada
Level Contributor
3,759 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: never been to a winery

Hi P&Q,

If you have a look at the website for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, or any of the wineries themselves, you should see some wines available in that price range.

Of course those particular ones may not be offered for tastings, so you would have to ask for guidance or read the descriptions available to determine whether you might like it or not.

One relatively inexpensive red we like is Jackson Triggs Meritage at about $12/bottle. Pretty good value with a full body taste. Their winery can be busy with tours, but the staff was friendly and helpful.

Enjoy!

http://www.jacksontriggswinery.com

lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/ProductResultsController

Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
917 posts
187 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: never been to a winery

For a big, established winery I'd suggest Hillebrand Estates. www.hillebrand.com/hillebrand/default.htm

For a newer smaller Coyotes Run

http://www.coyotesrunwinery.com/

If you haven't got accomodations nailed down yet the Riverbend Inn is the best new hotel in NOTL in a very long time and is locally owned/run.

London, Canada
Level Contributor
3,759 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: never been to a winery

We also love the Riverbend Inn and have stayed there twice. It's close to Niagara on the Lake, but still has a country "manor" atmosphere with being on the Niagara Parkway. Check out: riverbendinn.ca

Can also vouch for Hillebrand Winery and the restaurant is wonderful for lunch after a wine tasting. Chateau des Charmes does a very good tour as well. As far as charging for tastings, often it's in the range of $5 for 3 tastings, but at some of the smaller wineries there may be no charge if you're buying. They are all different.

Cheboygan County...
Level Contributor
133 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: never been to a winery

Thanks Guys:)

I will check out the websites!

P&Q