When you think of autumn, what comes to mind? Do you have visions of heading back to school, cooler nights, and packing up the RV for the season? Not so fast! Don’t pack the RV just yet. Autumn is one of the best times to go on an RV adventure. Autumn also happens to be a great time to visit some wineries and do some tastings. Whether you’re a wine lover, wine tolerator, or wine-curious, there are some beautiful wineries right here in Ontario that you can visit this fall. Where will your RV take you this autumn?
Due to new COVID-related restrictions, such as capacity limits on indoor dining, winery tours, tastings, and dining with pairings are all booking fast for autumn 2021. As well, now that Ontario is safely reopening, most people are ready to go RVing and grab a great glass of wine after a long year of lockdown. Luckily Hiemstra can help you get your RV road-ready, and tell you about five autumn RV pit stops you’ll love if you love wine!
Ontario: The Napa Valley of the North
Located in California, Napa Valley is synonymous with wine. But did you know that Ontario also has a very robust and productive wine industry? In fact, many of Canada’s most quality wines are produced right here in Ontario! Many Ontario wines are VQA (Vintner’s Quality Alliance)-certified. That means that Ontario-produced wines with VQA labels meet stringent quality and standard requirements.
Learn More about VQA requirements in Ontario
We’re fortunate to have several great wineries right at our doorstep here in Ontario. Here are the five wineries you won’t want to miss this autumn!
Peller Estates – Niagara on the Lake
It doesn’t get finer than Peller Estates in Niagara on the Lake. If you’re seeking elegance, stunning scenery, and a truly classy experience, consider a pit stop at Peller Estates.
The Winery: At Peller, you won’t embark on an average tour. They offer numerous experiences so that you can choose the one that excites you most. They’ll take you right out in the vines, serve you ice wine in an igloo lounge, or give you exclusive access to their wine cellar – or experience it all. It’s up to you.
The Food: When you visit Peller, you can choose to dine in the Winery Restaurant or the Barrel House Grill. The Winery Restaurant features farm-to-table gourmet cuisine with impeccable wine pairings. If you’re feeling more casual, the Barrel Grill offers all of the same great wines, with comfort-food favourites such as lobster poutine and juicy burgers.
Where to Stay: Niagara on the Lake is known more for its quaint hotels and bed and breakfasts than for RV parks; however, there is plenty of camping available in the surrounding communities, including Queenston, ON and of course, Niagara Falls. Make a Peller estates a pit stop on your journey to see the falls!
Learn More about Peller Estates
Dark Horse Estate – Grand Bend
Sun, surf, sand… and wine? You can have it all when you visit Dark Horse Estate in Grand Bend, Ontario.
The Wine: Take a tour through the winery and vineyard, or simply enjoy a flight of wine selected by the in-house sommelier. Want to enjoy a tasting from the comfort of your coach? Dark Horse Estate offers home tasting kits!
The Food: Dark Horse Estates serves charcuterie and wood-oven pizza on their patio using locally sourced cheese and other ingredients. If your sweet tooth needs satisfying, you can also order a famous butter tart, made locally and fresh daily.
Where to Stay: Grand Bend is known as cottage country and a beach town, and as such, it’s surrounded by countless RV parks and campsites. Once you’re settled in, make a pit stop at Dark Horse Estates – the wine lover in you won’t be disappointed.
Learn More about Dark Horse Estate
Quai du Vin Estate Winery – St. Thomas
Have you ever wished you lived close to an amazing local winery? If you’re from London, St. Thomas, or the surrounding areas, good news – you do.
The Wine: You don’t have to be in the Niagara or Great Lakes regions to find an amazing and unique winery experience! Visit Elgin County’s oldest winery, Quai du Vin for a traditional winery experience. The family-owned winery boasts 100% Ontario-grown grapes, and direct-to-door marketing and distribution. It doesn’t much more local than that!
The Food: Quai du Vin’s patio serves exclusive James Meadows charcuteries, which feature an assortment of local meat, cheese, olives, crackers, and veggies.
Where to Stay: St. Thomas is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from some of the best RV parks off of Lake Erie. Take your pick of ports (no wine pun intended!): Port Stanley, Port Bruce, or Port Burwell. All have excellent RV parks and campgrounds available and are close enough for you to plan a pit stop at Quai du Vin.
Learn More about Quai du Vin Estate Winery
Creekside Estate Winery – Jordan Station
If you’re looking for a “decidedly nonconformist” wine tasting experience, Creekside Estate Winery is the winery you’re looking for. As a start, they’re located in Jordan Station (Jordan), Ontario. Do you know where that is? Neither do we.*
*We do know where it is. It’s located between Beamsville and St. Catharines, Ontario.
The Wine: To date, Creekside wines have been awarded over fifty medals, so you know you’ll be drinking the best. You’ll be met by the team of passionate so-called “cork-dorks” and if you want to bring your dog, go ahead. Creekside welcomes your pooch.
The Food: For here or to go? Creekside has both. They offer take-out charcuterie, and they also have the Creekside kitchen, open weekends and some weekdays. You’ll find elevated fares such as burgers, pulled meat sandwiches, and delicious sides.
Where to Stay: Jordan Station is close to many excellent RV parks in the surrounding areas including Vineland, Beamsville, Fenwick, and even St. Catharines. Creekside Estate Winery is a unique pit stop you will not regret making while you either pass through on your way to the Niagara region or decide to stay awhile.
Learn More about Creekside Estate Winery
Lundy Manor Wine Cellar – Niagara Falls
We couldn’t possibly list autumn RV pit stops without talking about a great winery in Niagara Falls. Lundy Manor Wine Cellar is located on world-famous Lundy Lane.
The Wine: Lundy Manor is simply breathtaking. Nestled on 60 acres of land, the winery is a converted mansion, and no extravagance has been spared in the restoration of this gem. Lundy Manor produces VQA wines and offers tasting and lounge experiences.
The Food: In the summer months, enjoy a charcuterie on the patio or the stunning and scenic lawn with a picnic blanket.
Where to Stay: Niagara Falls is known for hotels and casinos (and wine!) but there are also numerous RV parks and campsites in and around Niagara Falls, making a pit stop at Lundy Manor Wine Cellar convenient and necessary for any wine lover.
Learn More about Lundy Manor Wine Cellar
No matter where you go this autumn if you’re planning a pit stop at a winery (or two, or three!) don’t wait. Many of the wineries listed and most others do require reservations for tastings, dining, and tours.
Ready to get on the road and visit some wineries this autumn? Let Hiemstra help you get your RV ready to take you where you want to go. We offer a full-service menu, and we guarantee all of our work. Hiemstra is also a Jayco RV and RV parts dealer. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll help you order it from our online catalogue. Contact us today.