This July, WineAlign announced the winners of the National Wine Awards of Canada, where 24 expert judges tasted over 1,900 wines from 255 Canadian wineries across the nation. We’re proud to announce that 6 of the top 10 Ontario wineries were from right here in the Niagara Benchlands! Our region produces truly exceptional wines, and today, we’re highlighting some of the best-loved Niagara varietals with award winners in each category.
Discover Canada’s Favourite Wines in the Niagara Benchlands
When you’re looking for outstanding Canadian wine, look no further than the Benchlands! The following Benchlands wineries took home a spot in WineAlign’s Top 10 Ontario wineries:
- Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery
- Tawse Winery
- Thirty Bench Wine Makers
- 13th Street Winery
The Niagara Region produces the finest wines in the country, and when you stay with us at Inn On The Twenty, it’s easy to sample fantastic wines from multiple wineries in the area! Join us for our Signature Jordan Wine Tour, where you’ll take an intimate tour (up to 4 people) of 4 of the area’s best wineries, including Creekside Estate Winery, The Foreign Affair Winery, Cave Spring Vineyard, and Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery. On your exclusive shuttle ride, our knowledgeable tour director will share fascinating local history and fun facts about this remarkable region of Ontario wine country.
Award-Winning Niagara Varietals
Image courtesy of Foreign Affair Winery
Cabernet franc is one of the specialties of our region due to the ease of cultivating it in Niagara’s desirable cool climate. The varietal is native to Bordeaux and has gained popularity in Canada, both on its own merits and mixed into rosé, icewine, and other sparkling varieties. Cabernet franc is known for its balanced acidity compared to other red wines, and for the refreshing herbal notes it brings to every sip.
For an award-winning pick in this category, try The Foreign Affair 2020 Cabernet Franc. Its full-bodied flavour evokes notes of tart cherries and dark chocolate, with an earthy touch of herbs de Provence.
Image courtesy of Queenston Mile Vineyard
Widely celebrated across Canada as one of the country’s finest varietals, chardonnay is a favourite of wine lovers everywhere. The chardonnay grape itself is neutral in taste, making for an incredible blank slate that winemakers use to infuse each bottle with the unique flavours of the region it’s cultivated in.
Try some of the best chardonnay from the Niagara region with an award-winning bottle from Queenston Mile Vineyard. Their 2021 Estate Chardonnay is a full-bodied, richly textured wine that reflects the warm microclimate of St. David’s Bench.
Riesling is a light, cool climate grape that’s aromatic and highly adaptable, allowing winemakers to create dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines from this versatile varietal. Riesling can also be consumed young or aged, and pairs nicely with a wide range of foods, particularly Thai or Chinese cuisines. Its versatility makes it a great choice for wine lovers and beginners alike!
For an outstanding Riesling that took home a gold medal in this year’s Wine Awards, sample the 2022 Susserve Riesling from The Foreign Affair Winery. With fresh, crisp aromas of Gala apple, white peach, and lime, you’ll be delighted by the complex flavours of orange rind and lemon curd that leave a bright, lingering finish on the palate.
Image courtesy of Hidden Bench
Requiring meticulous cultivation, Pinot Noir is a highly nuanced, delicate varietal that can deliver a remarkable depth of flavour coveted by wine lovers across the globe. Pinot Noir tends to be a light- to medium-bodied red wine with aromas that mimic raspberry, black cherry, or currants. Its nuanced flavour means that every bottle of Pinot Noir offers something a little different to your palate.
Hidden Bench’s award-winning 2020 Felseck Pinot Noir is a bold choice in this category, with rich tasting notes of dried cherry and winter spices, tempered with graphite. Its earthy aroma will remind you of red currants and white pepper.
Sample Canada’s Best Wines with Vintage Hotels
It’s easy to tour Canada’s highest-rated wineries when you stay with us! Available to all Inn On The Twenty guests, our Signature Jordan Wine Tour provides you with a private tasting at four local vineyards known for their outstanding wines. With beautiful accommodations in the heart of Niagara, you’ll have access to some of the best wines in the nation. Book with us today to enjoy the best of Ontario wine country in luxurious comfort!