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Seven best wineries you need to try in Canada

We’re uncorking seven of the best wineries and wines to try in Canada! Discover charming chardonnays, glorious gamays, righteous rosés—and more—from Atlantic Canada to the Okanagan Valley.
By Kira Taylor

Craving a wine country getaway? You don’t have to venture too far to get your vino fix. Truth is, just about all of Canada is wine country! From sea to sea, you’ll find captivating cabernet sauvignons, marvelous merlots, sophisticated chardonnays…andwellyou get the idea.  

To get you straight to the good stuff, we have swirled, sniffed and sipped our way to bring you the seven best wineries in Canada. Now, let’s get started in Atlantic Canada and work our way west!   

The birthplace of bubbly in Nova Scotia  

L’Acadie Vineyards – (Gaspereau, NS)  

L'acadie Vineyards

This family-owned and operated winery lays claim to being the first to create sparkling wine from grapes grown in Nova Scotian soil. And goodnesswhat fresh and flavourful bubbly it is! Everything is created using traditional and certified organic farming methods, while the rocky sea-bed soil helps lend their grapes a truly unique and complex flavour.  

CIRA staff pick: 2022 La Vie en Rose – The overall flavour profile of this sparkling rosé screams “nice weather by the water.” It’s fruity and fresh, with notes of lime, strawberry and cherry flavours, and a long-lasting, creamy finish.  

The gold standard of Quebec winemaking   

Vignoble l’Orpailleur – (Dunham, QC)  

In the heart of Quebec’s Eastern Townships is L’Orpailleuror, the Gold Panner en Anglais. Take a few sips, and you’ll find the name’s more than fitting! L’Orpailleur is widely regarded as one of Quebec’s foremost winemaking pioneers, with 40-plus years’ experience crafting their delicate and complex wines in one of Canada’s harshest winter climates.  

CIRA staff pick: L’Orpailleur Blanc 2022 – For the best example of what makes L’Orpailleur’s special, try their signature white wine. It features aromas of pear, green apple and boxwood. Pair it with soft cheeses and seafood for a truly dreamy combo.  

Kind of a big deal  

Big Head Wines – (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON)  

Big Head Wines

This is what you’d call a true “wine lover’s wine.” Sure, it might not be the most mainstream place in Niagara-on-the-Lake, but anyone who’s stopped by and tried Big Head’s wines leaves a believer. Their signature? Bold, uncompromising flavours and big aromatics that make for an incredibly rich experience.  

CIRA staff pick: Big Red #8 – Of all their amazing small-batch artisanal wines, we find ourselves coming back to this one! Big Red #8 brings together Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes with red berry flavours and a hint of sweet spices for a dry, easy-drinking wine.   

Variety is the spice of…wine?  

180 Estate Winery – (Jordan Station, ON)  

180 Estate Winery

A short jaunt away from Niagara-on-the-Lake is Jordan Station, where we find 180 Estate. This boutique winery (and bistro) may be small in footprint, but they’re big on heart and ambition. 180 Estate handcrafts some of the region’s most unique wines by squeezing all the quality (and grape varieties) they can out of their 10-acre vineyard.  

CIRA staff pick: 2019 Bourbon Red – Full bodied, dry and smooth, this wine is finished off in bourbon barrels. Look for notes of cherry and vanilla, with a nice, warm hit of bourbon on the finish. Oh, and it pairs beautifully with roasts and steaks! Giddy up.  

Going up the County   

Hillier Creek Estates Winery – (Hillier, ON)  

Hillier Creek Estates Winery

Take a trip up to Ontario’s “other” major country, Prince Edward County, or just “the County,” and be sure to check out Hillier Creek Estates. This charming farm winery has racked up dozens of awards both at home and abroad for their feel-good, unpretentious wines. Plus—if you go there in person, the serene, rural scenery comes free-of-charge! 

CIRA staff pick: Gamay Noir 2022 – We’d describe this as a “friendly wine,” one that pairs with pretty much anythingespecially pastas and most meats! You’ll love its off-dry palette, with notes of raspberries, plums and a little hit of vanilla.

Your west coast wine destination  

Painted Rock Estate Winery – (Penticton, BC)  

 Painted Rock Estate Winery

From their very first vintage, Painted Rock has made it their mission to put the Okanagan Valley on the map as a premier destination for incredible wines. And, by golly, they’ve just about done it, with a commitment to growing the absolute highest quality grapes. Plus, all their wines are bottled without filtering for the fullest flavour expression.  

CIRA staff pick: 2021 Syrah – One of their most-loved wines has won our hearts and minds, too. Check out the 2021 Syrah and enjoy its velvety smooth medley of dark fruit flavours (blackberry, plum and dark cherry), with a subtle hint of pepper and spice.  

Dig this hidden gem of the Okanagen   

Covert Farms – (Oliver, BC)  

 Covert Farms

Covert Farms’ commitment to regenerative agricultural practices is no state secret. In fact, it’s one of the things they’re loudest and proudest about. Every drop of their tasty, award-winning wines is made from certified-organic grapes, and crafted with an eye toward bringing out the purest, most expressive fruit flavours.  

CIRA staff pick: 2022 Chardonnay – Speaking of powerful fruit flavours, this chardonnay features notes of buttered peach, apple, pear, tropical fruits and lemon zest. Best enjoyed in the shade on a lazy summer afternoon!  

We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick, cross-Canadian .CA wine tour! Let us know what your favourites ended up being and we’ll be sure to take copious notes anduhsamples for “research purposes.” Yes, research. That’s what we’re going with.  

Have a happy Canadian wine season!  

About the author
Kira Taylor

Kira is the Marketing & Channel Specialist at CIRA. She focuses on content, digital marketing and channel strategies to help Canadian business owners make the right domain choice for their business website so they can find success online.