Which wineries are worth visiting at NOTL?
I am trying to plan a trip to NOTL, ideally a two day trip. I have no idea which wineries are worth visiting though! I really want to see Cave Spring (because I love their wines) but other than that I have no ideas, really. Also, if there are any recommendations for restaurants near the cellars, that would be great!
I don't remember how I found out about them but I really liked what I was served at The Organized Crime, a brand new winery with good wines and fair prices. It's pretty close to Thirty Bench that makes good whites. Stratus is a must despite the prices, the red is simply amazing so is the icewine. Coyote's Run is more than decent, the pinot is quite good. I like Flat Rock Cellars because the place looks amazing and they're from out of left field a little. Fielding is also a good option and very close to Thiry Bench. Their whites are good. I second Cave Springs, their rieslings are it. Vineland is a no -brainer.
Vineland Estates is excellent. The food is some of the best in the region. The grounds are beautiful. And the staff in the shop are extremely helpful and friendly.
Hillebrand also has gorgeous facilities. Get yourself in the upstairs tasting room if your pockets are deep enough.
I'll throw in a vote for a little guy -- I really enjoyed visiting Konzelmann. Super friendly, unpretentious service/flights, which was such a nice experience since the BF was not a wine-person (and I am certainly no expert myself). I am itching to go back to buy more of their Baco Noir, and their Peach wine is fun and summery (esp. mixed with a dry sparkling).
I second Marynissen.
In fact, most of the suggestions are solid.
Malivoire is definitely one of my favourites- I've been for a tour and a food pairing session with a chef. also, I believe they're all organic.
Henry of pelham is a great place to have a meal too- you could have lunch en route to or from NOTL
Since you are going to Beamsville (Cave Spring) you should check out Daniel Lenko (very unassuming), and 13th Street (on 13th Street). These are smaller wineries and the secret of Beamsville is starting to get out. I am not such a fan of Cave Spring except for the off-dry Riesling, but enjoy anyways! Rumour has it that Stevel Spielberg buys Cave Spring's rieslings but I don't know if he likes the dry or off-dry.
Malivoire is good, Mountain Road better. On the way back to Niagara you can check out Stratus, Strewn, Hillebrand, Peller etc. but you will start to notice that things are getting a little "corporate". Try not to miss Marynissen in NOTL. He is one of the first in the area and I love his hearty reds. As you progress from Beamsville to NOTL, I think that you will begin to notice that Beamsville is where it's at! Personally after going for a number of years now, I rarely buy NOTL wines, but I love Beamsville's wines.
Stay with the whites and the lighter reds, Gamays, Pinots and Cab. Francs. I find that NOTL does these wines best. I am generally not a fan of any NOTL's heavier reds.
When we went to Stratus last year, we called ahead and requested a tour. (it's a LEED building, so pretty interesting). Wines are great, but pretty expensive.
Also Coyote's Run is a bit out of the way (we were biking), but the wine was amazing and the staff were really friendly.