Last updated July 29, 2021, with new winery and image additions.
Twenty Valley is a region you drive through before entering Niagara on the Lake. The area has been developing really well over the past few years and is now home to a wide variety of wineries and breweries. Many of these wineries I found when looking for award-wining wines while ordering deliveries during the lockdown so it was nice to visit them in person in early fall.
We spent 2 nights and 3 days driving around Jordan and Beamsville, tasting wines, strolling through vineyards, and enjoying outdoor dining at sunset – a truly wonderful way to spend a weekend. Much like the rest of the province establishments close early but you can easily continue the tasting experience with the newly purchased wines in the comfort of a cozy AirBnB.
Note: At the time of the visit most of these wineries did not require reservations to come in and all of them had outdoor dining. That being said, I would recommend checking if anything has changed before traveling.
Here at Rosewood they make wine and honey, both of which you can purchase on-site or have home delivered. The vineyard is surrounded by a beautiful view which you can enjoy during an outdoor tasting, sitting back in a Muskoka chair. The indoor space has a shop and a few dining tables, the decor is clean and modern, a balance of farm chic, and a bit of futurism accented by beehive decor.
Favourite wines: Neptune (Riesling), Riesling AF, Night Moves (Gamay Noir), and The Looking Glass (red blend).
This is a stunning property with an on-site restaurant (reserve well in advance), a separate wine tasting area, and miles of peach orchards and vines surrounding the property. The winery has been open since 1998 and has a reputation for well-made tasteful wines set against one a stunning garden backdrop that many people chose as their wedding venue.
Favourite wines: Riesling, Rose, and Gamay.
Wine Lodge on top of the Beamsville Bench with a lovely view. They have a patio and do seated tastings which required reservations but you could get a glass of wine as a walk-in and enjoy it at a picnic table in the backyard. They also make cider but I didn’t try it during the visit.
Favourite wines: Estate Bottled Riesling
A fairly large property with indoor and outdoor dining and a tasting room. Our AirBNB was within walking distance so Redstone was perfect for dinner. The outdoor patio has lots of heating lamps, a fireplace, and a stunning view of the sunset over fields of grapes. The food was quite wonderful and our server added to the experience with her cheerful attitude. You can get a sample flight of wines or choose by the glass or bottle.
Favourite wines: Sparkling, unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact name.
Tip: Bring a blanket for outdoor dining. I’ve been traveling with a Hudson Bay Polar Fleece* throw & it serves well!
Near Redstone is the Bench Brewing Company which seems like the most popular spot in the area and may be hard to get in, but if you do, make sure to try one of their pretzels! Here you can get flights, samples, full pints, and a hearty meal. Fun fact about this building is it used to be a school so the architecture transformation is quite interesting.
This is a premium small-batch winery located a short drive from Bench Brewing. The owner of the winery, Michael Kacaba, use to work as a lawyer on Bay St. and when that was enough he took up winemaking and has been doing so since 1997. The property is quite spacious with a nice outdoor area, offering plenty of space to relax and grab a catered snack on the weekend.
Favourite wines: Reserve Riesling, it’s the only one I tried this time and it was great. I also took a bottle of Effervescence Sparkling because it sounded great :).
So this place is super cute: there is an outdoor veranda that they doubled in size this year, you can get a cheese fondue with a tasting of wine, and there is a falconry on the property. You can just pop in to hang out and grab a flight of wines or pre-book one of their fun experiences ahead of time.
Favourite wine: Sauvignon Blanc and Gamay Noir
If you need some early morning adventure Ball’s Falls Conservation Area has a lot to explore from old-timy houses to waterfalls and hikes. If you slept in and are ready for a tasty snack and a crispy glass of wine start with a lunch at 13th Street Winery.
Another very popular spot with a great lunch menu and an on-site bakery. This location does get very busy and people do lineup for the bakery but the meal is worth the wait. The property is an open field with a sculpture garden and an art gallery. Full sit-down tastings are by reservation only but you can try wine at the garden.
Favourite wines: June’s Vineyard Riesling, Reserve Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Premier Cuvée Sparkling.
This winery is located a bit out of the strip but it is a fairly short and beautiful drive. The winery barn is located near a nursery and surrounded by a vineyard. Indoor and outdoor tastings are available and they have a very healthy selection of wines. After the tasting take a little stroll to get a full view of the building and a peek into the vineyard.
Favourite wines: Riesling, Sparkling Rosé, North Wind (white blend), Boreas (red blend), and Cabernet Sauvignon (2012)
Another fairly small winery with a beautiful on-site outdoor restaurant in a tent overlooking the vines with a phenomenal sunset view. The patio restaurant, Ricky + Olivia, has a fairly extensive menu, all prepared in the outdoor wood-burning oven in front of the guests. Highly recommend ☺️. I have now dined here twice and both times it’s been a phenomenal experience. Last time the weather was very moody so we got to witness a very poetic fog.
Really cool building, partially located inside a banker-like structure. They offer guided tastings by reservation or self-indulged tastings out in the yard. The grape bushes grow up a hill away from the tasting room making this location perfect for an intimate stroll with many photo ops.
Favourite wines: Albert’s Honour Old Vines Foch, Small Lot Gamay, and Estate Grown Chardonnay
Sister (father?) winery to Redstone this winery has a wide selection of wines and spirits which you can taste on their enclosed, beautiful outdoor garden patio. They also sell some tasty jams and fresh potato chips to go with your wine tastings.
Favourite wines: Guy Lafleur Cuvee Chardonnay and Spark Riesling – Limestone Ridge
Located on the outskirts of the area, this is a unique and private space in a newly renovated cabin with a tasting room extension. The outdoor terrace has curtained seating areas that feel like cabanas, a view on a field, and a couple ponds. For a snack you can get a charcuterie which comes in a pizza box, thoroughly enjoyed that.
Favourite wines: Reserve du Domain Pinot Noir and Tradition Chardonnay
A few notes on COVID-19
All wineries require masks to be worn indoors and all staff were also masked. Hand sanitizer is provided in multiple places and only a limited number of people are allowed at the shops at a time. At Redstone, they also took our temperature.
If you go, some packing & shopping ideas
Cute clothing for all the pictures
We all have things we like but shopping, especially online, can be exhausting. Lulus* has a large selection of really nice outfits and single pieces that fit different body types and have good customer reviews. If you’re on TikTok you might also be interested in Shein* 🙂
Portable speaker for those picnics
I mention this piece of kit a lot: Solgaard* portable speaker and solar-powered charger. This has been my favourite travel soundtrack.
Learn about wine ahead of time
Preparing by learning about wine from the masters. Here is a fun course on Masterclass: James Suckling Teaches Wine Appreciation*.
Don’t feel like planning & driving yourself? Use a guide
There are plenty of different tours to take advantage of if you like the research, but I just found a few good ones on Tinggly*, have a look:
- Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Country Tasting Tour*, Cheese Pairing with a guide-driver
- Guided Niagara-on-the-Lake Bike and Wine-Tasting Tour*, with an optional Lunch
- Afternoon Wine, Beer & Charcuterie Tour*, with a driver
- Guided Vine & Dine Bicycle Wine Tour*, Niagara On The Lake with lunch