As harvest season kicks off, Niagara is the place to be for all kinds of seasonal celebrations. St. Catharines, the hub city for Canada’s oldest and largest wine festival, makes an ideal getaway destination for those wanting to celebrate the grape harvest like a local! In addition to all of September’s harvest happenings at the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival’s Montebello Park Wine and Culinary Village, area wineries join in on the fun, serving up delicious fall food and wine pairings and seminars, farm-to-table markets and meals, music, art, and other interesting experiences, right through October!
This Is How We Play At … Henry of Pelham Family Estate
Tucked just below the Escarpment on the Short Hills Bench, Henry of Pelham offers a picture-perfect landscape that’s ideal for soaking up Niagara’s colourful fall vibe. Grab one of Chef Erik Peacock’s gourmet snack boxes or incredible entrees from the winery’s new Short Hills Kitchen Restaurant to enjoy with a glass of wine on the patio. If you’re visiting during the Grape and Wine Festival’s September Discovery Pass Touring Weekends, consider purchasing a touring pass in advance to also enjoy the winery’s featured pairing, which is overnight brisket and a side of mac and cheese paired with the iconic Old Vines Baco Noir. Saturday, October 14th, is another excellent day to make a Henry of Pelham pilgrimage, as the winery will welcome fall’s arrival with a Cozy Fall Pop, complete with on-site vendors, live music, and plenty of award-winning wines.
This Is How We Play At … 13th Street Winery
Break out your cozy fall sweaters and scarves and hit 13th Street’s outdoor Vineyard Kitchen and Bistro for incredible wine and food paired with live music on Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons through October 14th. If your travels take you to 13th Street during the Grape and Wine Festival’s September Discovery Pass Touring Weekends, join the lucky pass holders who will also be savouring a BLT Bowl made with local heirloom tomatoes and double-smoked bacon paired with the winery’s award-winning 2021 Gamay. While you’re at the winery, be sure to stroll through the outdoor sculpture garden, browse the 6,000-square foot art gallery’s fall exhibits showcasing Canadian artists, including Cynthia Chapman, Kimberly Danielson, Geoff Farnsworth, and Kyle Clements, and pick up some butter tarts from the bakery for a sweet ride home! Cheese lovers will want to plan their trip to coincide with one of 13th Street’s six fall Wine and Cheese Pairing Seminars.
This Is How We Play At … Hernder Estate Wines
Hernder Estate continues to make community connection a priority as it rises from the ashes of a devasting fire. While things may look a little different as the winery rebuilds, it’s still the place to be for fresh-from-the-farm flavours paired with excellent Niagara wine. Pack up the kids and the pets and swing by on Wednesdays after 3 p.m. through the end of October for Hernder’s Farmers Market and Supper Market. In addition to an assortment of local vendors and plenty of food truck fare, there is live entertainment, wine, beer, and incredible gelato! Get a head start on holiday shopping at Hernder’s outdoor fall craft show on September 30th and October 1st. This annual fall tradition celebrates its 27th year this fall!
This Is How We Play At … Rockway Vineyards
If you’re having trouble deciding between a fall afternoon of golf or a few hours of wine tasting, Rockway Vineyards offers the perfect compromise! In addition to crafting award-winning wines, Rockway is home to one of Niagara’s most scenic 18-hole golf courses. The winery’s outstanding Windows On Rockway Restaurant offers a unique wine country dining experience. When fall temperatures dip, Rockway’s Fireside Experience is an excellent way to chase away any chill. Groups of up to six can lounge around a crackling fire pit and order wine by the glass or bottle, as well as savoury snacks like a Fireside BBQ Game Board and fresh-from-the-oven pretzels. For a fun, hands-on experience, register for the winery’s Express Yourself Art Series session on October 15th. Participants will receive all the materials and guidance to create their own clay wine leaf.