Summer’s In Season

5 Experiences In & Around Niagara Benchlands To Enjoy Now & Remember Right Through Labour Day

As the days get warmer, Niagara’s wine, craft beer, and culinary scene keeps pace, with feasts for the senses around every turn. Here are five must-try experiences on your summer trip to Niagara Benchlands.

#1: An All-Out Brunch Battle On The Shores of Lake Ontario

If you love a little friendly competition with your first meal of the day, don’t miss Niagara Grape & Wine Festival’s Brunch By The Lake at Charles Daley Park on Sunday, July 7. The all-out brunch battle pairs up Niagara’s top culinary creators with beloved local wineries to create a signature brunch dish and wine pairing. As you savour your way through the decadent dishes and premium VQA wines, you can score each pairing and cast a vote to help determine the day’s most delicious duo or simply relax and take in the stunning Lake Ontario view.

If you can’t make Brunch By The Lake but still want to enjoy Niagara’s bustling brunch scene, here are some other popular spots for a mid-day meal:

#2: A Gold-Medal Tasting Tour of Niagara’s World-Class Wines

Get to know why our lovely little part of Niagara has recently caught the hearts of the world’s wine critics! Canada as a whole had its best showing ever in the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards, and reds and whites made by wineries that call the Niagara Benchlands home had plenty to do with that. To taste the region’s award winners for yourself, stop by Flat Rock Cellars to try the 2020 Rusty Shed Chardonnay, Kacaba Vineyards and Winery to sip the 2020 Signature Series Reserve Cabernet, Hidden Bench Estate Winery to enjoy the 2021 Pinot Noir, and Thirty Bench Wine Makers to discover their three gold-medal winners!

Another excellent way to experience dozens of Niagara’s world-class wines in one stunning setting is to attend the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration’s Friday Night Flights event at Cherry Lane Farm on Friday, July 19. Summer’s coolest Chardonnay party will feature premium VQA Chardonnays, craft beer samples, and carefully curated food pairings created by some of Niagara’s most beloved chefs, including Tim MacKiddie of Smoke & Barrel Niagara, Steve and Jacquelene Del Col from Zooma Caters, Moksha Indian Bistro, and Kyle and Brianna Campbell of La Casetta.

#3: A Frosty Pint On A Sun-Drenched Patio

If your Niagara winetasting travels leave you craving something a little more thirst-quenching, you’re in luck! The friendly folks at Bench Brewing Company or Newark Brewing will be happy to pour you a pint! Both of these craft breweries boast roomy outdoor spaces where guests are encouraged to enjoy a leisurely lounge on sunny summer days! Those who prefer sipping spirits over suds won’t want to miss The Juniper – A Spectacle of Gin at Dillons Small Batch Distillers on Saturday, June 8. The celebration of all things gin will have a collection of cocktail stations, live music, food stations, lawn games, and more.

#4: A Just-Released Niagara Rosé

With so many wonderful Niagara Rosés released in the late spring, early summer is an excellent time to try these recently bottled beauties! Stop by Malivoire Wine Company, a winery that the Globe and Mail recognized as having one of the best Rosé portfolios in the country. Other best-bet wineries for enjoying a perfectly chilled glass of Rosé include Kew Vineyards, Watchful Eye, The Foreign Affair Winery, and Vieni Estates. The patio at RPM Bakehouse in Jordan Village offers another picture-perfect place for a sunny day glass of Rosé. Following your sip, stroll the unique retailers located in the stretch of stores just across the street, where you’ll also find Cave Spring Vineyard’s Winery Tasting Room.

#5: A Summer Flavour Showcase From a Top Farm-to-Table Chef

Cherries. Peaches. Peppers. Tomatoes. Every week of summer brings fresh new delights to Niagara’s farm markets and roadside stands, serving up endless inspiration to the region’s many talented chefs. Reserve a table at Pearl Morissette, The Good Earth, or Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery for a meal you’ll remember warmly on the coldest days of winter. The creative culinary team from Bolete, in St. Catharines, is also operating a summer kitchen at Westcott Vineyards and will be serving up their fabulous farm-to-table fare from the winery’s seasonal patio. Those who prefer to cook up their farm-to-table feast at home can follow Niagara Benchland’s CultivATE Taste Trail for a direct route to some of the region’s favourite farm stands, markets, and greenhouses.

Upgrade your day away to a true getaway by booking an overnight stay at a quiet countryside retreat, lakeside room with a view, or comfortable hotel in the heart of Niagara. Browse beautiful accommodation options in Niagara Benchlands.

Funding assistance provided by the Government of Ontario and the Tourism Partnership of Niagara.