101 Reasons to Visit an Ontario Winery

101 Reasons to Get Out and Visit an Ontario Winery!

101 Reasons to Get Out and Visit an Ontario Winery!

We had a wine chat (#ONWineChat) recently entitled “101 Reasons to Visit an Ontario Winery”. The premise was to challenge the community to come up with a long list of reasons why folks should get out and visit a winery rather than buying wine from the LCBO or evne online. I would say all of the participants have had some time in wineries as nearly every reason given was something that others agreed with and retweeted!

Leading up to the chat, I made co-host Jen look like the “bad cop” for suggesting that 101 reasons might be too much for the hour long chat. I used that to my advantage to challenge the #ONWineChat community to prove her wrong. (and I’m happy to report that Jen is good natured enough to put up with my baiting her).

So did we make it? Well it was close. Once I stripped away all of the retweets and other messages that were not suggestions, this is what we were left with (I think there are still a few duplicates in the bunch). I tried to ensure that I attributed the original tweet to the right twitter handle, but if you notice a mistake let me know. (You can see the entire Nov20th chat archived here)

You’ll have to read all the way down to see if we made it!

101 Reasons

#1: Reason #1 to visit our great local wineries.@benchwineguy @VinelandEstates (@cono_sur)

#2: @cono_sur took pole position, so I’ll start with #2: A chance to meet the grape growers and winemakers in person! (@UncorkOntario)

#3: A chance to buy SO MANY wines that never make it to the LCBO!!  (@UncorkOntario)

#4: let’s start with local economic benefit (@andrewinereview)

#5: to find the answer to the meaning of life [or wine] #HitchhikersGuideToGalaxy (@paulrickett)

#6: How about great people (winemakers)? And great experiences at the wineries?  (@bogiemomof2)

#7: You can only taste the passion first hand and get the behind the scenes stories at the winery (@MarkGlover_427)

#8: To meet the people behind the wines (my favourite reason) (@whitbywino)

#9: Cellar tours! Many small wineries will show you around and offer barrel samples. (@UncorkOntario)

Tank tasting with Brian Schmidt at Vineland Estates

Tank tasting with Brian Schmidt at Vineland Estates

#10: The people and the passion 🙂 (@bogiemomof2)

#11: To expand your horizons by tasting entire portfolios. (@andrewinereview)

#12: To gain an appreciation for the work that goes into making Ontario wine (@whitbywino)

#13: Wrapped Up In The Valley @20ValleyWine (@Cellar_Sisters)

#14: A walk in the vineyard can explain so much about the terroir. Then you can taste it in the wine (@UncorkOntario)


#15: And I love talking to folks in the tasting rooms that know each wine so intimately. (@HessMacD)

#16: To get away from the city (@andrewinereview)

#17: You learn something new at every visit (@kstoaks)

#18: Many wineries hold older wines in their library and occasionally offer tastings/purchase! (@UncorkOntario)

#19: To learn exactly what goes into your favorite wine right down to what type of wood was in the barrel (@andrewinereview)

#20: To try futures and unreleased wines 🙂  (@bogiemomof2)

#21: Nothing like feeling part of the family  (@MarkGlover_427)

#22: Feel the soil, smell the earth, watch the grapes growing… awesomeness  (@whitbywino)

#23: To gain a better understanding of what wines you like, and why. So much more memorable! (@littlemissmocha)

#24: Seeing the rows & rows of vines  #LandscapeArt (@Cellar_Sisters)

#25: To get great eats from wineries that have restaurants or bakeries attached. @normhardie pizza @13thStreetWines Saskatoon pie (@andrewinereview)

#26: 101 reason to visit local wineries in #pec wassail (LaceyEstates804)

#27: Love bringing home obscure wines that I will not be able to purchase at LCBO  (@HessMacD)

#28: It’s a great reason to get a car full of friends together for a day! (@andrewinereview)

#29: Always a great day out with a bunch of like-minded friends! (@pam_luvs_wine)

#30: Talking to someone who is both knowledgeable and passionate about wine (@MarkGlover_427)

#31: Here’s the perfect example to visit local wineries. Participation & learning (@bogiemomof2)

#32: To make new discoveries – sometimes you don’t know what you love until you try it… (@whitbywino)

#33: Reason #99 Wayne Gretzky makes wine in Ontario. You might see him at the winery (@paulrickett)

#34: The restaurants that are located in many of the wineries is another great reason to visit!  (@UncorkOntario)

#35: awesome photo opportunities! [modified] (@Crazy__Corn)

Full Moon in the Vineyard at Jabulani

Full Moon in the Vineyard at Jabulani

#36: some wineries have attractions for the whole family (@WinesofCanada)

#37: Folks like John Squair! @JohnatThreeDog  (@UncorkOntario)

#38: Economic impact, i like to spend my hard earned dollars where they count and matter to me.  (@MarkGlover_427)

#39: Connecting with other like-minded folks who share a passion for all things wine! (@UncorkOntario)

#40: Chat with other wine lovers and compare thoughts on the wines you are tasting  (@kstoaks)

#41: some very hard working local winery familys needs your support (@WinesofCanada)

#42: A chance to bump into other wine friends, some of whom you only know online! (@UncorkOntario)

#43: Checking out great events! Like#wrappedup and #tastetheseason (@andrewinereview)

#44: I like having endless food pairing suggestions for each and every wine vs. a cashier.  (@MarkGlover_427)

#45: Many people don’t appreciate we are so close to three fabulous wine regions, most Canadians don’t have that (@Ontario_Wines)

#46: Some wineries will offer pairings with their wines so you know what works when you leave! (@UncorkOntario)

#47: We have made so many great friends at the wineries (@MarkGlover_427)

#48: local artist often have their work displayed at wineries (@WinesofCanada)

#49: who makes the world best Icewine? (@WinesofCanada)

#50: Big reason for me to shop direct where I want my dollars spent (@MarkGlover_427)

Where it goes

#51:  the smell of fermenting grapes (@Cellar_Sisters)

#52: the wine is better than good it’s the best (@Jilly1218)

#53: another reason is taste some wines through the whole winemaking process.  (@JohnatThreeDog)

#54: Learned most of what I know from talking to winemakers & good staff at winery as we compared wines side by side (@Ontario_Wines)

#55: There’s nothing like being invited into the cellar for barrel tastings… nothing…  (@whitbywino)

#56: Great reason to get a break from my little nephews when I go home to St. Catherines. (@HessMacD)

#57: Here’s one of my reasons for visiting Ontario wineries… The #wine, the #food ant the #view!pic.twitter.com/57IzHWu5kK (@winedotca)

#58: How about putting money into the wineries pockets instead of the LCBO’s? Much better for wineries if you buy there! (@UncorkOntario)

#59: Most wine regions are becoming foodie meccas, + craft beer, distilleries, artists – something for everyone! (@UncorkOntario)

#60: How about a specific one. Cabernet Franc (@andrewinereview)

#61: You can bring your dogs to most wineries… ow.ly/i/3MWjJ ow.ly/i/3MWkN (@whitbywino)

#62: @UncorkOntario @whitbywino @Ontario_Wines how about getting your hands dirty pic.twitter.com/hdUfM69U8N (@JohnatThreeDog)

#63: If you visit one winery, they will tell you about 2 others you should visit, and you might not have heard about them otherwise! (@UncorkOntario)

#64: I find the vineyards a very beautiful place to see and be (@WinesofCanada)

#65: In Ontario the ONLY way to buy wine outside of the #KGBO is to visit wineries (or order online) BC has great VQA stores! (@Ontario_Wines)

#66: To buy wine for family who live out of province. (@andrewinereview)

#67: A lot of wineries products not avail at LCBO (@haddadfrank)

#68: One of the best ways to find out that ON can make killer reds! (@UncorkOntario)

#69: There is about 3500 different wine labels to try in ON, with more than 3000 being winery-only  (@MarkGlover_427)

#70:  discover the fine balance between science & art  (@Cellar_Sisters)

Equipment Geek Out

Equipment Geek Out

#71 Reason #12 Send a friend in BC an #ONwine for Xmas – it’s not only legal (ahem #ONPoli) but there’s v. little avail. Here (@paulrickett)

#72: To bring back the story with your wine! (@UncorkOntario)

#73: best reason I know is because it tastes so damn good (@Jilly1218)

#74: Find an ON wine you love, dammit! People tell me they don’t like ON wines but they’ve never ventured outside LCBO (@UncorkOntario)

#75: Giving my $ directly to the winery is one of my biggest motivations for visiting. Gov’t gets enough  (@Ontario_Wines)

#76: Riesling! (@UncorkOntario)

#77: hello late to the game-you can see a real spittoon & the odd floaty things contained with. (@RumJOro)

#78: There is always something new to do on wine country (@MarkGlover_427)

#79: If you have dreams of growing grapes or making wine, what better way to find out if it’s really your calling? (@whitbywino)

#80: Another reason… a tandem bike ride for two thru NOTL. #wine and #exercise  (@winedotca)

#81: To show people what farming in ontario is all about, family, friends and flavour (@Jilly1218)

Bud break!

Bud break!

#82: Cool wine accessories – like barrel head cheese platters with the winery logo burned into it! (@UncorkOntario)

#83: Passion is addictive…  (@MarkGlover_427)

#84: Tastings paired with the proper stemware (@RumJOro)

#85: Touring a winery is a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy nature. (with the awesome bonus of wine) (@kstoaks)

#86: We could start listing all the great wine folks at the wineries – the families, the spouses, the winemakers. Each is a reason! (@UncorkOntario)

#87: If it hasn’t been said already, my reason is it’s where you find the best Rieslings in Canada! (@Holyantle)

#88: I really, really love when wineries, breweries, and the like have a resident canine. (@littlemissmocha)

#89: 2nd biggest reason for me to visit is the wines that are only avail at winery. Almost always the better stuff too! (@Ontario_Wines)

#90:  to enjoy a tasting inside an oak barrique (@RumJOro)

#91: I also like when local restaurants pair up with local wineries to create a local wine list too (@bogiemomof2)

#92: my favorite reason? The views. As a photographer, the properties are just gorgeous. (@the_pudgy_life)

#93: If you go at right time, you may get to see punchdowns, pressing, and more!  (@UncorkOntario)

#94: Limited and rare releases!!  (@whitbywino)

#95: You might meet a falconer and see the falcons in action! (@UncorkOntario)

#96: Learning not to jump when the bird bangers go off 10 ft from your ears. 🙂  (@UncorkOntario)

#97: Winemakers dinners!! (@whitbywino)

#98: Learn about organic and/or biodynamics and what it means for your wine (@UncorkOntario)

#99: to experience firsthand the differences in the grain of french oak and american oak (@RumJOro)

#100: The sheep… (@whitbywino)

#101: Buying at a winery is the best way to deprive the KGBO of unfair liquor taxes. (@WineZone)

#102: From my better half: “Connection with where your wine comes from and what it takes to make it – appreciation!” (@UncorkOntario)

#103: let us not forget the beekeeper and their mead (@WinesofCanada)

#104: @WineZone Tasting from thieves, not buying from them (@mgodello)

#105: Best reason to visit off-season? Winemakers can spend quality time with you.  (@UncorkOntario)

#106: to see a gravity-flow winery in action & not just read about it! (@RumJOro)

#107:  to again and again pour #awesomeCanadianwinesblind and amaze people.. always fun when we pull off the covers! Cheers He! (@Champagnewines)

#108: and to see what goes into the harvest. (@bogiemomof2)

#109: My reason for visiting wineries is to enjoy the variety of different takes on the same grapes. (@VinelandEstates)

#110: ooh lets not forget the awesome harvest parties! (@the_pudgy_life)

#111 & #112: Reasons 1-100= wineries can invest rather than give away 100% to liquor boards. Reason 101= wineries are awesome (@SandraOldfield)

#113: You’ll find most ON wineries are not big corporate machines, but family-run businesses, each with a great story!  (@UncorkOntario)

#114: Driving through wine country is beautiful year round and as a personal bonus it makes my long commute that much better. (@kstoaks)

#115: to get a bunch of grape vine prunings- great fruit wood for smoking (@RumJOro)

#116: Tasting a wine before it is bottled and having the winery save you some unfiltered examples for comparison purposes (@UncorkOntario)

#117: Meet some of the characters who work in the wineries. I’ve never laughed so hard.  (@UncorkOntario)

#118: to sign up for a mailing list -so you know what is being released (@RumJOro)

#119: @SandraOldfield You stole my closer!! Because wineries are so totally awesome!! (@whitbywino)

#120: Each time I visit a winery I learn a little more and realize I have lots more to learn.  Thanks all. Some great reasons! (@HessMacD)

#121: The last reason I’ll give? The beauty of the region. Goodnight and #cheers (@Holyantle)

So it was impossible to write a single tweet as a summary, but as you can see, so many of them focused around the people working in/for/on the wineries . People. Passion. Place. Indeed a real sense of community came out. And it was a  pretty amazing community that generated the list for us! Thanks to all who joined in and helped create the list.

If you have other ideas, feel free to add them in the comments section!





This entry was posted in Business, Craft, Experience, Food, Food Pairing, ONWineChat, Tasting, Tasting Event, Terroir, wine-making, Winery and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 101 Reasons to Visit an Ontario Winery

  1. David Brodati says:

    Great list. A theme emerging from many of the tweets is personally experiencing the elements of terroir. Seven million people in Southern Ontario live within a 2 hour drive of world class wineries. We have become so detached from how our food and drink is created, but in Southern Ontario (and the Okanagan), we can actually experience the land, air, vistas, smells, sense of place, the terroir of where the first class wine we enjoy are produced. Salute!

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