While many people think about the larger vineyards of the Napa Valley right away, as a side effect of putting together my photography book celebrating Western Canada, I’ve also discovered some wonderful local Canadian wineries much closer to home.
Sometimes people don’t even realize that there are wineries right around the corner from their own homes. If you live in Florida, did you know that you have 10 wineries spread out all over the state? New Yorkers looking to visit a winery can find 53 of them in the Seneca Lake area alone. There are even wineries in places such as Ohio, Colorado and Hawaii. Even the Calgary area in Alberta, Canada has a few good wineries. A quick search online for the winery closest to you is the first step in planning your perfect day trip or weekend away to a fantastic relaxing and fun winery trip!
For those who have never been to a winery, it is an experience unlike any you have ever had before. Walking on the grounds and seeing the rows of grapes on their vines is a truly picturesque experience. Most wineries will offer a tour upon your arrival that could involve anything from seeing the wine production process to viewing the barrels where the wine is stored before transportation or for maturation (if it’s a red wine). All wineries will provide some form of (complimentary) wine tasting of their more popular wines. I personally skip the more touristy wineries that charge a fee for tastings, especially since I almost always end up buying at least a bottle or two – usually much more to add to my collection. Once you’ve finished with your wine tasting and are hopefully still standing on your two feet, then you can wander round the shop at the winery to maybe pick up a bottle or two of a wine that you enjoyed during the tasting.
So support your local community and instead of only going to a winery when on vacation, see what’s closer to home. You might be surprised at the quality of wine that can be found on your own doorstep!