Ontario's Top 20 Wineries
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Announcing Ontario’s top 20 wineries of 2020

December 22, 2020

Following the success of our website launch earlier in the year, our small team here at VineRoutes was eager to work towards something that would help put an exclamation point at the close of our inaugural year.

Announcing a list of wineries, which we feel as a team represent Ontario’s best, holds true to our vision of independently evaluating and highlighting wine tasting experiences from all around the province. Through this innovative review, we aim to encourage an exploration of our local wine industry, whilst learning about the passionate work of often previously unheralded wine makers.

Read Also: 2020 Ontario wine snapshot: A year-end recap of visits and tastings

Dubbed as ‘Ontario’s Top 20 Wineries’ of 2020, this evaluation is paneled by our wine enthusiasts who observed key experiential attributes when finalizing their selections. Quality of wine represented the most weighted factor, with other influences consisting of:

  • customer visit experience
  • overall service
  • facility
  • portfolio variety
  • price point & QPR

It’s most important to understand that this is a list of Ontario wineries that can be visited and experienced, and so having a functioning visitor-driven operation is the key foundation here (sorry Bachelder Niagara, Cloudsley Cellars and other virtual wineries).

With our organization being a small one, it’s not possible to assume that this list can be finalized based on wineries visited within a single calendar year. That is why we determined that in order for wineries to qualify for this list, they must have been visited by any member of our team within the past three years, with 2018 being as far back as one could go. This allowed us to explore so many more options, without feeling any critical time constraints. It also meant that we could analyze multiple visits to the same winery within the established time frame and make extra note of consistent experiences and improvements.

Ontario Wines

Click the image to access our compendium of every Ontario wine review written throughout the last year, neatly indexed according to style or type.

Prioritizing these wineries in such a way is done to make casual consumers and wine enthusiasts alike, aware that it is these places that are making significant progress. Maybe that comes in the form of sustainability and wineries that represent innovative approaches, whether in the vineyards, winery or otherwise, demonstrating a sense of responsibility. Maybe it’s terroir-driven decisions that influence quality. Or perhaps it’s a dedication to a more focused and committed understanding of the customer experience (does the place and its people represent the brand well?). In many cases with our selections, these wineries are doing all three, and are reaping the reward of seeing these initiatives unfold in seamless fashion.

So join us in congratulating Ontario’s Top 20 Wineries for their exceptional performance in our tastings and experiences over the past three years. Our process revealed this diverse list, which includes locations visited not just in Niagara (Ontario’s winemaking epicentre), but also Prince Edward County and emerging regions like Norfolk County and Orangeville.

With just over 180 wineries operating throughout the province today, our picks represent the top 10 percent. We honour these places for their outstanding work.

Listed in alphabetical order, the top 20 wineries in Ontario are: