The wineries in the Niagara Region grow a very large selection of grape varieties and make delicious wines. There is a common misconception that the four most commonly grown grape varieties in Niagara are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Franc, but that isn’t really the case. We are going to explore four of the most common red wine varieties found in Niagara vineyards.

Pinot Noir

This type of grape grows best in cooler climates which is ideal in Niagara, Ontario where the weather can fluctuate. These grapes create medium-bodied wines with top fruit flavours like strawberries and cherries with earthy undertones. A Pinot Noir is smooth, silky and enjoyable to drink, and is perfect as a dinner wine.

Cabernet Franc

A Cabernet Franc is made with grapes that have flavours of plums, bell peppers, and herbs. This blend of flavours means that it is often mixed with Merlots or Cabernet Sauvignons to create some popular red blends. To bring out the unique flavours of this grape variety, wines are often aged in oak barrels instead of being placed in barrels after their maturity date.

Baco Noir

This grape variety is now almost completely unique to Ontario but started out in Old World France. It is an American-French hybrid that prefers cooler climates. It is a flavourful grape that is used to create dry table wines. It creates big, earthy wines because of its flavour profile, which includes notes of leather, currants, and spice.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is one of the most famous grape varieties and well suited for Niagara vineyards because they grow in both warm and cool climate regions. They produce wines with flavour notes of currants, prunes and herbs. The grapes have a high tannin content, this means that these wines make good candidates for ageing.

There are so many different grape varieties grown in Niagara but these are some of the most common. Niagara winemakers run their wineries in a unique climate that places Niagara at the forefront of the Canadian wine industry. When you participate in a Niagara wine tour, you have the opportunity to learn more about the different grape varieties that can be found in Niagara. Contact us for more information about our autumn wine tours!