Featherstone Estate Winery

I’ve been visiting the Niagara region for as long as I can remember, and it’s still one of my favourite local destinations. There’s just so much to explore: from the historic charm of Niagara-on-the-Lake to the kitschy attractions of Niagara Falls to the natural beauty of the Niagara Escarpment, there’s truly something for everyone. Of course, I’d be remiss not to mention wine, which drives thousands of tourists to Niagara each year. The region is home to over one hundred wineries, each with their own unique local flavour.

When you mention Niagara wine country, people often think of the legendary wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake, many of which have been around for several decades: Konzelmann, Peller, and Chateau Des Charmes are some of the most iconic. But if you head a little further west to the areas of Vineland, Jordan, Lincoln and Beamsville, you’ll find a bumper crop of wineries that not only produce fabulous wines, but are a little less crowded than their Niagara-on-the-Lake counterparts (at least, until word gets out!)

Earlier this summer, we visited a gorgeous winery in Vineland called Featherstone Estate Winery, which I’d been wanting to try for a while. Featherstone was founded by owners David Johnson and Louise Engel in 1999. Famous for their Riesling, they won Winemaker of the Year at the 2019 Ontario Wine Awards. They are proud to practice eco-friendly farming, and have been insecticide-free since 1999.

Featherstone offers tastings and light bites on their beautiful ‘Farmhouse Veranda’ – a charming wraparound porch overlooking their expansive vineyards, furnished with antique wooden tables and chairs. The veranda is dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your pooch along (as long as they’re leashed and well-behaved, of course.)

Tastings are $15 for a flight of three 2-oz pours of your choice. You can also order wine or wine cocktails by the glass. We opted for a tasting and sampled three of their most popular wines: their award-winning 2020 Black Sheep Riesling, their 2021 Rosé, and their 2019 Canadian Oak Chardonnay. I have to admit that I’m not normally a fan of Rieslings (I find them too sweet) but the Black Sheep was so well-balanced; I can definitely see why it was an award-winner! I also enjoyed the rosé – which was fruity yet dry, my favourite combination – and the Chardonnay, which was rich and buttery with hints of citrus.

We stopped here before joining some friends for dinner, so we didn’t order anything to eat, but the veranda menu looked absolutely delicious. I had to laugh at the description of the fondue.

Inside is their wine shop, where you can pick up some bottles to take home. They have the cutest little kitchen setup inside, with wood cabinetry and retro 50s-style appliances. I’ve always wanted a retro fridge just like this one!

We had a great time tasting wines at Featherstone, and look forward to returning to try the “so delicious you’ll want to yodel” fondue.

Do you have a favourite winery in the Niagara region? If so, please send me an email or leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your recommendations!

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