As the summer season continues to get closer it’s a great time to start planning some day-time adventures and explore what the Niagara region has to offer. Although many of us may already have our favourite “spots” when it comes to stopping at places like roadside fruit stands or wineries, there are many alternatives that you should consider if you want to expand your horizons.

 

When looking at the Niagara region as a whole, the most recent statistics have quoted the total area of farms to be 232,817 acres, with the average farm size being 115 acres. With July, August, and September being the peak season for most fruits and vegetables, there’s many places with produce and other goodies that will get you excited about the summer months ahead. This blog series is going to take a look at some of the prominent farms and wineries in the region along with the foods they produce that will make you consider giving them a visit the next time you’re looking to fill your stomach.

 

Harvest Estate Wines – 1179 Fourth Ave., St. Catharines, ON

 

Located inside the Harvest Barn Country Market, the Estate Winery was founded in 2001 by the Hernder family. The wine is harvested from their own grapes, with one of their more well-known wines being the Rhubarb & Cranberry. The winery retail location shares the same space with the Harvest Barn, making it easy for customers to enjoy produced, baked goods, and wines all under one roof.

 

Once inside, there’s plenty to choose from with a bakery, deli, salad bar, and hot bar all featuring tasty options. The pizza is hand-tossed in-house and you have the option of ordering the day before to take home a whole one. Some of the goods they make in their bakery includes muffins, cookies and butter tarts, although if you’re there be sure to try their fruit tarts or gourmet meat pies.

 

13th Street Winery – 1776 Fourth Ave., St. Catharines, ON

 

A partnership between the Mann’s and Whitty’s have helped put 13th Street Winery on the map through their shared love of wine, food, and hospitality. Doug Whitty is the third generation to be operating the family farm, Whitty Farms, that grows an array of fresh and in-season fruits and vegetables. The 13th Street Winery was sold to the Whitty’s and Mann’s in 2008 and with that came a growth in production to 10,000 cases a year, accumulation of more acreage, and relocating to a state-of-the-art winemaking facility on 4th Avenue (currently under construction for expansion).   

 

Their bakery is located at the Winery, and offers an assortment of baked goods, jams, and preserves made with Niagara produce. 13th Street Winery has just started serving lunch on their patio with the menu changing regularly to highlight local produce. Be sure to try their famous butter tarts and stroll the winery grounds. If you really enjoy their baked goods you can bring a freshly baked pie home with you.

 

Both of these locations offer some great choices all made from fresh produce grown on their land with some assistance from other local farms. Be sure to check out these locations and give some feedback on your bakery/winery of choice along with the one goodie that is your favourite. The agricultural space in the Niagara Region maintains a huge amount of the acreage and is continually being recognize as foreign investment continues to pour in and finance development projects throughout the Region.