Canada

The Best Dog-Friendly Wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Wineries and dogs! OK wine lovers and dog lovers, this article is for you! Plan your next day trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake (or NOTL for short) and visit some of the best dog-friendly wineries the Niagara region of Ontario has to offer. Wineries make the ideal activity to do with your dog. The laid-back, rural setting of vineyards offering lots of wide-open green space is exactly what my dog enjoys. He’s quite content to lay down on the lawn while I sip away. Not to mention all the attention he gets – it’s a win-win. To help plan your next trip, here are the best dog-friendly wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

About Niagara Region Wines

The Niagara wine region is world-renowned for its wine, especially its ice wine. It’s considered a prime grape-growing area due to its fertile soil and perfect microclimate conditions. This is the reason why it’s Ontario’s largest producer of wine. The Niagara region stretches from Niagara Falls to Hamilton and is divided into two appellations – the Niagara Escarpment (also known as The Bench) and Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

More than 40+ grape varieties are grown in this area. It offers the best white grape varieties of Riesling, Vidal, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. As well as the best red grape varieties of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Baco Noir, Pinot Noir, and Gamay. If you love cool crisp whites or big, bold, and balanced reds you are bound to find both at most top wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

3 glasses of wine on table
Palatine Hills

READ MORE | Make the most of your visit by checking out my “best of” guide – highlighting things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake other than wineries

NOTL Dog-Friendly Wineries

IRONWOOD CIDER HOUSE

The Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery, now known as Ironwood Cider House, is recognized as Canada’s original fruit winery. That’s right, 100% of the locally grown berries, stone, and tree fruit is the primary ingredient in their wines and ciders. And, I’m a HUGE fan of their delicious wines. You definitely can taste peach, nectarine, cherry, pear, or apple in their products. It’s what separates them from the rest of the wineries in this area. 

Go to Ironwood Cider House for:
  • unique and delicious fruit wines (recommend the 2017 Poire Sec)
  • crisp and dry fruit-inspired ciders (recommend the new release of Yuja cider)
  • cool, modern art-gallery-esque interior wine tasting space 
  • delicious tapas menu with many vegetarian options (recommend Seasoned jam grilled brie cheese, Sesame Teriyaki Brussel Spouts, and Butter Chickpea)
  • pet friendly interior and exterior spaces

Address: 1425 Lakeshore Rd, NOTL

LAKEVIEW WINE CO.

Lakeview Wine Co. is a modern-designed building and anything that is minimalist in design gets my immediate attention. Lakeview Wine Co. is really just the retail branch of Diamond Estates Wines, Ontario’s 3rd largest producer of wines. Enjoying a flight at this winery means you could be sampling any of their nine wines, such as 20 BeesEastDellFRESH, and Lakeview Cellars

2 glasses of white wine with vineyards
Go to Lakeview Wine Co. for:
  • wide variety of wines from whites, reds, rosés, and ice wines (recommend Eastdell Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Summer Rosé)
  • learn about the winemaking process with on-site tours by friendly, knowledgeable wine specialists 
  • large wine shop featuring all 9 brands of wine
  • dog friendly interior and exterior spaces with grassy lawn and picnic table seating

Address: 1067 Niagara Stone Road, NOTL

MARYNISSEN ESTATES

Keeping to its original roots of being a small-lot winery, the Marynissen family legacy continues on. Marynissen Estates is rustic, laid-back, and feels like someone’s home. It has a great community feel – almost like you’ve arrived at a backyard party. Don’t be surprised to find music playing, a pop-up market set up, and people roaming their many exterior spaces.

brown dog in front of vineyards
Go to Marynissen Estates for:
  • small-lot wines (recommend 2019 Pinot Grigio or Rosé)
  • rustic, laid-back vibes 
  • experiences- reserve their private tent for tastings perfect for large groups or their Wine & Spines book club 
  • host of 3 of the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s passport events Days of Wine, Chocolate and Cheese (March), Sip & Sizzle (May) and Taste the Season (November)
  • dog-friendly interior and exterior spaces

Address: 1208 Concession 1 Rd, NOTL

PALATINE HILLS

It feels different here. Visit Palantine Hills and you’ll receive the warmest welcome as if you’re a long-lost friend. The cool interior space resembles a small airplane hanger or garage with a patio space complete with air misters, and cornhole toss. This second-generation family-run winery is a fun place to go for you and your dog. Dog treats, belly rubs, and dog selfies for their photo wall are all part of the pooch experience. And, maybe you might even get to meet Rae the German Shepherd or Penny the Golden Doodle at this ultimate dog friendly winery.  

4 people with dog with wine barrels
Go to Palatine Hills for:
  • variety of whites and reds (recommended Wild & Free, Pinot Grigio)
  • fun, friendly atmosphere where the tunes and laughs are guaranteed
  • go on a Friday night for their cornhole tournament or listen to live music on Sundays 
  • where your dog will have just as much fun as you, or maybe even more 

Address: 911 Lakeshore Rd, NOTL

RAVINE VINEYARD ESTATES

Ravine Vineyard Estates feels like a warm, family-friendly farm. Maybe that’s because of its early roots dating back to the 1800s. Once a fruit farm, now a winery, the Ravine Vineyard Estate operates like a community or a village, with an on-site Lowery Bros. Grocery shop, restaurant, event space, and vineyards. 

vineyard in rural setting
Go to Ravine Vineyard Estates for:
  • Lowery Bros. Grocery shop for their own jams, honey, pickles, as well as wine and ciders
  • dine at The Restaurant offering a farm-to-table menu with live entertainment (recommend the Oyster Mushroom with lentils)
  • the pretty vineyard views in a quiet country setting
  • dog-friendly interior and exterior spaces

Address: 1366 York Road, St. Davids (NOTL)

SOUTHBROOK ORGANIC VINEYARDS

Southbrook Organic Vineyards is a sleek eye-catching modern winery and it’s just as stunning inside as it is out. As a LEED-designed building this is an architectural gem, and definitely one of my favourites. Beyond the beautiful design of the winery, what makes Southbrook stand out from the rest is that it only produces organic wines. The owner, Bill speaks passionately about the importance of sustainability – using less water, energy, and no chemicals. 

girl with dog in vineyard
pink roses at vine
Go to Southbrook Organic Vineyards for: 
  • delicious organic wines (recommend Laundry Riesling, Cabernet Franc Rosé, Triomphe Pinot Noir)
  • love architecture and design
  • refined tasting room experiences – both interior and exterior spaces 
  • pretty vineyards with roses (as a natural way to keep the insects away from the grapes)
  • dog-friendly spaces

Address: 581 Niagara Stone Road, NOTL

STRATUS VINEYARDS

A stunning modern building sits in the middle of its vineyards. Stratus is known as one of the few pump-free wineries in the world. Going against the grain, they use gravity to transport wine to barrels which draws less energy. Environmental impact is important to this winery where they aspire to be one of the world’s most sustainable wineries. 

winery at sunrise
Go to Stratus Vineyards for:
  • their signature wines – white, red, and rosé 
  • chic modern boutique-style tasting rooms 
  • love architecture (LEED certified building) and modern interior design 
  • looking for a refined experience with food & drink pairing 
  • dog friendly on terrace only 

Address: 2059 Niagara Stone Rd, NOTL

THE HARE WINE CO.

Winemaking has been in the Hare family for generations and still continues in Bulgaria. The Hare Wine Co. has old-world European charm. With its red rustic brick and barn board flooring. The exterior terrace continues the rustic interlock stone and cast iron tables and chairs. 

pergola with girl and dog
Go to The Hare Wine Co. for:
  • great tasting wines, especially the whites (recommend the Hare Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Sparkling Rosé)
  • old-world European style
  • relaxed atmosphere
  • dog-friendly interior and exterior spaces 

RELATED READING | Want to visit more dog friendly wineries? Check out these other locations: 1. Niagara Escarpment (The Bench) and 2. Prince Edward County 

Wine Routes in NOTL

Niagara on the Lake is a small area, and you can easily visit all of these wineries without too much driving. Visiting 3 to 4 wineries in a day seems to be the right balance of not feeling rushed, yet making it a full afternoon. Here are two recommended routes, based on winery proximity making the most of your time in this area. 

dog in front of motorcycle with wine
Palatine Hills
Route #1: Visit 4 Wineries (QEW Exit Regional Rd 89)
  1. QEW to Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery = 7 minutes
  2. Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery to Southbrook Organic Vineyards = 10 minutes
  3. Southbrook Organic Vineyards to The Hare Wine Co. = 1 minute
  4. The Hare Wine Co. to Lakeview Wine Co. = 1 minute
Route #2: Visit 4 Wineries (QEW Exit Regional Rd 48)
  1. QEW to Palatine Hills = 15 minutes
  2. Palatine Hills to Ironwood Cider House = 4 minutes
  3. Ironwood Cider House to Stratus Vineyards = 5 minutes
  4. Stratus Vineyards to Marynissen Estates Winery = 8 minutes

As a holidaymaker…

After many trips and sips, this is my pick for the best dog-friendly wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Most importantly, they are all dog approved by Henry, my 11-year-old Vizsla as his top picks too! Plan your next day trip or weekend in Ontario’s favourite wine country where you don’t have to leave your dog at home. 

winery, dog, wine glasses
winery, dog, glasses of wine

31 Comments

  • Sue

    I love wineries anywhere in the world! I don’t own a dog but what a great way for those who do to combine the two. I bet the dogs love it as well. I really like your route suggestions as I think I would find it hard to choose which ones to visit…as long as someone else was willing to do the driving 😉

  • Carolin

    I’m not a wine drinker but I appreciate the other half of the deal. Bringing the dog along! Yours is gorgeous and look how happy he is in the group picture. Loving this! I agree with Lisa’s comment. More and more people travel with their dogs and it is a smart move to be a pet-friendly establishment. As long as the dogs are well behaved and I’m sure yours is, then I see no issues why one can’t bring them, right?

  • Laureen Lund

    Travel life has kept us from having pets right now…I do hope to again some day. However, we love to see businesses that are pet friendly as so many people do travel with pets. Dogs are such a great way to meet other people and dog people are the best!

  • Maria Veloso

    This is a fun activity for both of you and your dog to enjoy together. Most of the top wineries in NOTL appear to be fascinating places to explore. I’m looking forward to sampling Stratus Vineyards’ signature wines!

  • Travel Heal Love

    I am not a dog owner and I didn’t consider it might be difficult to find places that accept dogs! It is good to know there are places that do it so you can enjoy the experience with your four legged friend! Also, I love wine and would love to try the iced one! Thanks for sharing.

  • Natascha

    Not being a dog-owner I have never given much thought to the problems of visiting wineries with a dog. But reading your post, I can imagine that some problems might occur. Great that dogs are welcome and cared for at so many wineries. And I would visit most of them instantly (without a dog).

  • Clarice

    We usually travel with our dog so this is good news for me. Happy to know that there are many wineries that are dog-friendly. Bookmarking this post for future reference. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Jackie

    Wow – so many dog-friendly wineries here! Even without a dog, they each look beautiful and offer unique experiences. My favorite might be the Lakeview Wine Co. tos ee the winemaking process on-site (and friendly, knowledgeable wine specialists are a must!). But I also love the idea of tasting wine in an airplane hanger at Palentine Hills. Playing some cornhole and enjoying live music on site are a real plus for me!

  • Renata - www.byemyself.com

    It’s funny how everything has to be dog-friendly if you have a four-legged travel companion – even wineries 😀 This place looks absolutely amazing – even if you have only two legs. I do like wine-tasting a lot, I find it teaches you a lot about the region.

  • Pam

    While my dog isn’t great around other dogs (he gets too excited), I would go just to pet other people’s dogs haha. Hare Wine Co looks perfect for me – love the European style!

    • Carol Colborn

      I didn’t know NOTL is a great wine region! My husband loves wines, especially reds. But not necessarily fruit wines or whites. Thanks, we’ve been wanting to go to Niagara. This adds another level to the visit. You gave us a good guide!

  • Lisa

    So many people holiday with their dogs nowdays, so these wineries have definitely made a smart choice.
    I’d love to visit the Cider House some day!

  • noel

    What a novel concept that you can actually bring your pet with you to these fun and progressive dog friendly venues. I love that you can take them with you to explore, hang out at the winery grounds and even find some nice place to relax or explore around with your pet.

  • Linda (LD Holland)

    I love the new selections of wineries in the Niagara on the Lake area that your post provided. We love to head that way for the day and pick a new winery to explore. We often visit for the ice wines. But I keep searching for a new rosé wine that is local for summer sipping. Fun idea to go when live music is on. Good that there are such good options where you can take your dog.

  • Umiko

    Looks like Palatine Hills knows how to make customer happy as well as their four legs companion. That’s the kind of place I like when going places with my dog. But I would like to try the fruity wines from Ironwood Cider House. They sound delicious!

  • Angela

    When you put together dog-friendly places, wine and spectacular out doors, you’re sure in the right place 🙂
    Love the photo with the bike, what a beautiful smile he has!
    I am sure I would love to visit those places. Thanks for sharing

  • Kelly

    I have been seeing more and more dog friendly wineries in NOTL. I love how they have water bowls and treats. I’m going to have to check out some of these wineries…I’ve only been to two of them!

  • Jennifer Prince

    I love Niagara on the Lake! I went wine tasting, but didn’t hit any of the ones you mentioned. It’s such a lovely area to explore. I appreciate you bringing more attention to a place that’s off the beaten path from the falls.

  • Barry

    The number of wineries in this region is quite astounding and the grape varieties quite surprising.
    The info here is great, I feel I could tour the area just from your guide. I have only visited one winery in this area and it was quite insightful. We learned that the region is on the same latitude as Bordeaux in France.
    The fact that so many of these wineries also have cafes, shops and entertainment is so creative. Imagine sipping the wine right next to the vine that it was grown from – idyllic!
    I think the Palatine winery gets my vote the – cornhole tournament and being able to listen to live music while drinking the elixir of delights is something that easily draws me in!
    Unfortunately I don’t have a dog but I could always borrow one for the day !!!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Palatine Hill winery definitely has some a laid back feel to it. And, you could always enjoy seeing the other dogs that happen to be there if you don’t have one with you!

  • Pilar

    Your dog Vizsla must be the one in the last photo. He is so cute. This is an excellent selection of wineries. Do they allow only dogs or also other pets? The Hare wine terrace where you are standing with your dog looks so cosy.
    I wish I could go there and taste some of those wine delicacies.

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