Canadian Wine History
Lambrusca wines labelled sherry or port since early 1800s
Canadian Wine Laws
Provincial Liquor boards control production
Canadian Wine Regions
Niagara Pennisula (NR Ontario). Okagnagan Valley (BC). Small non- appellation plantings of hybrids in Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Canadian Appellation Terms
VA (Viticultural Area)
Vitners Quality Alliance (Est 1988) administers Appelations Viticultural and W/Making standards.
Banned Lambrusca from Appellation status but not some hybrids and American varieties.
Provincial liquor boards control production.
Niagara Pennisula Conditions
Largest quality production area. Lakes Ontario and Erie influence air movement. Continental with short hot summers and long very cold winters.
Winter and Spring frost threat.
Main VAS are Palee Island and Lake Erie, North Shore
Niagara Pennisula Wines
Vidal and Riesling Icewines.
Bordeaux blends in warmer areas.
British Columbia (Canada).
East of Vancover @ Northern Limit for viti.
Semi desert conditions (edge of Sonodran Desert). Both Vinifera and Hybrids planted.
Success with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.
Where is Okanagan Valley?
Moderate Continental (Cold Winters)
Name VQA appellations for Niagara Pennisula
Niagara- On- The- Lake: Niagara River, Niagara Lakeshore, Four Mile Creek, St David’s Beach
Niagara Escapment: Short Hills Bench, Beamsville Bench, Twenty Mile Bench
Name VQA’s of Ontario
Niagara Pennisula- including sub regions
Prince Edward Country
Lake Erie North Shore
List VQA’s of British Columbia
Okanagan Valley Vancover Island Gulf Island Fraser Valley Similkameen Valley
Long history of wine making, starting in the early 1800’s with production of mostly Labrusca wines labelled as sherry or port. Provincial liquor boards control production. In 1988 Vintners Quality Alliance set up to administer appellations, viticultural and winemaking standards. Labrusca wine did not qualify for appellation status, however some hybrids and American varieties do.
Niagara Peninsula- (Ontario) Canada
Largest and most important quality production area. Located between the southern shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Continental climate with short, hot summers and long extremely cold winters with threat of winter and spring frost damage. The lake influences the movement of air.
Bordeaux blends in the warmer area.
Two main VAs (Viticultural Areas) are Pelee Island and Lake Erie North Shore.
Okagnagan Valley (British Columbia)- Canada
Located 300km east of Vancouver, near the northern limits of viticulture, planted in semi desert conditions on the edge of the Sonoran desert. Both vinifera and hybrids planted, success with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.
Other Regions- Canada
Small plantings of mostly hybrids and American varieties in both Quebec and Nova Scotia, not controlled under the appellation system.
Vintners Quality Alliance, was initially formed as a voluntary organization to identify wines made entirely from grapes grown in canada, as opposed to the many on sale that are merely blended or bottled there. Today Ontario and British Columbia’s VQA appellation systems are legally enforceable.
Leading university in canada for wine-related academe. It is home to the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) established in 1996. Graduates make wine all over the world with particularly large contingents in California and Ontario. CCOVI is also the home of North America’s only undergraduate degree programme in the study of cool climate grape growing and winemaking. Student exchange programmes include partnerships with Okanagan University College in British Columbia, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, lincoln University in New Zealand, the University of Udine in Italy, and dijon. In viticulture, studies include the effects on wine quality of different vine training systems, vine spacing, irrigation, and shoot thinning; Niagara terroir using gps, control of disease (particularly powdery mildew) and pests (particularly Asian lady beetle—see ladybug taint), the elucidation of odour-active compounds in Canadian icewines, and the effects of canopy management and oenological treatments on red wine composition and taste. Studies in winemaking have focused, non-exclusively, on the production of Icewine. Niagara College offers a Winery & Viticulture course as well as a graduate course in Wine Business Management.
Group of vine hybrids bred in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, usually by crossing or hybridizing american vine species with a European vinifera variety (see vine breeding). These are also known as direct producers, hybrid direct producers, HDPs, or, in French, hybrides producteurs directs. One early response to the invasion of the American phylloxera louse in Europe was to plant American varieties, since most had phylloxera tolerance. In Europe they proved to be both hardy and resistant to a wide range of fungal diseases, but, because of the strange, often foxy, flavour of the wine they produced, it has been illegal to plant the likes of isabella, noah, Othello, Black Spanish (Jacquez), and Herbemont in France since 1934. The aim of the early hybridizers was to combine the pest and disease resistance of the American species with the accepted wine quality of the European wine species V. vinifera. A group of French breeders such as François baco, Castel, Georges couderc, Ferdinand Gaillard, Ganzin, Millardet, Oberlin, Albert seibel, Bertille seyve, and Victor villard, and, more recently, Joanny Burdin, Galibert, Eugene Kuhlmann, Pierre Landot, Ravat, Jean-François Seyve’s sons Joannes and Bertille (who married Villard’s daughter and developed the important seyve–villard series of hybrids), and Jean-Louis vidal, produced thousands of new hybrid varieties with such aims in mind. They used american hybrids as parents as well as American vine species. V. aestivalis, V. rupestris, V. riparia, and V. berlandieri were common parents because of their excellent disease and pest resistance, and a reduction in the strong fruit flavour associated with V. labrusca. Some of the rootstocks used today were bred by these hybridizers, particularly Castel, Couderc, Ganzin, and Millardet. Active hybridizers in other countries included the Italians Bruni, Paulsen, Pirovani, and Prosperi. These hybrids were widely favoured because of disease resistance and high productivity, so by 1958 about 400,000 ha/988,000 acres of French hybrids were planted in France, or about one-third of the total vineyard area. Wine quality was, however, often inferior, especially from the earlier French hybrids. With continued crossing and back crossing, the objectionable features in the taste of the wine could be reduced (see diagram for new varieties). French planting regulations since 1955 have deliberately discouraged vine varieties associated with poor wine quality, however, both hybrids and V. vinifera, and so by 2012 there were fewer than 205,000 ha of hybrids. With the exception of Baco 22A, which may be used for armagnac, hybrids are being systematically phased out of French wine and brandy production, even though there were still sizeable plantings of Villard Noir, chambourcin, and plantet for red wines and some Villard Blanc and seyval blanc for white wines, according to the FranceAgriMer statistics for 2012. Other hybrid varieties that are authorized, if not actually encouraged, in France include Baco 1, Chancellor, Couderc Noir, Garonnet, Oberlin Noir, various Seyve-Villard hybrids, and Varousset for red wine and Rayon d’Or for white wine. The French hybrids have been planted outside France and have made significant contributions at some time or other to the wine industries of the eastern united states (see new york in particular), canada, england, and New Zealand, where French hybrids were planted in the majority of vineyards into the 1960s, and used for fortified wines. From the 1960s onwards, in almost all of these regions, these hybrids have been systematically replaced by V. vinifera varieties for reasons of wine quality, although in some sites in Canada and New York subject to winter freeze, only a hybrid such as Vidal will survive (and has produced some fine ice wine), while Seyval Blanc is still grown to a limited extent in England.
white grape variety and a french hybrid more properly known as Vidal Blanc or Vidal 256 and widely grown in canada, where it is particularly valued for its winter hardiness. Grown to a limited extent in the Midwest and eastern united states, particularly new york state, it is a hybrid of ugni blanc and one of the Seibel parents of seyval blanc. The wine produced, like Seyval’s, has no obviously foxy character and can smell attractively of currant bushes or leaves. Its slow, steady ripening and thick skins make it particularly suitable for sweet, late-harvest (non-botrytized) wines and icewine, for which it, with riesling, is famous in Canada. Vidal-based wines do not have the longevity of fine Rieslings, however.
Complex, light-skinned french hybrid, the most widely planted seyve-villard hybrid, number 5276, the result of crossing two seibel hybrids. It is productive, ripens early and is well suited to relatively cool climates such as that of england, where it was the single most planted vine variety in the late 20th century but has been superseded by the popularity of the Champagne grapes. It is also popular in canada and, to a lesser extent, in the eastern united states, notably in new york state. Its crisp white wines have no hint of foxy flavour and can even benefit from barrel maturation. In the UK it is mainly used for blending and is particularly successful for sparkling wine production. As a sparkling wine, it can (somewhat unexpectedly in view of its hybrid origins) be labelled as Quality Sparkling Wine.
Direct Anglicization of the German eiswein, sweet wine made from ripe grapes picked when frozen on the vine and pressed so that water crystals remain in the press and the sugar content of the resulting wine is increased. This sort of true ice wine is a speciality of canada, where it is written icewine (see below). It is also increasingly made elsewhere including austria, luxembourg, oregon, and Michigan in the united states. The term has also been used in other English-speaking, wine-producing countries for wines made by artificial freeze concentration, or cryoextraction.
Red wine grape variety named after a famous French First World War general. This french hybrid was bred by Eugène Kuhlmann of Alsace, who cited the vinifera variety Goldriesling as one parent. It has good winter hardiness and ripens very early. It was once widely cultivated in the Loire and is still popular in canada and new york, where it is spelt Marechal Foch, is sometimes called simply Foch, and may be vinified using carbonic maceration. It produces fruity, non-foxy wines which can stand on their own two feet.
Was, like bouschet, a nurseryman who saw his name live on in the names of some of the most successful of the vine varieties he bred. Baco’s specialities were french hybrids and his most successful was Baco Blanc, sometimes called Baco 22A, which was hybridized in 1898 and was, for much of the 20th century until the late 1970s, the prime ingredient in armagnac—a role now occupied by ugni blanc but previously occupied by folle blanche, although the French vineyard census of 2011 still noted 661 ha/1,633 acres of the variety, mainly in armagnac country.
Baco Noir, or Baco 1, resulted from crossing Folle Blanche with a variety of Vitis riparia in 1902 and was at one time widely spread in France but today is best known for its light, fruity, non-foxy reds in eastern Canada and, to a lesser extent, in upstate New York.
A climatic stress which can be lethal to parts or all of the vine. In areas of high latitude and high elevation the risk of very cold winter weather is substantial, particularly in continental climates away from the moderating effects of oceans (although even in maritime climates winter freeze can kill thousands of vines in exceptionally cold winters such as that of 1956 in St-Émilion and Pomerol). Such continental climates typically show colder temperatures, but also greater temperature variability.
Cold-hardy varieties, such as the American vine concord, can be grown in the midwestern United States in sites with annual minimum temperatures of −29 °C/−20 °F occurring once in three years. European vinifera varieties sensitive to cold require relatively warmer sites, however, where annual minimum temperatures of −20 °C/−4 °F) are recorded no more than once in a decade. crown gall disease commonly develops on vines injured by winter freeze.
An essential first step towards avoiding winter freeze injury is wise vineyard site selection. Sites which export cold air, such as those offering air drainage on free-standing hills, can avoid winter injury by being up to 5 °C/9 °F warmer than sites which import cold air, such as those on valley floors. Vineyard sites within a few kilometres of large bodies of water (such as the Médoc, which suffered far less from the great winter freeze of 1956 than the inland vineyards of St-Émilion and Pomerol, for example) are also preferred because of the moderating effects on temperature (and see lake effect in North America).
Selecting varieties with noted winter hardiness is also important. Varieties such as cabernet franc and riesling are more winter-hardy than Pinot Noir, Chasselas, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In turn, Vitis vinifera is less hardy than some interspecific hybrids such as seyval, which in turn are less winter-hardy than such American varieties as delaware and concord. vine breeders have used V. amurensis as a parent to produce winter-hardy varieties such as cabernet severny. Choice of rootstocks which avoid stress is also critical for vine survival.
The vine’s reserves of carbohydrates act like a biological antifreeze. The aim of vine management to avoid winter stress is to achieve maximum carbohydrate reserves at the end of the growing season. This entails choice of suitable training system, appropriately severe pruning level, and thinning so as to restrict yield, which, when excessive, can act to reduce levels of vine carbohydrates.
An alternative strategy to avoid winter kill is to bury the vines in autumn
Cumbersome viticultural technique aimed at protecting vines in cold, continental climates against the effects of winter freeze. Vines are buried in autumn to benefit from the fact that winter temperatures below the soil surface are never more than a few °C below freezing point, whereas the air temperature can be more than 20 °C/36 °F colder. Burying vines is, however, labour-intensive and expensive. This was traditionally practised in central Europe and North America, but is uncommon now because of the cost. Only in the vineyards of russia, parts of ukraine, some of the central Asian republics, and china is it still considered an acceptable price to pay for viticulture, although some severe winters in upper new york state in the early 21st century have engendered some reconsideration. The procedure has been modified so that just those few canes to be used for fruiting the following year are buried. Vines are also trained so that they have several trunks, so that those killed in winter can easily be replaced.
And warm-climate viticulture, are indefinite terms, depending on the speaker’s or writer’s viewpoint, but are probably applied most usefully to the coolest and warmest thirds of the climatic or geographic range used successfully for growing wine grapes. Intermediate climate viticulture (see below) lies between, while true hot-climate viticulture produces mainly table grapes and drying grapes, and cannot, in general, produce high-quality wine grapes of any kind. The term cold-climate viticulture is sometimes used to refer to those wine regions that experience winter freeze and where winter injury of vines can dominate viticultural practices.
Major areas of cool-climate viticulture would certainly include the northern half of France (the loire, champagne, chablis, burgundy, and beaujolais,); england, luxembourg, germany, switzerland, denmark, and austria; in the US, the Lower Columbia Valley of washington and oregon, and the coolest coastal strip of northern California (carneros, anderson valley); the most southern vineyards of chile and some elevated vineyards of south africa; the South Island and southern North Island of new zealand; and in Australia, the whole of tasmania, small areas of the higher Adelaide hills in south australia, and southern victoria, and elevated land associated with the Great Dividing Range in the south east. Gladstones’s data (table 183) show all these to have regional average mean temperatures for the growing season (April to October inclusive in the northern hemisphere, October to April in the southern hemisphere) of below 16.0 °C/60.8 °F. Jackson and Schuster (1987) and Casteel (1992) deal specifically with this type of viticulture.
The distinguishing characteristic of cool viticultural climates is that they will regularly ripen only early-maturing grape varieties such as chasselas, müller-thurgau, gewürztraminer, chardonnay, pinot noir, and gamay; and only in especially warm mesoclimates can varieties such as riesling, which ripens early to mid season, be ripened. ripening also tends to take place under cool to mild conditions. The combination leads to wines which, at their best, are fresh, delicate, and aromatic. Most are white or only pale red, because full development of anthocyanin pigments and tannins in the grape skins needs greater warmth. Other, warmer viticultural climates will be examined here for the sake of comparison.
Intermediate climate viticulture is that with growing seasons long and warm enough for regular ripening of mid-season grape varieties such as cabernet franc, merlot, syrah (or Shiraz), and sangiovese, and late-mid-season varieties such as cabernet sauvignon and nebbiolo, to make mainly medium- to full-bodied red table wines. Typical regions are bordeaux and the northern rhône Valley in France; the rioja Alta in Spain; much of northern italy and tuscany; the intermediate and warmer coastal valleys of California, such as napa and sonoma; the north and east coasts of the North Island of New Zealand; Margaret River and the south coast of western australia; the Barossa Valley and hills, Padthaway, and Coonawarra in south australia; and much of central and southern victoria. Average mean growing season temperatures are in the range 16.0 to 18.5 °C (60.8 to 65.2 °F).
Warm viticultural climates, if sunny enough, will ripen early and mid-season grape varieties to high sugar contents and make the best sweet, fortified wines. They will also ripen late-maturing grape varieties such as mourvèdre (Mataro), carignan, grenache, trebbiano, and clairette for making table wines. Examples are the south of France; the douro Valley of Portugal and the island of Madeira; the Adelaide district and McLaren Vale in south australia, the murray darling regions of South Australia and Victoria, and the Hunter Valley and Mudgee in new south wales in Australia. Corresponding average mean growing season temperatures are in the range 18.5 to 21 °C.
Typical hot-climate viticultural regions are those producing table and drying grapes in greece and turkey, and the San Joaquin Valley of California. Growing season average mean temperatures are mostly 22 °C or higher. Subtropical and tropical viticulture for table grapes and wine, using mainly non-vinifera grape varieties, also falls into this temperature category.
Relationships of temperature, particularly during ripening, to wine qualities are discussed under climate and wine quality.
The year-round influence on vineyards from nearby large lakes which permits vine-growing in areas such as the north east united states and Ontario in canada despite their high latitude. In winter, the large lakes provide moisture to the prevailing westerly winds, which creates a deep snow cover, protecting vines from winter freeze even in very low temperatures. The lake may eventually freeze, depending on the size. In spring, the westerly winds blow across the frozen lake and become cooler. These cooler breezes blowing on the vines retard budbreak until the danger of frost has passed. In summer the lake warms up. By autumn/fall, the westerly winds are warmed as they blow across the lake. The warm breezes on the vines lengthen the growing season (balancing the late start to the growing season) by delaying the first frost. In other parts of the world, lakes and large inland seas also moderate climate through temperature effects alone.
A prime beneficiary of climate change, has a thriving wine industry concentrated in four provinces, ontario, british columbia, and to a lesser extent quebec and nova scotia, on vineyards that totalled 12,000 ha/30,000 acres in 2011 according to the oiv. Given the exigencies of the Canadian climate, grapes are invariably grown near large bodies of water that moderate the effects of Canada’s severe winters and decrease the risk of damaging winter freeze and spring frosts (see lake effect). Until the late 1970s, the majority of Canadian vines were the winter-hardy North American labrusca varieties such as concord and Niagara. Next to follow were early-ripening, winter-resistant french hybrids such as vidal blanc, seyval blanc, baco noir, and maréchal foch, often called simply Foch in Canada. Since the late 1980s, however, growers have put greater emphasis on vinifera vine varieties, whose wines enjoy increasing success both at home and abroad.
The Canadian climate is particularly suitable for the production of sparkling wines in all four of its wine-growing provinces but it first established a reputation for the consistently high quality and quantity of its icewine. Canada is the world’s largest producer, which is not surprising since sustained temperatures of −8 °C can be relied upon each winter. The appellation system (vqa) of Ontario, for instance, sets the minimum sugar levels for Icewine at 35 °brix, substantially higher than those for Germany’s eiswein.
The Canadian wine industry dates from the early 19th century (although see also vínland). In 1811, a retired German corporal, Johann Schiller, domesticated the Vitis labrusca vines he found growing along the Credit river west of Toronto and planted a 20-acre vineyard. In 1866, the country’s first major winery Vin Villa was established at Canada’s most southerly point, on Pelee Island on Lake Erie, by three gentlemen farmers from Kentucky who planted 20 acres/8 ha of isabella vines. By 1890, there were 41 commercial wineries across the country, 35 in Ontario. In the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and along the St Lawrence river shoreline in Quebec, it was the Church rather than the regions’ farmers which encouraged the planting of vineyards and fostered the art of winemaking.
prohibition, which began in Canada in 1916, spurred the wine trade. Thanks to some fancy political lobbying by the grape-growers, wine was exempted from the general interdiction against alcohol. By the time the Great Experiment was brought to an end in 1927 (six years before Repeal in the United States), 57 winery licences had been granted in Ontario alone.
In that year, another experiment began, the creation of the provincial liquor board system, government monopolies which control the sale and distribution of all beverage alcohol sold in Canada and collect hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues. (By the mid 1990s, Alberta had privatized and British Columbia and Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island have some privately owned wine merchant stores competing with government monopolies.)
Until the mid 1970s, most Canadian wines were sweet, highly alcoholic products made from V. labrusca varieties and labelled Sherry or Port, depending on the colour. The advent of the ‘boutique’ (small, usually owner-managed) winery was signalled in 1974 when Inniskillin, near Niagara Falls, was granted the first commercial licence since Prohibition. This coincided with a shift in public taste towards drier, less alcoholic, table wine. The wineries that followed in Ontario and British Columbia were dedicated to the proposition that V. vinifera grapes could be grown on appropriate sites in spite of the harsh winters and unpredictable springs.
In 1988, an appellation system called Vintners Quality Alliance (vqa) was introduced, first in Ontario and then, in 1990, in British Columbia. See Wine laws below.
The Canadian wine industry has spawned a considerable number of estate wineries in which grape-growers are developing agri-tourism by offering events, attractions, bed and breakfast accommodation, and winery restaurants as well as wine.
Geographically, the major concentration of Canadian vineyards is on the same latitude as the languedoc and chianti, but lower winter temperatures, the freeze–thaw–freeze cycle of early spring, and unpredictable weather at harvest rank Canada as a cool climate wine region, with all the vintage variation and winemaking challenges that entails.
While some of Canada’s vineyards may enjoy hotter summers than either Bordeaux or Burgundy, the growing season tends to be shorter. According to one estimate, average sunshine hours during the growing season are 1,500 in the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario; 1,423 in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley; and 1,150 in Dunham, Quebec—compared with 1,315 in Burgundy. Grapes may require chaptalization in some years. Drought can be a problem and some producers have installed irrigation systems. Many wineries have invested in wind machines to counter spring frosts.
Canada- Wine Laws
Wine regulations vary from province to province. Most wine is retailed by provincial monopolies such as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).
The Vintners Quality Alliance Act in Ontario and similar legislation in BC establishes the legal framework for an appellation of origin system as well as minimum standards that must be met in order to obtain VQA approval. Compliance with the standards is legally enforced in Ontario and BC.
Minimum must weights and limits to chaptalization are specified along with permitted grape varieties (not labrusca).
Many Canadian wineries also bottle wines which contain imported produce and which are therefore entitled to neither a VQA appellation designation nor the more general Product of Canada label. Wines labelled International Canadian Blend, common in Canadian liquor stores, usually contain a majority of imported grape juice or wine.
Ontario- Regional VA’s
- Largest Area- 2 regional Appellations
- Niagara Escarpment- Niagara on the Lake
Lake Erie North Shore
Pelee Island (Lake Erie)
Prince Edward County (Lake Ontario)
Ontario- Regional VA’s
Largest producing area (approx 15,000 acres) on the shores of Lake Erie & Lake Ontario
Continental climate mitigated by the effects of the lakes
Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir- dominant varietals.
Icewine a speciality of the region. Harvesting at -8 degrees or below.
Niagara Peninsula: Niagara Escarpment- DVA:
Short Hills Bench
Twenty Mile Bench
Niagara Peninsula: Niagara on the Lake- DVA:
Four Mile Creek
St David’s Bench
Niagara Peninsula: Other Sub Appellations
85% of total Ontario production.
Wineries: Inniskillin, Cave Springs Cellars
British Columbia- Designated Viticultural Areas (Min. 95% production of named appellation):
Frazer Valley Vancouver Island Okanagen Valley Similkameen Valley Gulf Islands
British Columbia- Canada:
- Second most important Canadian region
- Wines controlled by VQA
- Okanangen Valley supplies 95% of provinces wine
- In rain shadow of Monashee mtns. Summer hot and winters extremely cold
- Whites, reds, outstanding dessert wines- Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Pinot Blanc
- Canada’s modern history of winemaking begins in the early 19th century, but Vitis vinifera vines were not planted on a commercial scale until the 1970s.
- 1950s and 1960s: Eurpopean Varieties
- De Chaunac= a red French hybrid, by Albert Seibel after World War II by Adhemar de Chaunac, became one of Canada’s most planted varieties by the 1970s.
- Canada suffered through prohibition in the early 20th century, albeit it on a provincial rather than national scale Ontario and Nova Soctia last to repel the prohibition in 1929 and 1930.
- Big wineries were the key in the 60s and 70s as licences were swallowed up. 1974 moratorium was lifted. Inniskillin founded in Niagara-on-the-Lake
- 1988 a free trade agreement reached with USA meaning quality had to increase. VQA was launched the same year.
Canadian ice wine can be produced with which grapes?
Vidal, but also from Riesling and Cabernet Franc
VQA standards are legally…..
Enforced in Ontario, but voluntary in British Columbia
What percentage of VQA wine from Ontario or British Columbia must be of grapes grown in the Provence?
100%. But if labelled with a more precise appellation, British Columbia VQA Wines must contain a minimum 95% grapes grown in the stated appellation whereas Ontario VQA wines require 85% for Appellations and regional Appellations, and 100% for sub-appellations (in Niagara Pennisula).
- Largest producer with approximately 15,000 acres devoted to vinifera grapes
- 3 main Appellations or Viticultural areas: Niagara Penninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, Prince Edward County. Used to include Pelee Island, this was until 2013, and is now part of Lake Erie North Shore VQA
What is the climate of Ontario?
Cool continental climate. This is mitigated by the Lake effect of the Great Lakes.
The largest viticultural area in Ontario is?
Niagara Pennisula. It is divided into two regional Appellations: Niagara Escarpment and Niagara- on- the- Lake
What are the dominate grape varieties of the Niagara Pennisula?
Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and Pinot Noir
Icewine in Ontario?
German style adopted in Niagara Peninsula by Inniskillin, remains one of the most acclaimed wines of the region. Hopeful producers declare their intent to produce icewine to the VQA in November, and allow grapes to remain on the vine into the winter, finally harvesting the frozen grapes at night, when temperatures reach at least -8° C. The resulting wine is concentrated, intensely sweet, and rich, yet they retain acidity for balance. While icewine currently represents about half of Ontario’s exports, it accounts for less than 5% of production.
Prince Edward County- Ontario?
- Separated from the mainland by water
- Well-drained soils, interspersed with inlets and coves
- Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are common amidst the region’s handful of wineries
British Columbia- Canada
- Five VQA Designated Viticultural Areas (DVAs): Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Similkameen Valley, Gulf Islands, and Okanagan Valley.
- Okanagan Valley is one of the world’s most northerly wine regions, reaching northward of the 49th parallel, and the most developed region in British Columbia—the valley supplies 82% of the province’s wine.
- he narrow valley, located between the Cascades and the Monashee Mountains, enjoys long daylight hours and a true continental climate, despite some mitigation of extremes by the nearby Lake Okanagan. Summers are hotter than in California’s coastal regions, and winters are much colder, bringing annual fears of significant vine damage.
- Vineyards are divided between white and red grapes, with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot, and Pinot Blanc enjoying significant acreage