Did you know that the vine is grown on six continents, and in over 60 different countries? These lush regions have rich, unique cultures, a unique geographical location, and a brand of viticulture. When it comes to discovering the world’s best wines, tasting is only half the fun. Exploring the wine routes is a real adventure and involves a beautiful view, fresh air, and different tastes. Which wine routes to go? That’s a tough question to ask since all of them offer a unique experience worth going for. However, Canada should be on the list of your top wine tours, especially the region of Ontario. Since we’re suggesting it, it is only fair to offer you a list of the regions known for tasting, and tours you should go for, once you visit Canada.
Prince Edward County
Said to be the youngest wine county of this region, located on the north coast of Lake Ontario. It is also a county with growing popularity because of the quality wines and experiences. Those of you reading this article may wonder how is such industry growing popular given the fact that the climate is rather harsh. Such challenges have only pushed people to find a way to get over them, and as a result, the grapes produced here have developed a very unique taste. Combined with other experiences offered by this interesting county, such as beautiful beaches, breweries, and restaurants, visitors who like hedonistic experiences are guaranteed to enjoy them. Here’s our suggestion of a good winery.
Traynor Family Vineyard
In the heart of the county lies a family business dedicated to growing and crafting great wines. As the county is known for promoting veganism, a vegan type of wine is what you will find in their broad offer. The more detailed content of what a typical Ontario vineyard experience includes, find here.
This county is also known as the largest cultural area in the whole country. As for the vineyards, they cover as much as 11,000 acres, almost three-quarters of the overall grape growing volume. How so? It is because the area is quite sunny, which complements the cultivation of grapes. The season is somewhat comparable to the ones in France and Italy. No need to say how the fruits grown here are of exquisite quality, providing wines with a more complex and intensive taste.
Best of all, when you’re visiting this part of the country, you can also enjoy one of the world’s wonders – Niagara Falls.
Chateau des Charmes Winery
For those who like it sparkly, this winery is on your list of must- visit. Its charm is very captivating, as is the fact that its owner belongs to the fifth generation of French winegrowers. They moved to Niagara in the sixties, determined to continue their family tradition – grow delicious fruits, and use to make the best wines. It’s a business based on sustainability.
Lake Erie North Shore
This third county on our list is located at the southern tip of the state. The maritime climate here is suitable for the production of Riesling and Vidal wines, as well as red varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The vital cultural area marked here is largely defined by water. The water heats up faster during hot summers and cools down faster in winter. This has a profound effect on the growing season, which begins and ends earlier than in other parts of the state.
Erie Shore Vineyard
This is one of the first wineries in the North Shore area, established in the nineties. It’s a family business where two different generations work on making the best wine, known for the best prices.
How did Canada become so successful in wine production?
The Canadian wine industry has begun with the arrival of Europeans to the continent. Of course, due to the weather conditions, it was a difficult job and many varieties that the settlers brought with them failed to thrive and perished. So, the few winemakers turned to American and French hybrid varieties.
An additional blow to the wine industry was brought by Prohibition, which was in force, depending on the province, from the beginning until the 1930s. At the beginning of the 90s, Canadian legislators brought some interesting tax reliefs, liberalized production, signed a few trade agreements, and suddenly the number of winemakers on the market grew from about 30 to over 150. Most vineyards are located on the Atlantic coast around Niagara Falls and Ontario, and on the Pacific side in British Columbia. Wineries are spread throughout the following provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan; while the main wine-growing regions are: Lake Erie North Shore, Niagara Peninsula, Prince Edward County, Nova Scotia, Okanagan, Similkameen, Naramata Bench, Vancouver.
Even though the industry is quite large, winemakers can hardly produce certain quality wines, primarily for climatological reasons, so they rely on late and frosty harvests. Their vineyards are young, with an average age of about 20 years, and they produce less complex wines with a more pronounced fruity note. The most common varieties are Riesling, Vidal (American variety), Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. However, with modern approaches, but also due to the present warming of the planet, the planting of other varieties is growing, which, a few decades ago, was crazy to even think that they would be able to thrive in Canada.
In the end, it’s also important to emphasize that you do not need to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy a quality wine tour. So, if by any chance you have been avoiding these for this reason, now is the time to start planning your next trip to Canada, and experience some of the best cuisine and wine you’ve ever had.