Canadian wines are not well-known outside of the country, but those who do discover them are in for a real treat. Thanks to the cool climate Canada produces many of the world's finest icewines as well as elegant sparkling and dry white wines. The first commercial Canadian winery opened in the mid-19th century and today there are over 800 licensed producers.
Key Canadian Wine Regions
Since much of the country is unsuitable for viticulture, Canadian winemaking is concentrated in two main regions, Ontario and British Columbia. Ontario alone has two-thirds of the country's vines and makes more than 90% of Canadian ice wines. The best known sub-region in Ontario is the Niagara Peninsula which produces the best Canadian crisp and aromatic white wines as well as intense, sweet ice wines by letting the grapes freeze on the vine.
Canadian Grape Varieties
Due to the cold climate Canadian winemakers often plant hardy hybrid grape varieties like Vidal which is commonly used to make ice wines. These top Canadian opulent sweet wines tend to pair well with blue cheeses, fruit-based desserts, or spicy dishes. For white wines Riesling and Gewurztraminer tend to suit the cooler conditions while Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc are typical grapes used for Canadian red wines.