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Home Wine Regions All About Canadian Wines

All About Canadian Wines

British Columbia is Canada's primary wine grape growing region. But nearly every province in Canada has at least some wine grape vineyards. It takes great skill to grow these vineyards in Canada's harsh climate. It is only in the last generation that Canadian wines have gained respect globally. Many of the wines gaining respect are merely the work of small family operations.

Canada is a huge region, but not much of it is suitable for growing anything. However, the areas along the border with the United States are more moderate than some of the popular growing areas of Europe.

Further, Canada is divided up into many semi-protected valleys and hillsides, aided by tall mountain ranges and expansive lakes and rivers. In these areas, modern science combined with ancient vineyard knowledge allows people to successfully grow wine grapes in Canada.

One of the more popular wineries in Canada is the Chateau des Charmes, which has been around since 1978. Approximately six months out of the year are available for growing grapes in this part of the Niagara Peninsula. It is located just south of the Lake Ontario, which helps keep the temperature more moderate. As a result they are able to produce wonderful Chardonnay. The wine produced here is described as being full with a buttery, tropical fruit sensation. Cabernet Sauvignon is also grown here.

In the area around Niagara Falls there are also some popular wine vineyards. These vineyards are aided by limestone soil that is ideal for aeration and watering of vineyard root systems. This soil tends to be dark brown instead of the usual red, which gives the grapes a unique, local flavor that pleases those looking for variety. The weather is aided by a regular warm breeze off of the water, which is why vineyards are able to grow excellent grapes here.

There are wineries in regions as far north as Montreal, which is on the glacial plain. Red wines are produced in this area using Cabernet, Frontenac, Landot, and Savernyi. These wines are dark and vibrant. Typically American oak is the aging material of choice.

As you would expect, many of the vineyards in Canada must be grown with the use of greenhouses. For example, on Prince Edward Island greenhouses are used to grow Blanc, Marechal, Ortega, and Seyval.

Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are also getting in on the wine grape growing. Canadian wines are showing strong growth potential with a unique set of flavors enhanced by unique climatic growing environments.