Author: Laura Milnes
Silk + Coupe
Let me share my passion of food + wine with you
It’s a special time to be Canadian: wine quality has never been better. Historically stigmatized, or generally known only for ice wine production (or for not making any at all) - is quickly becoming an assumption of the past.
Cheerleaders are needed more than ever, most notably because there’s so much to be excited about.
Read on to discover 5 of the main regions producing world caliber juice. Take note, and plan for a trip. Expect to be blown away and question why you didn’t visit sooner.
Painted Rock Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley
Okanagan Valley - British Columbia
BC’s top producing region, best known for its incredible diversity with over 80 varieties planted and home to 185 licensed wineries. The Okanagan is a 200 km long, semi arid desert, with glittering lakes enveloped by rolling hills,that might make you question if you're in the Mediterranean. Expect to find excellent examples of Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and even obscure varieties like Albarino, Tempranillo or Dolcetto.
Prince Edward County - Ontario
Located roughly 2 hours east of Toronto, “The County” is a hotbed of limestone - expect razor sharp, electric examples of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc. Producing lean, angular and lower alcohol wines due to its cooler climate, the County is home to 35 wineries that are predominantly boutique and family owned. Anticipate a pastoral, old timey vibe, reminiscent of English countryside.
Pondview Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake - Ontario
Likely one of the most difficult regions in which to grow grapes due to heavy disease pressure and ample humidity - but thanks to the Niagara Escarpment, it’s not only possible, but thriving with grape growing activity. Lake Ontario provides a moderating effect on the land, keeping heat in. Find stunning examples of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, sparkling and ice wine around these parts. Located 1.5 hours south of Toronto, it’s great for making quick weekend trips should you find yourself visiting the city.
Annapolis Valley - Nova Scotia
One of the oldest grape growing regions in North America - although that’s not a widely known fact. The Annapolis Valley is most famous for its examples of sparkling wine - of which many wine experts and enthusiasts argue rival the quality and caliber that comes from Champagne. The valley is located on the western part of the Nova Scotian peninsula, and in addition to outstanding bubbly, is home to a wide array of hybrid varieties including Seyval Blanc, L’Acadie Blanc and New York Muscat.
Eastern Townships - Quebec
In between tasting, stop to visit the Eastern Township’s numerous quaint and scenic villages along this 140km route. Housing 22 of the region’s wineries, it’s responsible for roughly 50% of Quebec’s total production. Discover delicious examples of cider, sparkling wine and plenty of hybrids: marechal foch, marquette and seyval blanc. This sub region is home to some of Quebec’s oldest vineyards, many of which are still family owned and operated. Located a few hours south east of Montreal, it’s an excellent way to get a glimpse of a much heralded wine region that is still relatively undiscovered.