In the recent times, wines produced in Canada have gained greater recognition. Thirsty grape lovers can truly enjoy some of the lip-smacking wines and the one of the best ways of tasting wines is at its source. There are a multitude of great wineries in the Niagara region of Ontario and Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. They are the top wine producers in the country. However, a visit to the rustic wineries in Québec, Nova Scotia and Cowichan Valley in Vancouver Island can be equally rewarding. Here are some of the larger regions as well as the smaller locales.
Okanagan Valley is only a five-hour drive away from Vancouver. There are over 100 wineries along the slopes where you can get reds and whites as the region enjoys a diverse climate. The varieties include pinot noir, pinot blanc, pinot gris, merlot and chardonnay. You can have your base at Kelowna, the wine capital of Okanagan and visit wineries such as Mission Hill, Cedar Creek, Quail’s Gate and Summerhill Pyramid Winery
The historic town of Oliver to the south of the valley is the place for some of the best Okanagan wineries in British Columbia. The Golden Mile has a hot climate that fosters not only a long, but also a warm growing season. Presence of clay, gravel and sandy soils in this area is best suited to producing varietals such as merlot, gewürztraminer, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. There are about 20 including celebrated producers such as Burrowing Owl, Road 13 Vineyards and Tinhorn Creek.
The farming areas of the Cowichan Valley in Vancouver Island also have some great wineries. If you drive from Victoria, some of the wineries that you will come across include Averill Creek, Cherry Point Vineyards, Blue Grouse and Venturie-Schulze. You can also visit Merridale Estate Cidery.
There are over 60 wineries in the Niagara Peninsula which forms part of the picturesque Ontario region with its country inns and old towns that are charming. This region grows more than 75 percent of the grapes grown in Canada. The complex mix of climates and soils in the region are similar to the Loire Valley and are ideal for riesling, chardonnay, cabernet-franc and pinot noir varietals. Niagara is the place where the Canadian icewine, the sweet dessert drink, is produced. Some of the biggest and best wineries of Canadalocated in the region includeJackson-Triggs, Inniskillin and Peller Estates. There are also smaller wineries in the Escarpment area like Cave Spring Cellars and Magnotta.
Prince Edward County
You can reach the Prince Edward County located in Ontario’s southeastern part, a new grape-growing region, in about three hours driving from Toronto. This region experiences lower temperatures,when compared with Niagara, and, therefore, the wines preferred in this region includepinot noir and chardonnay. The major wineries in the region include Black Prince Winery, Closson Chase and Grange of Prince Edward.
Eastern Townships are located around 80 kilometers to the southeast of Montreal and a number of wineries have recently come up in this place which is traditionally a farming area. This place is best suited for producing rieslings and chardonnays because of thesoil conditions and cool climate. However, the main specialties of the area are the dessert wines, local icewines and fruit wines.
In addition, you should not leave out Montérégien and Nova Scotia’s boutique wine-producing regions during your visit to Canada.
Post by Tony, a UK based blogger who has his own travel blog at http://www.rocktravel.org