(NC) Wine lovers and professional tasters at home and abroad know Canadian wines rival the best in the world. Next time you shop for wine, consider these reasons to go patriotic when choosing a vineyard.
1. Take a tour.
Take advantage of a local winery near you. Most offer guided tours explaining their production process and treat guests to tastings of their most-coveted vintages. They also feature beautiful scenery that’s a visual treat any time of year.
2. Ice, ice baby.
Canadian icewines are sweet dessert wines renowned for rich flavours and unsurpassed smoothness. To make icewine, temperatures must fall to at least -8°C at which time the grapes are pressed while still frozen and sugar concentrations are at their maximum. The process results in a unique and luscious sweetness that’s helped Canadian icewines win the highest awards at the world’s most prestigious wine fairs, including Vinexpo and VinItaly.
3. Perfect finishes.
Most grapes are grown in the southern parts of British Columbia and Ontario, where sun-drenched summers give way to warm, lingering autumns. Like the cool-climate wine districts of New Zealand, Germany and parts of France, these Canadian regions enjoy an ideal climate for the slow maturing of the grapes, a leisurely ripening that ensures just the right balance of acidity and sweetness in the finished wines.
4. Vintage quality.
High-quality grapes and excellent growing conditions, combined with investments in our world-class wineries and new varieties, have contributed enormously to the increasing success of Canadian wines at home and abroad. Though most Canadian wine is consumed domestically, exports have increased rapidly, from $19 million in 2009 to over $80 million in 2016. And we’re only getting better. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s scientists are working together with grape growers and vintners on everything from vineyard pest control to irrigation, from reducing grape stress to better describing the unique characteristics of our wines.
5. Variety, the spice of life.
With so many options, there’s a Canadian wine perfect for every palette, meal and occasion. Our wines can be cellared for years to develop the subtlest tones of fruits, flowers and spices, while others can be in the glass soon after bottling. From a rich, velvety Merlot to a crisp, elegant Riesling, our quality wines can grace any table, from a holiday celebration to a fine meal enjoyed quietly at home.
Find more information at agr.gc.ca/discoveragriculture.