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Wine Country: Canada

Currently Canada is excelling as one of the best producers of Icewine. However, their fine table wines, sparkling wines and dessert wines are also catching critics’ and wines lover’s attention.

Canadian vintners had a difficult start with the adventure of growing grapes in Canada. At first it was a bumpy road, but ultimately through perseverance, application of modern viticulture practices and proper selection of grape species, they managed to grow grapes successfully. One of the primary grape growing regions is Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. The Okanagan Valley is the largest and oldest grape growing region in British Columbia.

It was through government-sponsored, experimental vineyard plots that the winemakers discovered which varietals ripened properly and survive in the region’s consistently frosty winters. Since then, vineyard managers and winemakers have made good use of this knowledge and refined the art of viticulture in British Columbia. Because of the regions hot dry summers and its harsh winters, it's specialized in big, ripe reds to fresh, cool whites. Also the grapes left to freeze naturally on the vine, are used to produce rich, sweet Icewine. In recent years, Okanagan has seen a dramatic increase in its production of red wine, such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

Another big wine region is Ontario around the Great Lakes area. This wine region produces the largest percentage of Canada’s home grown wine from approximately 15,000 acres of wine grape vineyards. Varietals that have been successful for this area include whites such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc and reds such as Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.