Canada, due to its relatively cold climate, produces by world standards, little wine.
Of the ten provinces, Ontario produces the most, followed by British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Prince Edwards Island.
Ontario Horticultural Research Station’s own expert claimed in 1970’s that the provinces winters are too cold to protect vines from freezing, and summers too short to ripen grapes fully. Four decades later young and ambitious growers and winemakers have proven these scientists wrong every season, although there are appreciable vintage variations. It must also be stated that global warming has positively affected viticulture in Ontario. We now know that grapes ripen faster than two decades ago, vines are older and yield better quality, yields are reduced to produce more concentrated wines, and new technologies are being introduced all the time to make better wines.
Here are a few Ontario wines you can try confidently:
Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Chardonnay, 2009, Le Clos Jordanne
Vincor-Boisset of Burgundy conceived Le Clos Jordanne in the 20 Mile Bench appellation with the goal to produce outstanding chardonnay and pinot noir.
This single-vineyard chardonnay with a straw colour, smells of lemon, and granny Smith apples. It has a fine minerality, with a rich and unctuous palate.
available at Vintages or by contacting Vincor directly.
Approximately $ 40.00
Pinot Blanc, 2008, Vineland Estates
Vibrant aromas of fresh citrus, and melon waft out of the glass. Excellent mouth feel. Racy acidity with a fine balance.
Chardonnay, 2010, Pondview Estates
A fine example of the warm and sunny vintage, has a good intensity bursting with ripe melon, apple, peach and citrus aromas. Racy acidity combined with a medium to full body makes this wine an excellent food accompaniment for poached salmon with sauce Hollandaise, or served cold with aioli.
Riesling, 2010, Malivoire Estates
Orange blossom, honey and tangerine flavours dominate this wine. Vinted using exclusively riesling, it has a medium body, but excellent balance.
Late Harvest Vidal, 2009, Twenty Bees Winery
A light amber in colour, with aromas of pear, peach and hints of honey. Complex and well balanced with pleasant acidity, and sweetness with undertones of dried peach, candied pineapple, and dried apricots. Long and fine finish.
375 ml $ 9.95
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, Lakeview Cellars
The 2007 vintage is hailed as the best to date. Dark purple in colour, this wine exhibits rich aromas of black fruits, and berries, and spice. Full-bodied and complex, with oak undertones. Cellar for three to five years for better evolution of flavours.
Syrah Reserve, 2007, Lakeview Cellars
Syrah is a relatively new introduction to Ontario. This wine from the St. David’s bench appellation is deep garnet in colour, offering cedar, spice and ripe stone fruit aromas. In the mouth it offers chocolate and vanilla flavours. Long and clean finish.
Chardonnay Tete de Cuvee, 2008, Hidden Bench
This chardonnay from the quality-obsessed small winery that favours low yields is one of the best of the vintage in the province.
Citrus and peach aromas waft out of the glass, buttressed with gentle minerality in the mouth. Superbly balanced with a long and satisfying finish.
Enjoy with boiled lobster, pan-fried wild salmon, salmon fillet with cream sauce, pan-fried Dover sole a la Meuniere, marinated seafood appetizers, sautéed escalopes.