Map source : www.world-food-and-wine.com
History has it that the Viking explorer Leif Ericsson named « Vineland » the shores of Canada which he discovered around the year 1000, probably from a local variety prospering wild. But documented wine growing and production appears only at the beginning of the 19th century, based on the indigenous vitis labrusca. Modern production is only 20 years old and is growing at a steady pace. Canada is famous as the first world producer and exporter of sweet "ice wines" produced from grapes picked late in the year at around 10°C, and requiring 10 times more grape input than normal wine.
Production: 1,85 Mhl Consumption: 4Mhl
- climate: continental moderated by the proximity of the Great Lakes, with very cold winters and hot summers
- main grape varieties: nowadays based on vitis vinifera, Canadian wine growing uses essentially classical varieties: chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris and pinot noir for the whites, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, gamay and merlot for the reds. Riesling and vidal are used for the ice wines.
Main wine regions
85% of the production originates from the State of Ontario, with the Lake Ontario South shore, the North shore of Lake Erie and its Pelee Island and the Niagara Falls peninsula. There are 18 wine regions, the main apart Ontario being British Columbia, Southern Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
In 1988, the Vintners Quality Alliance introduced strict quality standards to guarantee origin and quality of production. Canada also processes imported grapes, marketed under the "cellared in Canada" indication.