From East to West: Canada’s Coastal Wine

1st August 2018


The whole world over is producing wine these days. There’s red, there’s white and there’s everything in between to choose from, with tastes varying by field miles, let alone country. How best then to choose a bottle for your brunch? By experience, by location, or by advice?

Canadian wines have reigned supreme in North America for decades, fizzy or still, but there are others from around the region that might just pique your interest.

Travel by Flavour

Canada has two main wine producing provinces, each at polar ends of the country. There’s Ontario in the east, on the shores of the great lakes and Niagara and there’s British Columbia to the West which leads out toward the Pacific. Both of these regions are worth a visit in their own right and regularly see visitors from all over the globe flying in because of it. What a lot of people forget to mention, however, is the wine; table, icewine or otherwise. The fact is that the vineyards of these famous destinations are ripe for the picking – their quality is world class and their flavour delicious by any standard.

Lottery winners, couples and tasters alike head out on tours every year, with the fields an added bonus to the already beautiful country and host of tourist attractions. If you’re going to California, you should really come on up to Canada too. Heck, forget California for now! Your taste buds will thank you for it.

The Ontario Grapes

Like all wine-producing regions, there’s a certain amount of disparity in both quality and price in Ontarian wine. Numerous grape varieties see cultivation, especially in the southern, warmer regions, with everything from Riesling to Merlot on the menu. If you’re drinking Ontarian wine, the one thing you should except overall is fruit. Fruity undertones, fruity overtones and texture. The area plays home to numerous wineries that specialise in fruit alcohol – cherry, plum, pear, and these can be combined with grape produce to create distinct flavours. The area is already used to tender crops like apricots and peaches. It only made sense to try and combine!

Try and start with varieties from the Niagara Peninsula, Canada’s largest wine growing landscape. The unique climate of Lake Ontario and the falls creates many a sub-appellation and eventual subtlety in taste.

British Columbia

Moving over to the other side of the country now, British Columbia sits neighbour to the Gulf of Alaska. Typically seen as a host to cold and arid weather, the province has a drier climate than most in its southern landscapes, making for an idyllic grape climate despite its latitude. The Okanagan Valley, in particular, has a reputation for top quality wine and other areas are continually experimenting with cultivation and soil. Red, white and rose are primarily the name of the game, with carbonated strains less common.

Needless to say, the variety in Canadian wine is as endless as can be. There will always be changes year to year, weather by weather. One thing’s for sure though: you should definitely give it a try. Start cheap, start main brand, and then work your way up if you have to. Once that’s done you can book the province-wide tours come summer!

Glass of Bubbly

Executive editor of news content for the website Please enjoy the articles that we share - We hope you find our love for Champagne & Sparkling Wines both interesting and educational.