The heart of the Canadian wine industry is in Ontario. The main production areas are as follows:
The Niagara Peninsula is the largest and most diverse viticultural area in Canada. It is located on the south-western corner of Lake Ontario and is subdived into two regional appellations, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Escarpment. There are further sub-appellations within the region. The temperature moderating effect of the lake and the shape of the escarpment which helps circulate the air are key factors in ripening the grapes and preventing fungal disease.
There are many soil types and grape varietals planted here. Riesling does particularly well making fresh and fruity dry and off dry wines. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Gamay are all worth seeking out of this area.
Prince Edward County
Located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario at a latitude of 44°N, makes this Ontario’s most northern appellation. Grape growers rely on the lake to provide a moderated and productive cool climate growing season. The broken limestone bedrock and stony soils of this appellation allow for excellent drainage in the spring and acts like a wet sponge throughout the growing season, forcing vines to grow deeper during the hot summer months and produce small yields with concentrated flavours.
Lake Erie North Shore
Here you find the vineyards in the southwestern extremity of Ontario. This favourable southerly location combined with the warming effect of the shallow waters of Lake Erie means this appellation enjoys a long growing season where fruit ripens well and retains great balance balance between natural sweetness and acidity.
25 km off the mainland, Pelee Island lies at Canada’s most southerly point, allowing for the longest growing season of all the winemaking regions in Canada.