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home > food & wine dictionary > Canada

Food and Wine Dictionary

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Canada is not a very large wine producer and, in fact, consumes about five times what it produces. The severe climate is very limiting in areas where grapes can be successfully grown. However, a couple of regions are starting to emerge as quality-wine producers-southern Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. The climate of both these areas is tempered by the surrounding lakes. Southern Ontario produces about 85 percent of Canada's wines and has three quality growing areas-Pelee Island, Lake Erie North Shore, and the Niagara Peninsula (this last area produces over 75 percent of all Canadian wines). Most grapes are HYBRIDS like DE CHAUNAC, MARECHAL FOCH, SEYVAL BLANC, and VIDAL BLANC or American varieties like CATAWBA, CONCORD, Elvira, or NIAGARA. Canada grows limited amounts of VITIS VINIFERA grapes including CHARDONNAY, GAMAY, GEWÜRZTRAMINER, PINOT NOIR, and RIESLING. Canadian wineries are allowed to add grapes from other countries to their wine production.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

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