With Canada being synonymous with the maple leaf, it may be a surprise to some to learn it also has a strong affinity with grape vines! The Canadian wine industry may be on a smaller scale than some of the more widely known regions but the fine quality of their wine production will ensure that once sampled a Canadian wine will not be forgotten. A taste testing tour is a good way to experience what is on offer as well as seeing the beautiful locations where Canadian wines are produced.
A vintage vacation
British Columbia has many areas of unspoilt natural beauty, offering a visitor a unique opportunity to ski in the morning, golf in the afternoon and then settle down to a fantastic meal of locally sourced produce and of course excellent wine. There are also many fine wine producing areas to visit and to enjoy, but the most famous is the Okanogan Valley, a five hour drive from Vancouver with over 100 wineries nestled around its rolling hills. It is the diverse climate here that enables a variety of wine production. Local tipples include chardonnay, pinot noir and merlot.
For those looking for some sea air Vancouver Island offers visitors fine boutique wineries all within a short drive of the ocean and the stunning gardens of Victoria.
A famous fall and a drop to drink
On the other side of Canada near the world famous Niagara Falls, is the Niagara wine region. The region includes the low lying Niagara-on-the-Lake and the higher Niagara Escarpment. It is home to over three quarters of Canada’s grapes and offers over 60 wineries to visit. It is also where the majority of Canadian ice wine is produced. Ice wine is a sweet dessert wine made when grapes freeze on the vine. If there in winter it is possible to help pick the frozen grapes off the vines, but guest may want to pack their snowshoes!
There are picturesque townships to visit and country inns offering fine dining experiences and a chance to enjoy a drop of the local produce. The stunning views of Niagara Falls and the surrounding attractions make this a unique place to visit. Many of the wineries have award-winning restaurants to complement the wines with local freshly grown produce.
A drink fit for royalty
A relatively new wine region can be found in Prince Edward County, on the northeast shores of Lake Ontario. This picturesque region remains undiscovered allowing visitors the run of the vineyard. Only a short drive from the St. Laurence River and the 1000 islands, this is defiantly an area with a great deal of promise.
Canada is known as the great white north. After tasting some of their magnificent white wines, this will have extra meaning! A wine tour can take visitors across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific. With the legendary Canadian hospitality and beautiful scenery to enjoy and wide variety of wine to sample the only issue will be the duty free allowances on what can be brought home!
Post by Anthony, a travel blogger based in Britain writing for cheapflights.co.uk