Canadian Wineries

Paperback | December 16, 2015

byTony Aspler

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The story of Canada''s entry into the world of world-class vintages.

In the late 1980s, the Canadian wine industry embarked upon a radical transformation. Faced with free trade, the end of government subsidies and Ontario legislation that banned native grape varieties from table wine, vintners got serious about planting and nurturing Old World vinafera varieties. Enriching their own growing experience by drawing on that of the global wine community''s winemakers, Canadians began to produce award-winning vintages.

Renowned wine writer Tony Aspler has spent much of his career chronicling this impressive rebirth. In Canadian Wineries, he teams up with principal photographer Jean-François Bergeron and his colleagues at Enviro Foto to profile more than 60 of Canada''s best wineries. To make a selection from the roughly 560 Canadian wineries currently operating, they imposed strict criteria, taking into account the quality of the wine produced and its sustained quality from vintage to vintage, the winery''s influence on the direction and style of the wines in their region, the aesthetic appeal of the winery''s property and setting, and regional representation.

The result is a gorgeous and compelling journey through British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, where we meet some of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the art of winemaking, enjoy a bird''s eye view of their estates and are invited inside the state-of-the-art facilities where the magic happens. A beautiful appreciation of one of Canada''s most inspiring homegrown success stories, Canadian Wineries also includes:

  • Introductory histories to the winemaking traditions in each province
  • Stand-alone profiles of notable Canadian vintners
  • A seasonal guide to visiting wineries
  • The story of ice wine: Canada''s gift of winter to the world
  • Ice cider: Quebec''s winter wine
  • Photographic essays that showcase the diverse landscapes of Canada''s wine regions, fine local dining, local agriculture and regional heritage.

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From the Publisher

The story of Canada's entry into the world of world-class vintages. In the late 1980s, the Canadian wine industry embarked upon a radical transformation. Faced with free trade, the end of government subsidies and Ontario legislation that banned native grape varieties from table wine, vintners got serious about planting and nurturing Old World vinafera varieties. Enriching their own growing ex...

Wine educator and lecturer Tony Aspler is Canada's most experienced wine writer. A longtime wine columnist for The Toronto Star, he is also the author of 16 books on food and wine, including The Wine Atlas of Canada and Tony Aspler's Cellar Book. In December 2007, Aspler was awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions as a leading authority on Canadian wines. Since co-founding Enviro Foto in 1991, photogra...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.5 × 7.5 × 0.81 inPublished:December 16, 2015Publisher:Firefly BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770852441

ISBN - 13:9781770852440

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Read from the Book

Introduction There were, at the time this book went to press, some 560 wineries across Canada. Most make their wines from grapes grown in the region; many produce orchard and berry fruit wines, and some make cider and mead. By the time you read these words, there may well be dozens of new wineries across the country as more and more Canadians succumb to the romantic lure of owning a winery. You may be surprised to know that wine, whether grape- or fruit-based, is made in every Canadian province. The only regions not engaged in winemaking are the territories in the Far North; and with global warming, who knows? In the future, we might just see a Nunavut Riesling or a Northwest Territories Baco Noir. In preparing this book, photographer Jean-Franois Bergeron and I travelled across Canada, at different times and during different seasons, from 2005 until publication, to document in pictures and prose what our wineries do best. In making a final selection as to whom we should include, we had to make some hard decisions. So, what were the criteria we used to determine which wineries should be featured here? First, we were adamant that wine quality across the winery's portfolio and sustained quality from vintage to vintage should be prime considerations. Those criteria precluded the inclusion of very new wineries, such as Pearl Morissette in Jordan, Ontario, and Culmina Family Estate in Oliver, British Columbia, both of which are already making stellar wines. Second, the wineries in question had to be historically significant and have made a marked influence on the direction and style of the wines in their region. A classic example is Inniskillin, which created a global market for Canadian Icewine. Third, since this is a pictorial record of the best that Canada has to offer in the world of wine, there had to be an aesthetic appeal to the property and its setting. For many years, wineries were started on farms, where on-site barns were converted into fermenting facilities. Over the past 15 years or so, winery owners have invested in custom-built facilities that include gravity-flow operations to improve wine quality, and many of these structures are architecturally exciting in their own right. In designing facilities that blend seamlessly into the countryside, these winemakers have been as respectful to the landscape as they have to their terroir. In addition, they have preserved the heritage aspects of their properties. We have also taken into consideration the style and character of wines grown in the four provinces featured in this book. Each has its own personality, based on climate and terroir. For instance, you can't make a comparison of wines grown near Québec City with those grown in British Columbia's Osoyoos. While restricting ourselves to portraying the number of "best wineries in Canada"--with a nod to each wine-growing province--we have taken the liberty of including other details of wineries and personalities that did not make the final edit but which nevertheless have something special to offer wine lovers. Ultimately, you may not agree with our choices, but that only speaks to how good wines grown in Canadian soil have become in a relatively short time. Cheers!

Table of Contents

Introduction

British Columbia: Land of Forests, Mountains and Vines
Okanagan Valley
Similkameen Valley
Fraser Valley
Vancouver Island/Gulf Islands

Ontario: The Cradle of Canada's Wine Industry
Niagara Peninsula
Lake Erie North Shore
Prince Edward County

Icewine: Canada's Gift of Winter to the World

Québec: Canada's Undiscovered Wine Region
Basses-Laurentides
Montérégie
Eastern Townships
Québec City Region

Ice Cider: Québec's Winter Wine

Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Provinces
Annapolis Valley
Gaspereau Valley
Malagash Peninsula

Canada's Winemaking Champions
Harry McWatters: Meet the Godfather
Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser: Impresarios of Icewine
Jim Warren: Ontario's Unretiring Wine Advocate
Christian Barthomeuf: Pioneer and Prophet
Roger Dial: The Father of Nova Scotia Wine

Touring Wineries: A Short Guide
A Year in the Vinyard
Timing Your Winery Visits
Winery Etiquette
Three Steps to Tasting

Index