As we flip the calendar to welcome 2018, it’s time to make resolutions for enriching our lives throughout the year ahead. Be sure your list includes making time to appreciate the wines grown right here in Ontario—you’ll be glad you did! Here are three reasons (and four delicious wines) to help you embrace the Love Local resolution.
For much of the year, Ontario’s climate can make us shiver. But the wines that our cool climate creates can give us chills—in a good way. Our brisk, lake-moderated climate allows grapes to develop complex aromas and flavours without losing any of the brilliant natural acidity that keeps wines vibrant, crisp and food-friendly. It also provides perfect conditions for chic, cool-climate-loving grapes such as Chardonnay, Gamay, Riesling and more.
Ontario’s boutique wineries make wonderfully distinctive wines that stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the international wine scene. Ontario wines have been praised by such prominent wine writers as Allen Meadows, Jamie Goode, Matt Kramer, Ian D’Agata, Steven Spurrier and Jancis Robinson, MW. Not only have our interpretations of classic wine grapes earned big fans around the globe, but our vineyards have actually birthed a unique vinifera grape variety: Gamay Noir Droit, which was born in a Château des Charmes vineyard in Niagara and creates one of the most distinctively dynamic red wines of the region.
One bottle of Ontario wine generates on average over $43 worth of economic benefit to the people here in our province. Ontario’s winemaking and grape-growing efforts provide more than 18,000 jobs a year, and the 2.4 million annual visitors to Ontario wine country add nearly $850 million to our local economy through wine tourism. And you needn’t be an outsider to enjoy wine tourism: exploring Ontario’s beautiful wine country is a great way to enhance your appreciation of our local wines by getting a firsthand look at where they’re grown and meeting the passionate people who make them. Ontario is home to more than 150 VQA wineries (up from just 102 a decade ago), so there’s plenty to explore!
CALAMUS ESTATE WINERY WHITE NIGHT 2014
484014 (D) 750 mL $13.95
Bright and refreshing, with suggestions of roses, lemon and peach.
Full-bodied & Rich
New at VINTAGES
G. MARQUIS THE SILVER LINE CHARDONNAY 2016
Niagara Stone Road Vineyard, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
258681 (XD) 750 mL $17.95
Juicy and tart, with green apple, spice, smoke and excellent length.
88 points (Michael Godel)
Full-bodied & Rich
VINELAND ESTATES ELEVATION ST. URBAN VINEYARD RIESLING 2016
VQA Niagara Escarpment
038117 (M) 750 mL $19.95
Floral, juicy and lifted, with lime, apple, grapefruit, peach and mineral tones.
Off-dry & Fruity
CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ST. DAVID’S BENCH VINEYARD GAMAY NOIR DROIT 2016
VQA St. David’s Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake
346742 (XD) 750 mL $18.95
Bright, intense and focused, with dark fruit, earth, smoke and spice.
Medium-bodied & Fruity