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A Short Note on Canadian Wine

September 5, 2011

Ice Wine "Slushies" at Ice House Winery, Ontario, Canada

We love wine; perhaps too much. We love it at least as much as we love beer, which gets much more frequent attention here at Wanderings. Certainly wine has reason to feel slighted. It shouldn’t. The East coast brews some world-class beers, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the embarrassment of brewery riches at our disposal. Our East coast winery experiences have been an embarrassment of a different sort. The “terroir” here just isn’t as well suited to the task, I’m afraid. So we’ve spent less time visiting, and therefore writing about, wineries.

One might naturally think that the cold weather conditions in Canada are positively dreadful for vinting wine. They’d be wrong.

A peculiar thing happens when grapes freeze on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved grape solids do not freeze, allowing for a more concentrated ‘must’ to be pressed from the frozen grapes. From this must, a fantastically sweet “ice wine” is made. Canada is the world’s largest producer of these delicious dessert wines, with Ontario accounting for 75% of Canadian output. If you’re in the area checking out Niagara Falls, Toronto, or other nearby destinations, you owe it to yourself to sample some of these awesome and truly unique wines.


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