The Beauty of an Ontario Winery is that they have vineyards in Southern Ontario that are perfect for growing grapes. Ontario wineries come from different regions in southern Ontario, namely Niagara Peninsula, Pelee Island & Lake Erie North Shore. Geographically, this area in Ontario is in the centre of the northern band of the world’s wine belt which is 30 to 50 degrees north or south of the equator.
Ontario is considered a cooler growing climate then most wineries in the world. Most crops yield smaller quantities of grapes, however usually the fewer quantities of grapes mean they will produce a more concentrated flavour. This is one reason why wines produced in colder climates have a livelier flavour then wines from a hotter climate.
What makes southern Ontario regions ideally suited to producing great wines is its unique microclimate that protects and nurtures its 16,000 acres of wineries throughout Ontario’s cold winters. Lake Erie & Ontario act as a sort of hot water bottle moderating the surrounding climate by storing heat in the summer months and giving it off in the winter to warm up the air temperature over the precious vineyards.
Besides climate, good soil drainage and good canopy management are very important to good grape growing conditions in Ontario wineries and throughout the world. Grapes grow well on a thin layer of topsoil and well drained subsoil. Many Ontario wineries were established as former fruit orchards like peach, cherry, plum and pear where the soil has been ideally conditioned for grape growing.
A grapevine canopy is everything above the ground on the vine, which includes the trunk, canes, shoots, leaves and grapes. To manage the canopy, vintners alter the position and number of the shoots and the spacing of the fruit on the vines. The aim of canopy management is to create balance between the fruit and the shoot.
The benefits of canopy management include improved wine quality, optimized grape yield, reduced incidence of some diseases, decreased production costs and improved grape quality.
Of the over 4000 different grape varieties in the world, only a handful of them are good enough to be made into wine. Grapes must have a perfect balance between fruit sugars and acids to make good wine. The best grapes for fine wine production in Ontario wineries are the classic European Vitis Vinifera, which are extensively planted in Ontario’s vineyards. Though some wines are being produced with some French hybrids.
Ontario’s rich viticulture areas produce over 80% of Canada’s domestically grown wine from over 15000 acres of wine grape vineyards. Wine products include dry white & red table wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines and fortified wines.
The climate in the Niagara Peninsula’s wine growing season is comparable to that of Burgundy France.
With the 1988 formation of the Vintners Quality Alliance, it has elevated the stature of Ontario wines and the designation is known worldwide. For Ontario wine to meet VQA standards it must meet the following criteria:
-100% of the grapes used must have been grown in Ontario
-the grape variety must be made from an approved list of V Vinifera and/or French hybrid
-the wine must be entirely fermented, processed, blended, finished and bottled in Ontario
Our Ontario winery, King’s Court Estate Winery has many VQA designated wines. We welcome you to browse our website to see our selection of fine red, white, dessert and specialty wines. We are a seven generation, family owned and run winery with roots in Germany. We are a family that loves making wines and loves making people smile when they taste our wine. Please call us through our website and we will be happy to tell you more!