Ontario is Canada's largest wine region, producing a wide range of high-quality wines, particularly cool climate varietals such as Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
Regional History & Terroir: Ontario has a long history of winemaking, dating back to the early 19th century. The region has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters, and a range of soil types including limestone, clay, and sand. The terroir is also influenced by the Great Lakes, which help to moderate the climate and provide a source of humidity.
Typical Grape Varietals: Ontario is known for growing cool climate grape varietals such as Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, as well as hybrid varietals such as Vidal Blanc and Baco Noir. The region also produces some red Bordeaux varietals, such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
Regional Wine Styles: Ontario produces a wide range of high-quality wines, particularly white wines made from cool climate grape varietals. Riesling is a particularly successful varietal in the region, producing wines with high acidity and mineral notes. Chardonnay is also popular, with some producers using oak aging to produce rich and complex wines. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red varietal in the region, producing elegant and delicate wines with cherry and raspberry notes. Icewine, a sweet dessert wine made from grapes that have been frozen on the vine, is also a specialty of the region.