Canada’s wine-making history is relatively short. Beginning in the early 1800s, some of the early European settlers experimented with planting vinifera species from their home country, but these often succombed to vine diseases in the heat and humidity of summers, and froze to death in the frigid winters. However, indigenous grapes could withstand these conditions. European varietals were still being tested, but labrusca and riparia grapes and their hybrids such as Vidal Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Baco Noir, Concord, Niagara, Duchess and Maréchal Foch made up the majority of the wines. Suffice to say, these were not the stuff of global acclaim.
In the early 1900s, Canada saw a sweeping temperance movement that enacted a Prohibition in most of the provinces from 1901 in Prince Edward Island, ending for most of the country in 1930 (Prince Edward Island finally relented in 1948). This had similar consequences and blackmarket equivocations as the American one.
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