Ontario Wine


Ontario is the most productive wine-producing province within Canada, accounting for the majority of its wines. Though it is located in the middle of the world’s “wine belt,” at 41 - 44 degrees N (the same as Tuscany, Burgundy, and Oregon), the climate is a bit cooler. But it is still very well suited to grape-growing. Four of the Great Lakes (Ontario, Erie, Huron, and Superior) are in Ontario, as well dozens of freshwater lakes, providing plenty of irrigation. Most of the vineyards are situated in the south, parallelling the US border, along the shorelines of Lakes Erie and Ontario, where it is most warm. The soils are a combination of glacial sediment and clay-loam. 
The Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) of Ontario regulates the labeling and quality of the wines. For a single varietal to be declared on a label, the wine must be 85% of that varietal. Labrusca varietals had been the norm for grape plantings, as in most of Canada, due to their hardiness in cold Read more »

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Popular wines made in Ontario under $20

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Varietals Produced in Ontario View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Subregions of Ontario

  • Niagara Peninsula

      The Niagara Peninsula, part of the Ontario province, is the most productive wine region in...

  • Prince Edward County Vqa

    Prince Edward County is one of Canada's newest wine regions. As a man-made island in Lake Ontario...

  • Ontario Vqa

      Ontario is the most productive wine-producing province within Canada, accounting for the m...

  • Prince Edward

    At the beginning of 2001, Prince Edward County in south eastern Ontario didn’t have a single wine...

Popular Wineries in Ontario View all

  • Crown Bench Estates Winery

    Crown Bench Estate Winery is based on a simple idea, that by combining the very best in terrain, ...

  • Joseph's Estate Wines

    Dr. Joseph Pohorly was one of the first winery owners in Niagara. He founded Newark Winery in the...

  • Harbour Estates Winery

    Welcome to our winery! This site is being updated regularly. HEW is located on one of the most un...

  • Caroline Cellars Winery

    Caroline Cellars is one of the newest additions to the winery landscape of Niagara-on-the-Lake. ...

  • Schonmarke

    Schönmarke Gold VQA Icewine is nature's precious gift of winter to wine lovers. It is produced in...

  • Malivoire Wine Company

    These clever organic farmers welcome guests at their unique winery store. Malivoire’s practical ...

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Ontario on Snooth

  • Palatine Hills Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2003


    Fresh cut grass, gooseberry, fresh herbs. Subtle vanilla notes from a short stint in American oak barrels. Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • Stonechurch Vineyards Riesling Niagara Peninsula Vqa 2003


    It smelled absolutely delicious, built on a strong citrus backbone with a crisp apple accompaniment rather like cider that was saved from being harsh by a balancing bit of Bosc pear (say that three times fast). At a sugar code of (2), it was slightly sweet, but very citrusy and refreshing on the palate. Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • Southbrook Winery Chardonnay Niagara Peninsula Vqa Barrel Fermented 2004


    On the nose, this wine can easily be summed up as smelling like freshly baked banana bread, with luxurious aromas of banana, cinnamon, and almond, with accompanying orange citrus notes. Butterscotch entices the palate, leading to an extraordinarily long smooth finish. Like home made baking, this wine left us feeling warm and cozy on the inside. Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • Coyote's Run Estate Winery Vidal Niagara Peninsula Vqa Off-Dry 2005


    vIntensely aromatic, with passionfruit, honeydew, fresh-cut flowers and marmalade, it surprisingly fresh for an off-dry wine, this semi-sweet sipper offers a bit of a departure from the norm. On the palate, the residual sugar is notable, but plays nicely into the overall structure of the wine with clover and a subtle herbaceousness vying for att... Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • The Grange of Prince Edward Trumpour's Mill Chardonnay Reserve 2004


    Fans of big, ponderous, caramel butter fare should look into this reserve offering from The Grange of Prince Edward County. Their Trumpour's Mill 2004 Reserve Chardonnay, aged for six months in new French barrels, shows light oak spice, banana and orange notes on the nose. Expect the richness of butterscotch on the palate to be cut short by a bo... Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • Malivoire Chardonnay Niagara Peninsula Vqa Estate Bottled 2004


    Stemming from a blend of half barrel-aged and half unoaked Chardonnay, the 2004 vintage from Malivoire provided an interesting cross-section of characteristics. It showed, on one hand, subtle buttery, toasty, almond tones with banana fruit from the oaked portions, and a fresh citrus bloom of oranges and limes on the nose. The palate continues th... Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • Malivoire Cabernet Franc Rose "Ladybug 2004


    The wine was a perfect match for dinner, bringing strawberries, rhubarb, and cranberry to the table. The curious sweet and sour quality of cranberries carried over onto the palate, accentuated by good acidity and a tangy finish. With excellent length this medium-bodied pink was a very well structured rosé, with none of the over-sweetened flab th... Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • Mike Weir Estate Winery Chardonnay Niagara Peninsula Vqa 2005


    Rich in colour and taste, this wine is perfectly crafted for palates who adore the classic toasty, buttery Chardonnay taste, with enough crisp acidity to cater to those who dislike overdone Chards. Although lacking its own unique character, this charmingly impressionable wine is easy drinking on its own or a great accompaniment to food. Its the ... Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • Angels Gate Winery Cabernet Franc Beamsville Bench Vqa Icewine 2004


    The familiar tea leaf aroma, stronger in this wine than any others we had tried up until that point, was still discernable on the nose, along with smoke, roasted red peppers, ash, and strawberry jam. Light to medium bodied, the palate featured berry notes, pepper and an acidic, slightly bitter finish. Decent length and food friendly overtones st... Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

  • Château des Charmes Riesling Niagara Peninsula Vqa Estate Bottled 2005


    Gamay Droit is a vinifera variety that youre not going to encounter anywhere ... recognizable figures in the Ontario appellations, holds the international Plant Breeders Rights to Gamay Droit, discovered during clonal research in 1982.Bosc and his vineyard managers noticed a single wonky vine in the Gamay rows, growing more upright position th... Read More

    Wine review by Grape Juice

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