All You Need To Know About Niagara-on-the-lake Wine Industry
Niagara on the lake, a town in Ontario province, Canada is located where Niagara River meets Lake Ontario on the Niagara Peninsula. The town is also fondly known as the loveliest town in Canada, it is also the only town in Canada that has a Lord Mayor. This town is an important part of the history of Canada as it has the oldest golf course in North America, the oldest Anglican and Catholic Churches in Ontario And was the Province of Upper Canada’s first capital. During America’s invasion of Upper Canada, the town was razed and almost completely destroyed. Many tourists are drawn to visit Niagara-on-the-lake because of its rich history, colonial-style buildings, and its wineries.
A brief history of wine in Niagara-on-the-lake
In its early years of existence, the only grapes grown in the Niagara-on-the-lake wine industry was grapes native to the region like labrusca and those that thrive in cool climates. The grapes brought in from Europe did not adapt well to the region’s climate at first and soon developed diseases and the native grapes were not ideal for creating wines that were smooth on the palate so Niagara wine industry almost died out. But through some trial and error and persistence, growers were able to cultivate grapes that could make wines with commercial value and a pleasing taste. Niagara-on-the-lake is where the modern Canadian wine industry was born as they pioneered the growth of premium grape varieties that changed the way people viewed Canadian wines.
Grape varieties are grown in Niagara-on-the-lake
The temperatures and climate of Niagara-on-the-lake are similar to the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions in France and this moderate temperature provides ideal weather and growing seasons for grapes to mature and produce beautiful wines. Some grapes are grown in Niagara-on-the-lake include,
- Baco Noir
- Gamay Noir
- Marechal Foch
- Petit Verdot
- Pinot Blanc
One of the most popular styles of wine made in this region are ice wines and many wine lovers come to visit Niagara-on-the-lake frequently to tour its wineries and go for wine tastings.
Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-lake
Niagara-on-the-lake has over 88 vineyards and wineries surrounded by orchards that are nestled under the Niagara escarpment. Some of its vineyards are as old as its historic sites and open their doors to visitors during growing seasons with friendly staff and stylish boutique wineries. Wine lovers can tour the vineyards and observe how their favorite wines are made while sipping on fresh vintages and ice wines. By the year 2012, there were about 14,00 acres (5,665 hectares) of planted vineyards in Niagara on the lake.
Although vines like labrusca vines have been grown in the region for about 150 years, the wine industry of Niagara-on-the-lake is relatively young and attracts a large number of tourists seeking to experience a historical wine experience. Examples of wines cultivated and produced in this region include Pillitteri Estates Winery Vidal Ice wine Reserve, Chateau des Charmes Vidal Ice wine and Reif Estate Grand Reserve Vidal Ice wine.