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Canada

Canada is one of the largest countries in terms of land, and it is one of the most northerly situated countries in the world. The country is famous for its powerful Bordeaux blends, aromatic and mineral Rieslings and the signature sweet ice wines made from the Vidal grape variety.

Canada has a long wine-growing history dating back to 1811 when the German officer Johann Schiller planted the first vines near Toronto. Canada's climate is very cold with extremely cold winters averaging minus 5 °C and hot summers, but far more favourable and optimal for viticulture on the southern Niagara Peninsula due to the mitigating influence of the vast Ontario Lake. The country is very influenced by the oceans which are on both sides of the coasts and also by the numerous lakes it has.

Canada has four main wine-growing areas from which two are producing the majority of the wines Ontario and British Columbia and the upcoming Quebec and Nova Scotia. Further, these areas are divided into wine regions from which the most notable are Okanagan Valley, Niagara Peninsula, Prince Edward County and Fraser Valley.

Canada has an appellation since 1988, called Vintners Quality Alliance VQA which specifies that the wines must come from grapes of the wine area and be bottled there, as well as mentioning the province, the specified grape variety must come 75%, with the origin indicating 85% and only hybrids and vinifera varieties are allowed for the production of quality wines. The country has many native Vitis Labrusca vine species which are frost resistible, but terrible to enjoy. With the new VQA system which focuses only on Vitis Vinifera grape varieties the most popular varietals are Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, the Bordeaux varieties and some hybrids such as Vidal.

Canada is on a rise especially with its award-winning sweet white and red ice wines together with outstanding red wines, sweet sparkling wines and not to be forgotten the sweet nectar ice-cider made from frozen apples, created only here.

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