While our country isn’t the first place that comes to mind for wine production, the climate conditions we enjoy – especially in places like the Niagara region of southern Ontario responsible for approximately 75% of the Canadian yield – like our warm summers to ripen the grapes and winter temperatures which allow us to be the largest producers in the world known for some of the highest quality Ice wines. This type of dessert wine can only be harvested from grapes whose water has frozen while the dissolved solids within do not, resulting in a much more concentrated wine. Even with our ideal climate, Ice wine production can still be a risky enterprise requiring the availability of a large enough labour force to be on hand at a moment’s notice for the entire crop to be picked within the matter of a few hours. However given all this, it does mean generous profits for those willing to chance the risk, thanks to the relatively small amount available internationally, making it generally quite expensive.
Check out this short interview below (video approximately 1 1/2 minutes) of the Reif Estate Winery’s Marketing Director Andrea Kaiser by the Weather Network for more details on our climate and how that affects yield.