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Prince Edward County joins Ontario's wine regions

Canada has got a new official wine region: Prince Edward County. This new DVA (Designated Viticultural Area) joins Niagara, Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island as Ontario’s four main wine-producing regions.

Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association chairman Richard Johnston told ThirtyFifty, ‘The best thing about the DVA status is that all our hard work of trying to grow fine wines in a very cool climate is being officially recognised, as is the potential of the wines on our calcareous limestone base and 15 different soil types. Our Rieslings and Pinot Noirs are doing very well and express some subtle mineralities that are perhaps unique to our area. The higher-acid finishes of our whites makes them highly refreshing and our propensity for hot droughty summers, even though we are surrounded by Lake Ontario, infuses more flavour than in some regions that have short summers without the heat we get.’

He added that, ‘It will still be another decade or so before we know what the full range of wines that benefit from our particular mix of circumstances will be, but we are already having some exciting surprises like Chenin Blanc, which has already produced a couple of great vintages.’

But Richard doesn’t see this achievement as a reason for the region now to rest on its laurels. ‘We have the largest concentration of political activists making wine - at least in Canada - and we are determined to continue to demand increasing rigour in Canadian wine standards,’ he said.

Currently, Prince Edward County is Canada’s fastest-growing wine region. In 2000, the area only had one winery. Now it has a dozen with plans for another two.