Canadian wineries finding focus

17th May, 2013 by Rupert Millar

Canada’s wineries are becoming increasingly focused on specific grape varieties as the country’s wine industry matures.

WinesCanadaSpeaking to the drinks business at the annual Wines of Canada tasting at the Canadian High Commission, several producers voiced the opinion that there was an increasing amount of specialisation and that Canada was “more than just icewine”.

“Ontario is very similar to parts of the New World where there’s a lot of cellar door sales,” said Bill Redelmeier of Southbrook Vineyards.

“That approach rewards having a lot of varieties but it’s not good for focus. Specialisation is catching on though.”

Norman Hardie of Norman Hardie Winery added that plants are increasingly “getting to the right spot” and this was reflected in the growing quality and consistency of the wines.

He added that there was a “big emphasis” on Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc (when it came to the best red varieties) and that Cabernet Sauvignon was much more site specific.

Stephen Gash, managing director of Malivoire, told db that Matt Kramer of the Wine Spectator had caused something of a stir a few years ago when he announced that the grape with the best potential in Ontario was Gamay – of which a little is planted (mostly by Malivoire) though plantings are apparently growing.

Nonetheless, Hardie pointed out that the long growing season meant that Canadian regions could handle a relatively diverse array of varieties.

Giving a wider overview of the tasting, Janet Dorozynski, global practice lead for beer, wine and spirits at the Global Business Opportunities Bureau, told db that while Canada had built up a “strong image for icewine, many producers see Canada as being more than that.

“We’re a modern industry, only 20-25 years old but we’re learning more, we’re a country of experimentation and, if I can use the analogy, we’re beyond the awkward teenage years.”

As well as the main varieties being shown at the tasting, Dorozynski also spoke of the potential for Canadian sparkling wines and rosé in the UK – two of the most popular and fastest growing categories – while admitting that it would not be easy to sell Canadian wine in great volume.

“The focus is the on-trade and independent merchants, not supermarkets. It’s expensive in Canada, land, labour and production costs are high. It’s not like South Africa or Chile.

“But we’re not competing in the £5 category, we can’t, but many of the wines are worth it.”

 

One Response to “Canadian wineries finding focus”

  1. Konrad Ejbich says:

    I would have liked to hear more from the visiting tasters than the sellers. What did they have to say about what they tasted?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Fine Wine Logistics Coordinator

IG Wines
London, GB

Brand Ambassador East Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
New York - field-based, USA

Brand Ambassador West Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
San Francisco / Los Angeles - field-based, USA

Global Travel Retail Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Portfolio Ambassador - Europe

Maverick Drinks
North West Europe - field-based, UK

Senior Partner Manager - Grocery

Maverick Drinks
London/Field Based, UK

Sales Executive

Woolf Sung Ltd
London

Trade Marketing Manager - Maverick Drinks

Maverick Drinks
London / Kent

Business Development Executive Central London

William Grant & Sons UK
London

PR & Communications Officer - Atom Group

ATOM Supplies Limited
London, UK

Crus Bourgeois du Médoc 2015 Official Selection Tasting

London,United Kingdom
21st Sep 2017

The City Wine Show

London,United Kingdom
22nd Sep 2017

Almaviva 2015 Vintage and Vertical Tasting

London,United Kingdom
28th Sep 2017
Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

Click to view more