Shaped by ancient glacial activity and benefiting from the moderating effects of nearby bodies of water, Canadian winemakers strive to express the best qualities of their appellations and pride of place, showing why Canada’s cool climate wines are amongst the best in the world. Since 2016, Canadian wines have surprised and enthralled at the Six Nations Wine Challenge, and caused some significant upsets along the way with cool climate Rieslings, Sparklings, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Dessert Wines
Christopher Waters – Canada
Christopher is the co-founder and editor of VINES Magazine and author of the weekly wine column, Waters & Wine, which was launched in 2000 and is syndicated in Postmedia Network publications across Canada and online via the Canoe.com network. Christopher is head judge of the InterVin International Wine Awards and a WSET-certified instructor and Wine Appreciation Co-coordinator at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute.
Canada’s wine regions are primarily located between 41° and 50° North, similar to many acclaimed wine regions in the world. Each distinct wine region has its own unique mesoclimate, soil ecology and topography, where vineyards thrive in soils rich in glacial deposits, benefiting from the moderating effects of nearby bodies of water. Canadian winemakers embrace and celebrate this regional diversity, striving to express the best qualities of their appellation in each bottle. Pride of place and attention to detail is evident throughout the country’s wineries, showing why Canada’s cool climate wines are amongst the best in the world.
Wine Regions: 19 main regions (Various additional Sub-regions)
Bottles: 2.6 Million Cases
Planted Varietals: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Vidal, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Gamay Noir
Climate: Canada is categorized as a ‘cool climate’ region, situated within the recognized growing zones of 30 and 50 degrees latitude north, which is shared by many other cool climate wine regions in Europe. This provides ideal growing conditions where grapes ripen slowly and uniformly, combining a fine balance between natural sugar and acidity levels, resulting in highly aromatic wines with lively, concentrated flavours. Canada’s cool nights and hot summer days (where temperatures can often exceed 30°C), allow for the perfect ripening of grapes in its wine growing regions.
Winning Wines from Canada
Below are a selection of winning wines from the Six Nations Wine Challenge since their inclusion.