Robert Bell's Wines of Canada - comprehensive list of the wineries and wine regions of Canada

Robert's Report

Quality of Canada's Wines


Back in 1992 when I started this website Canada's reputation for wines was not equal to that of the Old world. We even took a back seat to California wines, and Australian wines. In a book called Wine containing over 900 pages written by Andre Domine published in 2004 Canada gets 2 pages an upgrade from the previous years. Websites representing the Worlds wine regions tent to ignore us.

What few articles one can find from outside the Country tend to acknowledge " Ice wine" but are still more interested in reporting on our cold frozen climate.

It was Icewine that first put Canada on the world map for wine. In a June 1991 fair at Vinexpo, Bordeaux, the greatest of international accolades for Canadian Icewine was bestowed on Inniskillin's 1989 Icewine. This wine, judged by an international panel, was accorded the fair's highest award, Le Grand Prix d'Honneur.

Today Canada receives award after reward in International Competitions around the world. In fact not a day goes by with out an e-mail coming down announcing another Medal been awarded to Canadian wine.

For the first time in history, a Canadian winery has won 'Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine' from the world's most prestigious wine event, the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) The winner is Summerhill's Cipes Gabriel Brut N/V, a 100% certified organic pyramid-aged chardonnay from grapes grown on-site at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, BC. Read more


Not only are Canada's wineries wining for its icewine, they wine for all wines including Mead and fruit wines. Below is a list of some of the awards given to Inniskillian this year

Vinitaly Wine Awards:
2007 Vidal Sparkling Icewine VQA ‐ Gran Gold

The International Wine and Spirit Competition Wine Awards:
2007 Vidal Icewine VQA ‐ Gold
2007 Cabernet Franc Icewine VQA – Gold ‐ Best in Class
2007 Sparkling Vidal Icewine VQA – Gold ‐ Best in Class


From Britsih Columbia Gray Monk

InterVin International Wine Awards
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gold - 2009 Siegerrebe

International Value Wine Awards
Wine Access Magazine

89 points - 2009 Chardonnay Unwooded
87 points - 2009 Ehrenfelser
87 points - 2008 Gewurztraminer
87 points - 2008 Latitude 50 White
87 points - 2009 Pinot Auxerrois

Indy International Wine Competition
West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Double Gold - 2007 Odyssey White Brut
Gold - 2008 Pinot Gris
Silver - 2008 Gewurztraminer
Silver - 2009 Ehrenfelser
Silver - 2008 Pinot Blanc
Bronze - 2008 Latitude 50 White
Bronze - 2007 Merlot

Not every winery enters their wines into competion for example Blackwood Lane 2006 The Referènce obtained scores into the 90's reflects what the leser know wineries of Canada can produce.

Gobal Wine and Spirits writes Canada's winemaking heritage is relatively young, but the country has already established an international reputation. The country's main winemaking regions are the Okanagan and Fraser valleys and Vancouver Island in British Columbia and the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario. Tasting panels from around the world have bestowed high honours upon white Canadian wine varietals such as Chardonnay , Riesling , Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer and praised Canadian's red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon , Cabernet Franc , Merlot , Pinot Noir and Gamay . Canada is perhaps best known, however, for its award-winning icewine. As Canadian wineries gain confidence in their successes, they will continue to be strong contenders in all categories of competition.

Ben Bodenstein a synidicated US columist wrote under the Title Great Wines of Canada :

This week we shall adopt a phrase from the Federal Government; we present a column based on “need to know.” We would like to acquaint our readers with a new entrant into the exclusive club of fine winemaking nations; Canada. That's right Canada, our frigid neighbor to the north.

Wine is made in almost every country of the world, but all too often it is “nothing to write home about” or in such limited quantities as to be of little consequence to the world market. Canada, had for several years, fallen into the latter category. They had become a producer of one of the rarest wines in the world, Ice Wine. Ice Wine is wine made from the juice of frozen grapes that are lightly pressed while still frozen thus giving up only a drop or two of concentrated juice per grape. The Canadian Ice Wines are ethereal. They are full flavored, super fruity and have an extremely heavy body. But, and there is always a but, these wines are very expensive, sparsely produced and directed at a specific clientele. To become a “player” a winery must produce a significant amount of wine and do it consistently and constantly.

Jackson-Triggs, a winery that has made a reputation for quality with their Ice Wines, has entered the fine table wine business. As is usual with anything Canadian, the names for things or places are either French or Native. The area where the wine grapes are grown is called the Okanagan Valley, located about 30 miles north of Washington State in British Columba and just west of Vancouver. The Okanagan Valley has excellent grape growing soil and a moderate climate controlled by winds off of the Pacific Ocean and although they probably won't admit it, benefiting from the effects of global warming.

We began out sampling of the Jackson-Triggs wines with the Proprietors' Reserve 2003 Chardonnay ($12.99); observing the rule, white before red. We were surprised at the fullness and flavor of this wine in contrast to many of the weak and flavorless chardonnays that we have been inundated with in the past few years. This is a premier chardonnay and we predict a great future for this wine among those of us who want “real” chardonnays again.

The next wine we sampled was a shocker. It was the Jackson-Triggs Proprietors' Grand Reserve 2002 Meritage ($24.99). We can say, with out any reservation, that this was one of the finest Meritage wines we have EVER tasted. It is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and several other classical grape varieties. To say the least, the wine was incredible.

The Meritage was followed by a pair of merlots; the Proprietors' Grand Reserve 2002 Merlot ($24.99) and the Proprietors' Reserve 2002 Merlot ($14.99). Both of these wines present merlot in its finest, classical form, rich, full flavored and concentrated. These wines give merlot a new meaning and should be used to set the standard for all of the merlot wine now being made.

We then finished up with Jackson-Triggs Proprietors' Reserve 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon ($14.99). Here too, we found the grapes produced in The Okanagan Valley were endowed with a strength and fullness found only in the famed French Classified Bordeaux wines of the sixties, which it closely resembles. The wine is big in flavor, big in quality and falls into the category of wines we will never forget.

What ever the cause of these wines being so concentrated and full, the effect has proven to be outstanding. Big is not a word for these wines; they are huge. They epitomize everything that a wine should be and prove that Canada is an up and coming winemaking country and that their future as a winemaking country is assured.

But, and here is that darned but again, the wines of Jackson-Triggs are also almost impossible to find. Only the top wine stores will carry them, when they can get them. Production has been small in the past two years due to bad weather in the early flowering period which limited the production of grapes, so the wines will be in limited supply. We write this to tell you to keep your eyes open for them.

Next time a world renowned author produces a book on the Worlds wine countries. He or she needs to pay more respect to OUr Wines
for they are world Class.


1. Labels 2. Proper Labeling 3. Cawston, BC 4. Paying for Etiquette 5. Nova Scotia 6. Walnut Wine .
7Christmas Wines 8.Tilman Hainle 9.Canada's Wine History 10. Wine Tasting Manners 11. Hospitality
12. Fraser Valley 13. Wine Language 14. Top Wineries in BC 15. Summerhill's Cipes Gabriel Brut

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