Is there wine in Canada? Find Out!

Yes, Canada produces wine! There is a lot to be said about Canadian wine. Canada’s winemakers are not as well-known as those in France, Italy, Argentina, or even California. We are beginning to be acknowledged for the high quality of our wines. However, the climb to global oenopholic domination is still in its infancy. After all, you came here because you weren’t sure if Canada made wine. Obviously we need to put in a bit more effort to advertise ourselves on a global scale. Having said that, Canadians have been sipping their own wine for many years and have been having a fantastic time! Vineyard tours are available across BC’s Okanagan Valley wine-producing area.

Canada is actually home to quite a few wine-producing regions and wineries. The Okanagan Valley, one of Canada’s premier wine-growing regions, is home to many of Canada’s wineries. It is the most in any part of BC. We have the perfect climate conditions for growing grapes and producing wines. It is the best places to start your search for great Canadian wines.

Vineyards in West Kelowna

Let’s take a look at what makes this area so ideal for growing grapes!

In a small but rapidly growing number of cases of wine are being made in Canada. Due to expanding export markets and rising domestic popularity, Canadian wines are more part of a global market. The Okanagan Valley is one of Canadas’ premium wine producing areas. While Canada’s winemakers are not as well-known as those in France, Italy, Argentina, or even California, we are beginning to be acknowledged for the high quality of our wines. A lot of people ask: Why does wine made in Canada taste so good? The answer: British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is home to some extremely fertile soil conditions and an abundance of natural resources that help create some excellent wines.

When did wineries start in the Okanagan?

B.C.’s first commercial winery, started by Guiseppe Ghezzi, Peter Casorso, Cap Capozzi and W.A.C. Bennett in 1932, used excess apples as the main ingredient. They changed the name of the company from Domestic Wines & By-Products Co to Calona Wines. Calona wines is still located in the downtown area of Kelowna.

Calona Wines is still located downtown Kelowna

The Okanagan Has The Best Climate For Growing Grapes

Not only does British Columbia have an ideal climate for growing grapes, but as a Canadian wine producer visitors also benefit from our low Canadian dollar. Combine that with less competition from other wineries and you’ve got all of your ingredients for making world-class wines. The Okanagan Valley is one of Canada’s premium wine producing areas. While Canada’s winemakers are not as well-known as those in France, Italy, Argentina or even California we are beginning to be acknowledged for the high quality of our wines. The most important thing to remember when starting a vineyard is that it takes time. If you’re looking to get rich quick then there are easier ways to do it than starting a vineyard. But if you’re willing to put in some hard work and wait several years before seeing any return on your investment then why not try something new?

View of vineyard from Quails Gate Winery

Vineyards In British Columbia Are Famous All Over The World

B.C.’s vineyards are famed not only for their excellence, but also for their sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. The Okanagan is most noted for its white wines, made from Chardonnay and Riesling grapes, among others. Perhaps most famous is Cipes Brut sparkeling wine from Summerhill Pyramid Winery. This small winery won international acclaim after its 1998 Blanc de Blancs won first place in San Francisco Wine Competition against 70 California wines and then went on to win Best White Wine under $25 at Wine Spectator International Wine Awards 2000. Many Okangagan wineries have won international wine competitions.

What Is VQA And Why Is It Important?

VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) is a federally-regulated organization that certifies wines as high quality and meet certain standards. Specifically, VQA wines are produced in one of five regions BC, ON, NS, PEI, NB – With the numerous selection of VQA wines in British Columbia alone, you can’t go wrong with Canadian wine.

How To Buy Quality

There are many wineries and vineyards to visit on our beautiful Canadian wine trail. The best way to get Okanagan wines is to visit our fabulous wine region, sample local wines and talk with some of our great wine makers. Talk to them about what they do, how they do it and why they enjoy doing it. They are eager to show you their products and tell you how much pride they take in what they do. Their energy, passion and commitment is contagious. You’ll walk away knowing more about how your wines are made than ever before – perhaps even enough to buy a case or two for yourself or for friends back home.


Okanagan Valley Terroir

British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley wine production area extends from 49th parallel (the US border) to the 50th parallel. This valley, called The Grand Valley of British Columbia and is approximately 165 miles long by 25 miles wide. It has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and cold winters, which provides the area with 5 frost-free months each year. The soil in the region is calcareous loam, which gives grapes the ability to be very acidic and have high sugar content when ripe. While it doesn’t get as much sunshine as California or Italy, it does get more than other cooler growing regions like France or Germany.

Canadian Wines by Region

Canada is a large country globally, but only a tiny portion of its land is suitable for wine production. While the Okanagan produces the widest variety of wines in Canada, it doesn’t produce nearly as much volume as the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario. Most of the best wines from Canada come from just two provinces: British Columbia and Ontario . Here’s your guide to the Canadian wine regions that are most worth exploring.

Kelowna Tours

The Kelowna area is well-known for its wines. One company that specializes in wine tours, Red Dog Wine Tours, was established in 2016. Red Dog Wine Tours offers fully guided, private wine tastings and tours through one of British Columbia’s most iconic wine-producing regions.  With more than 200 wineries and tasting rooms available throughout BC’s Okanagan Valley—all are within a 45-minute drive from downtown Kelowna—the valley has quickly become known as one of Canada’s premier wine destinations. Why Guided Wine Tours? If you’re new to wine tasting or just want a helping hand with your next tour, consider signing up for a guided tour. These tours are led by an expert who can explain all about each winery you visit, as well as provide some helpful hints on how to best appreciate your glass of vino.

Red Dog Wine Tour van at Vibrant Vine winery in East Kelowna wine tour
Red Dog Wine Tour van at Vibrant Vine winery in East Kelowna

Okanagan Tours

Kelowna is a major name in the Okanagan wine region. The Okanagan is a small valley, surrounded by mountainous area bordering Washington state. Even though it’s relatively close to major population centers, you can still enjoy a peaceful vacation in Kelowna. If you’re visiting British Columbia to sample the wine and don’t want to spend all your time in transit, stay in Kelowna and enjoy Red Dog Wine Tours’ guided winery tours. Kelowna is served by an international airport and offers visitors plenty of places to explore and buy things.

British Columbia

BC has a plethora of excellent wineries. Wineries are spread throughout the province, most are located in the Okangan, but there is something for everyone no matter where they live! If you’re visiting Kelowna, Red Dog can set up a private tour of one of Canada’s premier wine regions. Guided wine tours through BC wineries are one of the best ways to enjoy both the scenery and sampling wines. Wine tours can be arranged at all hours as long as it is not during harvest season or after dinner time. Tours take between 3-5 hours depending on how many stops your guide makes along the way.

Niagara Region

The region is home to approximately 100 wineries, which produce over 10 million litres of wine each year. The Niagara Peninsula geographically appears as a strip of land running west-to-east between Lake Ontario in the north and Lake Erie in the south. The region has a diverse grape growing conditions making it perfect for growing a wide variety of grapes such as Riesling, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Viognier and many others. As you travel through Niagara you will notice that some vineyards grow only one type of grape while other vineyards will grow several types. It is worth noting that while Canada is not known for its wine production, more than 90% of Canada’s wine comes from Ontario with most coming from Niagara.

Also see: What you need to know about Okanagan Wine Region

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