Sure, you may have an Italian pinot grigio or French merlot you adore, but international wines aren’t the only way to go. There are plenty of delicious and inexpensive domestic wines that are certainly worth your attention. So the next time you pick out a bottle of wine, consider giving one of these top Canadian wineries a try.
Tawse Winery — Vineland, Ontario
Having been established in just 2001, Tawse is somewhat of a young up-and-comer in the Canadian wine industry. But having won Winery of the Year at the Wine Access Awards in both 2010 and 2011, it’s clear this Niagara Peninsula winery is certainly starting to make its mark. Pinot noir and chardonnay are its focus, but its riesling, cabernet franc and merlot are not to be ignored. With vines that are close to or surpassing 30 years, Tawse is certainly a winery to look out for. Check out its Tawse Sketches of Niagara Chardonnay, and see what you think.
Inniskillin Wines — Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Inniskillin is the brand chosen as the local option at many Ontarian restaurants — and for good reason. The winery has been creating award-winning wines since the estate opened in 1975. After some staff restructuring and renovation of the winemaking and retail facilities a few years ago, Inniskillin won second place for Best Winery in the 2010 Wine Access Awards. Inniskillin also has a winery out in the Okanagan region, if you prefer. The winery is particularly known for its icewines and table wines. Its 2009 Winemaker’s Series Three Vineyards Pinot Noir won a gold medal at the Wine Access 2011 Canadian Wine Awards and is certainly worth trying out.
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate — Okanagan, British Columbia
Since 1981, the Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate has been producing award-winning wines, and it is now the Okanagan’s largest winery. It sources grapes from all over the region to achieve the best possible creations. The winery is so successful, in fact, that it is Canada’s most awarded winery. It has cleverly divided its selections into three groupings : the Black Series, Silver Series and Gold Series. For more affordable wines, select from the Black Series. To experience the full talent of its winemakers, try something from the Gold Series. Wines from the Silver Series act as the perfect midpoint both in quality and price. If you live on the East coast and want to opt for something a little closer to you, Jackson-Triggs also has an extremely well-respected winery in the Niagara Peninsula.
For more information on finding the right local wine for you, check out Wine Access: Canada’s Wine Magazine.