Sparkling Wine: A Brave New World

North of the border

Canada is only making a small amount of sparkling wine at the moment, but some impressive wines have been made. Niagara, the largest region, has quite warm summers, even though they are short, so may not be the best region for sparkling production. Still, Henry of Pelham, Cave Spring and Tawse are making some good wines. 

Sticking with Ontario, Prince Edward County is a bit cooler, and Hinterland (a sparkling specialist) and Closson Chase are proving that top wines can be made here. Heading to the west coast, the Okanagan has a few good examples, including Blue Mountain, but the surprise story is chilly Nova Scotia, where L’Acadie and Benjamin Bridge are doing really well.

What of the future? As the sparkling wine market continues to grow, producers are gaining the confidence to step outside the shadow of champagne and forge their own path. This is a category that is all about selling pleasure, and innovation in terms of product and packaging is going to increase. 

While alternative closures such as crown caps have yet to take off, there are fewer regulations regarding closures in New World countries than there are in Europe, so it’s likely that the novel Zork closure and even screwcaps could become more common. 

With improvements in site selection and viticulture, and more experience in the particulars of sparkling winemaking, the future for New World sparklers looks bright indeed.