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There are a few areas across the country that are suitable for growing wine grapes. One of those areas is the province of Quebec, which provides a particularly amazing growing climate. Since the 1980s, there’s been a steady increase in wine production throughout the province. There are now 40 different varieties of grapes grown there. This plethora of grape varieties leads to an impressive selection of wines. This large selection of wines is part of what is putting Quebec wineries on the map as a noted international winemakers.
Soil, Geography, and a Cold Growing Climate
In the south part of Quebec lies the St. Lawrence river valley and many Canadian wineries are located there. It is a very fertile region, capable of sustaining more types of fruit than just grapes. However, winters there last for four months or longer. This is why nearly all of the Canadian wines produced in Quebec are under the category of cold climate grape growing. European vines cannot survive in this climate. Consequently all grape types grown in the province have three traits that are absolutely necessary to their survival. They are resistant to prolonged winter cold, resistant to early spring freezing, and they ripen early. There’s more than one type of grape suitable for growing in Quebec. As a result, the province produces a considerable array of wines, including fortified, dry, and semi-dry. Quebec wineries also make sparkling wines and fruit wines.
Quebec wine production is particularly impressive when you take into account that Quebec Wineries have a limited amount of time to produce. Whereas other vineyards in warmer climes have 10-12 months to make their wine, Quebec wineries only have six.
Types of Quebec Wine Grapes
Given the restrictions of a cold growing climate, the fact that so many different grape varieties grow in Quebec is significant. A few of the more popular grape types grown in the province include:
- De Chaunac
- Black Seyval
- Baco Noir
Dry with smoky tones, this wine is a rich drinking experience, perfect for a night out. It also makes a great wine to compliment ribs, steak, or pork chops.
Finding the Best
With so many different varietals, it’s tough to know which Quebec wines are worth your money. Fortunately, discerning wine drinkers took on the task of testing all Quebec’s wines. They sampled, rated, and reviewed so others won’t have any trouble picking out the best bottles. If you’re interested in trying some Quebec wines to see what all the buzz is about, it’s time to try the province’s most popular brands.
Couteau Rougemont Versant Rouge – This a denser red wine. It opens with rich, oaky flavors which leads into pleasing smokiness. It’s a perfect wine to pair with red meats such as steak or roasts.
L’Orpailleur Rouge – A lighter red, this starts out extremely smooth. As Ken Ross of Mass Live points out, the flavors of dark fruits like plums are rich and lasting.This is a surprisingly refreshing wine, good for after dinner drinking.
Le Cep d’Argent, 2015 – This dry white opens with a pleasing floral scent. It has the crisp taste of peaches and the tartness of green apples, along with perfect acidity. This is a good wine to pair with chicken or shrimp.
Vignoble D’Oka Mystere Rouge, 2014 – Light tannins and a full body make this a great dinner wine. It’s thick on the palate with a pleasing texture.
Domaine Du Ridge, Champs De Florence 2013 – As Sara King-Abadi of CBC describes, this rosé’s nose contains hints of fruits, grass, and honey. It has good acidity with long finish and pairs well with curry dishes.
More Wine Picks:
2015 Domaine St. Jacques Selection Rouge – Dry with smoky tones, this wine is a rich drinking experience, perfect for a night out. It also makes a great wine to compliment ribs, steak, or pork chops.
Givree d’Ardoise 2007 – This dessert wine has perfect balance between sweetness and acidity. It makes an excellent companion to desserts such as fruit tarts and crème brûlée.
Les Artisans du Terroir Prémices d’Automne 2015 – A deep ruby in the glass, this red’s nose carries hints of spice and fruits. Medium bodied with a smooth finish, it’s the wine you’ll want to drink with pasta dishes.
Domaine Pinnacle – This ice cider has a strong fruity nose. Sweet, with strong acidity and a pleasing texture, it’s also a great cocktail wine.
Du Minot Crémant de Glace – A sparkling cider that’s amber in the glass, this wine’s fruity aromas perfectly compliment its sweetness. It pairs great with desserts.
Making Quebec Wineries and Canadian Wine Famous
Quebec’s diversity in grape varietals is leading to international winemaking recognition. The restrictions of a cold growing climate didn’t deter Quebec’s winemakers. Instead, they rose to the challenge and made wine that quickly became popular both within Canada’s borders and without. For anyone looking to experience everything offered by Canadian wine, the best place to start is in Quebec.