Types of Grapes in Ontario

With various types of grapes to make some batch of wine, Ontario has several choices of flavours with a variety of character and historic validity. The quality of wine grapes depends on soil, geography, and microclimate. In addition to the said factors, the wine making process also contribute to the quality and taste. The grape itself and the vines themselves play an important role in ensuring good wine production. In Ontario, Canada, there are more than 40 different kinds of wine grapes.

ontario grapes

Here are a few of them.

  1. Vidal

It is widely grown in Ontario, and it has various uses as a fine selection for table wines. It takes a longer time before harvesting, usually in mid October or early November. Its clusters are bigger, with medium sized berries and conical shape. It produces more berries, which are thick with ideal hanging bunches. Its flavour is relatively neutral, with some acidic taste, making it a perfect cultivar for wine production.

  1. Seyval Blanc

This type was first grown in Ontario in 1950s, and it is one of the white hybrids with medium sized grapes that possess a bronze colour when ripe. The berries usually ripen on September, and show shiny leaves which normally curl upwards.

  1. Baco Noir

The plant was initially introduced in the Ontario spring by Baco Noir in 1902. However, it is prone to spring frost effects on the buds, though it grows fast and produces a sprawling canopy. The clusters are cylindrical with small berries, and some juice pigments appearing on them. It can grow on wide range of soils, and produces a high number of fruits. It ripens in September.

  1. Chambourcin

The vine is at its early stages since it started being grown in Ontario. It has cylindrical and loose clusters, while berries are usually blue in colour. The fruits are medium sized, with neutral flavour juice. Its cylindrical cluster shape helps in preventing fruit rot, though the crop itself can grow excessively if not well monitored. It ripens late in October or early November, depending on where it is grown.

  1. Marechal Foch

This is popular known as the ‘early ripening grape’, which matures as early as August or September. Its berries are small, and contained in a cylindrical shaped bunch. The juice has some pigmentation, with visible herbaceous flavours.

  1. Auxerois

This wine grape crop was recently included into Ontario grape wine production, and it has receiving warm welcome among wine consumers. It grows moderately with medium sized berries and clusters with conical shapes. Its juice has a neutral taste, and usually harvested in September.

  1. Chardonnay

This is the most widely grown cultivar in entire Ontario. It has an upright growth tendency and displays high vigour, based on the location it is planted. The berries are round in shape with a golden colour when ripe. It usually matures in September.

  1. Pinot Gris

Also known as ‘grey pinot’, it is differentiated by its characteristic fruit colour. The berries are small and rounded in shape, with reddish colour on the skin. Sometimes, the berries might have some part of greenish and reddish colour on the cluster. The clusters are cylindrical, and some shaded canopy. It ripens in late September.

  1. Riesling

This is a white cultivar, and one of the old grape wine plants in Ontario. It is an adaptable type of grape crop, which is harvested severally for different kinds of table wines. It has medium sized clusters, with round berries that are green in colour. Depending on which type of wine required, it can be harvested either late in September or mid-October. For ice-wine production, the grapes are harvested in January.

There are many kinds of grape wine plants grown in Ontario, but the above nine (9) types are the most common for table wine production in 0ntario, Canada.

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