The province of Ontario, with a special mention to Lake Erie North Shore, has been named as one of the top five emerging wine regions to visit for 2016.
U.S. News and World Report, which receives over 20 million unique monthly visitors, recently compiled the list for a feature in their travel section listing their Top 5 Emerging Wine Regions to Experience in 2016.
The wine region, populated with approximately 18 wineries just outside of Windsor, Ontario, may be lesser known than the Niagara Escarpment and Prince Edward County, but still received a shout out (even if the author mistakenly said Pelee Island was in PEC).
Others who made the list include Ribera del Duero (Spain), Meteora (Greece) Rueda (Spain) and Puerto Rico.
The praise of our region as a burgeoning and world class wine is welcomed, but not surprising to the local wineries.
“In context of wine regions, we should be mentioned alongside all the wine regions of the world,” says Alma Hollingshead who co-owns Erie Shore Vineyard with her husband, Harvey. “Our wine region offers a peaceful, countryside experience and beachfront access to the public that most if not all the other wine regions do not have.”
Murray Wilson, owner and winemaker at Oxley Estate Winery, agrees.
“Ours is generally the warmest and sunniest of Ontario’s wine regions, so we produce ripe, robust grapes. Both our red and white wines are fruity and delicious,” he says.
Murray goes on to say that the Lake Erie North Shore region has a rich history of grape growing and a robust winemaking economy as far back as the 1800’s. While prohibition pretty much wiped it out, it’s starting to grow again.
The region has received acclaim in the past for wine with several wineries winning big at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and the Wine Trail Ride Cycling Tours being named Best Culinary Tourism Experience in Ontario by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance and Innovator of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.