Beyond the defined and named appellations of origin, grapes are grown in many other regions within Ontario. Several areas have small, well established vineyard plantings and many others are finding success with new and innovative viticultural practices. VQA wines made with grapes grown in these regions meet all the required standards for composition and quality and carry the origin designation VQA Ontario VQA.
Norfolk and Haldimand Counties
Vineyards and wineries are well established in this region, bordering the north shore of Lake Erie between Niagara Peninsula and Lake Erie North Shore. Mixed sandy soils, gentle slopes, a moderated growing season and a strong agricultural tradition are a solid foundation for wineries in this emerging region.
Central Ontario and Georgian Bay
Wineries are scattered throughout the area north of Toronto towards the south shore of Georgian Bay. Rolling hills and a mix of cultivated and wooded areas overlay the transition to the rugged Canadian shield geography. Micro-climates provide the opportunity to successfully grow wine grapes.
Capitalizing on the moderating effect of Lake Huron, a number of wineries have established along the eastern shoreline. Agriculture of all sorts thrives in this region with rich productive soils, gentle topography and warm summers. Generous snowfall in winter helps protect vines from seasonal low temperatures.
Vineyards established in eastern Ontario are mostly located in the area between the Ottawa River Valley and the St. Lawrence corridor. The underlying sedimentary geology, rich with limestone, along with warm sunny summers provides promising terroir. Developing viticulture is focused on cool-climate varieties reflecting colder winter temperatures.