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The Canada Thread

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:05 am
@Setanta,
Actually Ive been referring to the "tomatoes" grown in the maritimes (especially NS's Annapolis Valley). I was never impressed by the tomatoes they grew.
The Labrador effect on the MAritimes, and the Gulf STream on Ireland is why Ireland can grow palm trees, even though its at the same lat as Labrador
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:08 am
@Ragman,
Niagara wineries in NY have always reminded me of Manaschewitz Concord Grape wines. **** that hurt your teeth when ya drank it.
You could put a lot of the NY wines on pancakes
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:17 am
@farmerman,
As I reacll from my past imbibition, Canadian wines were not very high in alcohol. When you are weaned on eoither French or Calif dry wines, you demand the 12+% alcohol for the Bordeaux's and up to 16% for Burgundies.
I remember one called Chateau Gai (not that theres anything wrong with that). It just lcked a zing and a kick that the alcohol jams in there.
I suppose the wine production of Canada has been maturing in the past 15 years since I quit . So they probably produce some good (meaning dry) wines and ciders.



0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:24 am
@farmerman,
Yes. Every year I grow a good dozen or so plants. My dad, on the other hand, grows about 100. Were not Italian either...
In Edmonton, we have a short growing season but have 15 hours of sunshine or more per day. I believe this is one of the sunniest places on earth. Believe it or not. That being said, we have at least 4 wine growing regions in Canada, not in AB mind you, but you can grow grapes here as well.
However, due to the long and usually brutal winters, and the rather delicate nature of tomatoes... Sadly, all we are left with is imported or green house tomatoes.
Also, most restaurants haven't the gumption to search out better sources than the big suppliers, so we, as consumers, are S.O.L. Even in the summer.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:26 am
@farmerman,
Yes. Gordon just did a Canadian tour for his 73 birthday. I was hoping to go, but a friend got married on the same day...
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:45 am
@farmerman,
oh yeah. And from Finger Lakes and Lake Niagra and Canandaigua lakes area (Widmer fruit) wines. Oh so sweeeet! I recall HATING those even at a callow 22 years of age when sweet wines like Boone's Farm fruit wines were so popular.

Now there is a far different statement to make about upstate NY champagne-sparkling wines. NY state sells a lot of it and they are fairly to very good and not pricey for the most part.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 11:48 am
Ooops, guess I should have read thread first.
There are wineries on Vancouver Island, in and around Vancouver proper, B.C's interior - Okanagan - Naramata Bench, Ontario's Niagara region, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Canada produces the most ice wine in the world and was the first to do so on a commercial basis. It is made in Ontario and BC.
Canada is also big on fruit wines and ciders, which are becoming more and more popular.
The first vines in BC were planted in the early 60's. Since then, it has almost replaced the typical orchards. Almost...
Canada produced many award winning wines, that can compete with the world's best. Unfortunately, we are not yet known for this (except icewine) and you'd be hard pressed to find any product even in the bordering states. Forget Europe or beyond.. Due to antiquated alcohol laws, it's difficult to find BC wines in Ontario, or Alberta etc and vice versa, unless the company has the money behind it to get a big contract. A citizen of Alberta that buys and then crosses the provincial border can be charged with bootlegging. Not likely, but like beer 20 years ago, each province had a tight hold on their own output, to the detriment of all the potential buyers and sellers.

I've visited wineries all over this country. The idea that Canadian wines are tooth decayingly sweet is a memory from a burgeoning industry. No longer!!
Recently, I was listening to an Italian wine guru.. he travels the world helping (for a huge price) wineries make stellar vintages. He was very impressed with the terroir in the Okanagan. He said the only problem he could see with our wines, is that instead of concentrating on a few and doing them well, there is a lot of experimenting with grapes here. Of course, this is the only way to find the right fit. It takes a good decade or so, for the vines to begin to get acclimatized or to know if they suit the soil etc.. This experimentation could take a few more decades before we try not to grow it all and figure out what is the best grape per area. We're young, unlike France or Italy who've done all there experimentation for hundreds of years, a millenia more likely, and know must follow the letter of the law and only grow specific grapes per specific terroir.
Plus, as the earth is heating up, California may have already started losing the ability to grow certain grapes. Who knows, the next great zinfandel maybe a Canadian blend...
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 12:13 pm
@Ceili,
Thanks for helping enlightening a wine-lover and wine fan.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 12:42 pm
If we ever get to Toronto, I'm heading straight for this bookstore. It's magical Smile
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 12:54 pm
@Ragman,
My pleasure..
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 12:55 pm
@Irishk,
Oh, now I have to search for it as well. Brilliant bit of stop action there, or magic..
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 01:13 pm
@Ceili,
Here's an except from a Canadian wine website that describes their wines and specialities:

Grape Varieties and Wine Styles (grown in Canada)

"Canadian wines are made as either single-varietal wines from one grape variety, or as a blend from two or more grape varieties. The following grape varieties are commonly used to produce the wide array of wine styles currently available in Canada, ranging from dry and off-dry table wines to sweet late harvest dessert wines, of which Icewine is the best known and most extraordinary of all.

Ontario Rieslings were the first to show their potential for excellence. Producing long-lived, crisp and elegant wines in all styles, from dry and off-dry table wines characterized by bright citrus notes of lime and grapefruit, to honeyed, late harvest dessert styles including nutty Botrytis Affected late harvest wines and the rarest of late harvest, Icewine.

Icewine is the sweet, luscious and intensely flavoured dessert wine made from grapes that have frozen on the vine. Canadian Icewines are produced in both Ontario and British Columbia, with most being made from the thick-skinned white grape varieties Vidal or Riesling. Icewines cannot be harvested until the temperature reaches at least -8 to -10 Celsius, which means the usual harvest time can be as late as December or January. The grapes are picked by hand and pressed when nearly frozen solid, resulting in only the smallest quantities of juice with highly concentrated natural sugars and acidity. Within each frozen grape are the flavours of the tropics: pineapple, guava, passion fruit and mango.

Late harvest wines from the french hybrid, Vidal, are also capable of producing voluptuous late harvest and Icewine redolent of honeysuckle, peach, hazelnut and pear. Riesling is also the base wine for several Canadian sparkling wines made in both the traditional method and Cuve Close.

Canadian Chardonnays are noted for their well-formed structure supported by natural acidity and ripe fruit, underlain by a balanced use of either French or American oak. Other styles include crisp, un-oaked versions, creamy Sur Lies, and sparkling wines.

In BC, Pinot Blanc has been particularly successful with grip and flavour, and spicy Pinot Gris with depth and complexity. Other whites that have produced intriguing wines in BC include Ehrenfelser, Auxerrois, Semillon, Chenin Blanc and Bacchus.

Both Ontario and BC are producing bordeaux-type or other blends of white wines with elegant floral and spicy notes, some with tropical fruit and citrus flavours.

Some of the finest expressions of Gamay Noir are emerging from Ontario — deeply extracted, with ripe red-berry fruit, aged in French oak. Although some are made in the more common early drinking Beaujolais-style, using carbonic maceration, the excitement lies in the fuller-bodied versions, which in many cases, are comparable to the finest Classic Beaujolais Crus.

Pinot Noir continues to hold great promise in Niagara, sufficient to prompt the largest producer in Burgundy (Boisset) to partner with Vincor, Canada’s largest producer, to build a winery in Niagara, Le Clos Jordan, that will be dedicated to Pinot Noir and Burgundy’s white variety, Chardonnay.

Although Cabernet Franc is better known as the blending partner to Cabernet Sauvignon, it is being successfully showcased in Canada as a varietal wine in its own right. Canadian Cabernet Franc ranges from lighter versions of raspberry and spice, to rich, dense, age-worthy styles of chocolate and cassis. Cabernet Sauvignon has shown itself to be increasingly successful in Canadian conditions, and is producing complex full-bodied wines on its own or in bordeaux blends known as Meritage.

Performing well in the southern Okanagan Valley of British Columbia are the Bordeaux trio of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Merlot, in particular, has shown great promise with velvety wines redolent of plum and cassis, and is the top red varietal grown in British Columbia."
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 01:27 pm
Just returned from Vancouver. What a treat that city is.
Enjoyed some good Okanagan wines
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 02:17 pm
@Ceili,
Even though I abstain, Ive tasted some of the recent hard ciders they produce in Vt and Quebec. They are damn good and I wish I could handle it without blowing out all my meds.
Hmm, drink but die smiling or continue this mortal coil without an occasional Puligny Montrachet. Hard choice.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 02:27 pm
@farmerman,
Ceili, tomatoes are an entire nother thing. I think that Genetic Messing can develop a tomato that is ideal for short seasons of longduration intense daylight. I sncerely believe that the MNP's that define the (somewhat) frost proofing of blueberries, could be genetically implanted into tomatoes. I would just not want for any non-plant gene be inserted into a plant because we couldnt be sure about the range of expressions. (Sorta like chaos theory in which tomatoes are crossed with Arctic Stickelbacks). BUT, tomatoes and blueberries . I dont like a lot of GM stuff wherein the genome of the crop plant has been turned into an insecticide. (I used to be in favor of almost unlimited GM "doping", now Ive read up on some of the bad results) wherein plants have been favored with Bt genes and Immune -to-Roundup genes from wild carrot and **** like that. That kind of stuff is really short sighted.

Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 02:52 pm
@farmerman,
You can grow a ton of different varieties up here. I don't believe any of the tomatoes I grow are of the Monsanto lineage, et al. I've grown tomatoes bigger than my head, down to tiny grape like versions. I love tomatoes. Fruit of the gods..
The only thing you have to worry about is a late start on the season or an early frost. Thankfully, tomatoes have a built in mechanism to help the northern gardener, and this is the ripen up quickly off the vine, or make a great green tomato chutney.
As others have stated, there a lots of farmers markets or U-picks in almost every region. Don't base Canadian produce on the restaurants. Most of that stuff is grown in the US or even farther south and then kept in cold storage for god knows how long. I think we are sold the crap nobody else will eat. We Canuck's are perennially short on Vitamin D, the sunshine drug. We will take what we can get. Shocked Laughing
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 02:59 pm
The most common mistake people not used to northern climes make is to plant their tomatoes too early. Southern Canada, as well as Northern USA, are both subject to killing frosts well into April. When I was living at the 2,000 ft. elev. level in New Hampshire, I'd never put my tomatoes into the ground until after Memorial Day (May 30). Given a half-decent Summer, there's no reason why you shouldn't have a great crop before Labor Day. Tomatoes don't take all that long to mature on the vine.
0 Replies
 
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 03:00 pm
@Ceili,
i don't think there is anything more canadian than " fuddle duddle " -
i still remember the outrage it caused in parliament - but it soon became part of " canadian-english " - but seems to have been lost .
too bad !

Quote:
Trudeau's 'fuddle duddle' incident

Broadcast Date: Feb. 16, 1971
"The prime minister interrupted me... by mouthing a four letter obscenity," says Conservative MP John Lundrigan.
"He mouthed two words," adds another Tory MP, Lincoln Alexander, to a group of reporters. "The first started with the letter F, the second word the letter O."
The accused potty mouth, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, swears he did no such thing.

Trudeau says that Lundrigan and Alexander are being "very sensitive" for "crying to mama and to television."
When pressed by journalists on exactly what happened inside the House of Commons on Feb. 16, 1971, Trudeau mutters the soon-to-be famous phrase: "fuddle duddle."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q22GJoFNW4

Shocked Shocked Shocked Laughing
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 03:03 pm
@Irishk,
They interviewed the shop owner on the CBC this morning. It was a lovely interview.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 03:03 pm
@Ceili,
I understand what your saying about sunshine. I moved to where the warmth PLUS the so. FL sunshine was having been a native New Englander. Based upon your previous post about sunlight, I looked up the amount of sunshine you guys get. In so. and central Alberta you're at the top of the Canadian list as far as available sunhine; however, it must be mighty hard to enjoy a brisk long walk outdoors when the temp is in minus numbers. A tad disconcerting when body parts break off in the stiff prairie winds.
 

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