Do you know what makes a glass of wine after a long day even better? Knowing you’re consuming something that was made with fresh Ontario-grown ingredients, contributing to our local economy. In 2014, $395 million VQA wines were sold in Ontario. That equates to roughly 17.5 million litres - a ton of local money stimulating our economy!
Here’s TEA’s guide to drinking in and around the Greenbelt.
Though most Greenbelt wines are produced in the Niagara Peninsula, there are many wineries located just outside of the Greenbelt, including wines from Prince Edward County and the Lake Erie North Shore. VQA Ontario wines have been produced under a provincial regulatory authority that acts to test, audit, inspect and ensure compliance from Ontario wine producers.
- Find VQA wines from the Niagara Peninsula: http://www.vqaontario.ca/Wineries/NiagaraPeninsula
- Check out Greenbelt Fresh to find even more wineries located within the Greenbelt, outside of the Niagara Penninsula: https://www.greenbeltfresh.ca/
- Drinking Greenbelt wines in Toronto is easy. Many local wine bars and restaurants offer a great selection of Ontario-made wines.
Ontario has been the global leading ice wine producer since 1991. Ice wine is made from grapes that have been left to freeze on the vine; this gives ice wine a natural sweetness with a hint of acidity and makes ice wine the perfect dessert wine.
Serve ice wine chilled at about 10°C in white wine glasses so you can enjoy all the full aromas of the wine.
- Once opened, ice wine only has a shelf life of 3-5 days if refrigerated.
- Ice wine pairs wonderfully with desserts that aren’t too sweet. Try having ice wine with some dark chocolate for a decadent combination.
- Cheese and wine are a match made in heaven and ice wine is no different. Enjoy a glass with a variety of cheeses.
- Ice wine combined with rich savory foods bring out the natural sweetness of the wine.
Learn more about Ontario ice wine: http://www.winecountryontario.ca/wine-101/story-icewine
Beers, Ciders & Liquors
Not a fan of wine? Many craft breweries and cider houses source their ingredients locally, some from farms in and around the Greenbelt. Here are a few to get you started.
Amsterdam Brewery has made local ingredients and partnerships a priority in their products, including the popular beer, Frambroise, which uses 2.2 lbs of fresh raspberries per 750 ml bottle! Not to mention, the brewery’s located right in the heart of downtown Toronto, with an awesome waterfront patio. http://www.amsterdambeer.com/
MacLean’s Ales has received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food for their commitment to sourcing beer ingredients from local producers. MacLean’s can be found at select LCBO’s all over the city. http://macleansales.ca/
- Junction Distillery produces a range of whiskeys and gin, right here in Toronto. One of their signature drinks is made from fermented sugar beets grown in the Greenbelt and distilled like a whisky. This gives the drink a unique rich earthiness and delicate sweetness. http://torontodistillery.ca/
Brickworks Ciderhouse uses all local Ontario apples grown close to Toronto, no farther than 300 km. You can find out exactly where the apples in your can are from by using the Seed to Cider tracking code! http://theciderhouse.ca/enter-lot-code/
Pommies Cider is crafted from 100% Ontario apples and pears grown in Caledon, Ontario and can be found at most LCBO’s https://pommies.com/buy/
Applewood Farm produces many types of ciders and wines from their local farm in the Greenbelt. Find their products here! http://www.applewoodfarmwinery.com/#!applewoodwines/cob8