skip to Main Content
Canada’s Best Wines: Riesling

Canada's Best Wines: Riesling

Although our wine production is small on a global scale and not widely known beyond our borders, Canada has joined the big leagues in terms of wine quality, especially with certain styles like sparkling wine, Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Franc.

Each summer since 2001, the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada has taken the pulse of Canada’s wine quality by assembling more than 20 judges from several provinces to taste almost 2,000 wines. In 2020 we couldn’t safely do that. Instead, we asked wineries to send us what they deemed to be their best wines. We received 850 wines at our Toronto office, in 15 categories, and four of our critics—Sara d’Amato, Janet Dorozynski, Michael Godel and John Szabo—and myself tasted them this fall. The full results are published as A Guide to Canada’s Best Wine atWineAlign.com/Awards, with every wine fully reviewed by at least three critics at WineAlign.

Here, we highlight four categories that Canada does best. Canada’s wine-producing regions are all “northern,” and the wines are known for their brightness and freshness. But within each province, the wine regions—Vancouver Island, Okanagan Valley and B.C. Interior, Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, Prince Edward County, Quebec and Nova Scotia—are distinctly different in terms of climate and soil, so not every grape thrives in every region. The “core four,” however, most consistently achieve the highest ratings and are pushing Canada’s wine reputation.

Here with an overview of what makes these four styles and grapes important, along with a teaser of the top-performing wines.

By David Lawrason, Co-head Judge, National Wine Awards of Canada

Riesling continues to be a thought-provoking category. Trends are emerging, with drier styles coming to the fore. Wines are showing more balance, allowing sweetness and acid to create tension and showcase a sense of place.

It is no surprise that the CSV Riesling from Cave Spring took the top position. There is con- sistency in this iconic Niagara wine resulting from some of the country’s oldest vines. More than half of the Rieslings originated from the Beamsville Bench or the Twenty Mile Bench in Ontario, solidifying these limestone-rich terroirs as producers of top-quality Riesling. There were greater stylistic idiosyncrasies in the B.C. submissions, with some oxidative, some riper with varying sweetness, and some with classic austerity. We were pleased to see compelling submissions from B.C.’s smallest appellation, Lillooet, along with its newest, Skaha Bench. —SARA D’AMATO

Our Picks:

1. CAVE SPRING CSV RIESLING 2018,
.

VQA Beamsville Bench Ont.

$30 | 94

3. THIRTY BENCH SMALL LOT RIESLING WILD CASK 2017,

VQA Beamsville Bench Ont.

$30 | 93

5. THIRTY BENCH SMALL LOT RIESLING TRIANGLE VINEYARD 2017,

VQA Beamsville Bench Ont.

$30|92

7. FLAT ROCK NADJA’S VINEYARD RIESLING 2018,

VQA Twenty Mile Bench Ont.

$25|92

Canada's Best Wines Riesling
Canada's Best Wines Riesling
Canada's Best Wines Riesling
Canada's Best Wines Riesling

2. CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING 2017,

VQA Vinemount Ridge Ont.

$37 | 93

4. TRIUS SHOWCASE RIESLING GHOST CREEK VINEYARD 2018,

VQA Four Mile Creek Ont.

$30 | 93

6. CEDARCREEK PLATINUM BLOCK 3 RIESLING 2019,

VQA Okanagan Valley B.C.

$38|92

8. PENTÂGE RIESLING 2014, SKAHA BENCH,

VQA Okanagan Valley B.C.

$23|91

Canada's Best Wines Riesling
Best Wines Riesling
Best Wines Riesling
Canada's Best Wines Riesling
Back To Top
Close search
Search