By David Lawrason, Wine Align
It is ironic and important that Canada is likely to be defined on the world stage by the world’s most popular and ubiquitous white wine grape. Couldn’t we have found something sexier and more exotic, like Austrian gruner veltliner or Greek assyritiko? Or sieggerebe from B.C.’s Lake Country, as was originally envisioned in the late 70s?
Well, as it happens chardonnay really likes the latitude, climate and soils that Canada has to offer. And because everyone knows chardonnay, not assyrtiko, let’s just tally-ho and carry the gift horse shoulder high. I am certainly on board because great, or even very good, chardonnay is my favourite white wine. And Burgundy needs some serious competition within its stylistic wheelhouse.
Chardonnay is already a big deal in Canada. There were 186 chardonnays entered in the National Wine Awards of Canada 2022 competition held in Niagara Falls in June. It was the largest category at the awards. A whopping 137 won medals. There were four platinum, 30 gold, 58 silver and 45 bronze medals. With more than half scoring 90 points or better, the quality across the board is very high.