Wine Country Ontario - Travel Guide 2018 - 96

FAQs | Need-to-Know Information
I'm going to the United States. What are the rules
for bringing wine across the border?
When travelling from Canada to the U.S. each adult
over the age of 21 is allowed one litre of wine. Any
additional wine is subject to an IRS tax of 21 cents per
additional litre regardless of the wine's price.
*Please verify with Customs for any updates or new policies.

I've never been to a winery.
What should I expect?
First and foremost, you should expect an open,
friendly and hospitable environment. Many people are
intimidated by visiting wineries, but here in Ontario,
staff realize they're ambassadors not just for their label,
but for the entire region. They'll assist you and answer
any questions you might have because they really enjoy
talking about wine. As for the wineries, they vary in
size and each one is unique. Most wineries are
comprised of a retail area where bottles are on display
and related items such as corkscrews and stemware
can be purchased, and a tasting bar where you can
typically sample some wines for a small fee.
I'm eager to go on a wine tour.
How should I approach this?
Most wineries offer tours of their vineyard and winery,
typically for a small fee. Visitors will learn about the
history of the winery, see how the wine is produced
and taste some of the wines. To start, consult the
winery listings for more details on winery tours, but it's
also best to call in advance to book a tour, find out
what times they offer these sessions and the types of
tours that they host.
Where can I eat in Wine Country?
Many wineries have on-site restaurants and bistros.
Casual patio fare is often available during the summer
months. The regions also boast wonderful restaurants
that offer local foods and local wines. Or stop by a
farmers' market and pick up the makings for a picnic
lunch - refer to the winery listings to see which
wineries have picnic space.
I'm interested in having wine shipped directly to my
home - what's the policy around this?
While many wineries offer the direct shipment of wine
to your door in Ontario for a small fee, shipping
standards can vary from winery to winery. It's best to
ask a retail associate what the specific standards of the
winery are before placing an order.
If I'm travelling with wine, what's the best way to keep it?
Above all, make sure the wine is not left in direct
sunlight and is secured to prevent excessive movement.
Once a bottle is opened, how long will the wine last?
On average, opened wine will be fine for up to three
days. It's important to properly seal your wine.
If it's white, keep it in the refrigerator; if it's red, store
it at room temperature.

Is there a recommended way to age Ontario VQA wines?
There are a number of determining factors when it
comes to aging wine, such as the vintage and the
varietal. If you're at a winery, put the question to one
of their staff. Otherwise, the following are a few
guidelines to follow with respect to aging wines:
* For fresh, unoaked white wines and rosé wines -
up to one year
* Oaked white wines - one to two years
* Ontario red wines - between two and five years
* Ontario Icewine and fortified wine -
between five and 10 years
All varieties of wine (including Icewine) should be
stored horizontally in a cool, dark and dry place.
What is VQA Ontario?
VQA is a system that regulates wines of origin,
ensuring the wine is made from 100% Ontario grapes
and meets specific quality and labelling standards. It is
Ontario's version of appellation control that has existed
in Europe's great wine regions for over 60 years.
VQA is all about place. Our wines reflect their inherent
tie to special places in Ontario - Niagara Peninsula,
Lake Erie North Shore, Prince Edward County - places
where the soil, the slope, the sunshine, the warmth,
the rainfall and the craftsmanship yield distinct grapes
and exceptional wines.
Find out what special place your wine comes from by
looking for the region or sub-region name between the
VQA letters on the label.
What is vintage variation?
Each unique growing season has an impact on the
growth of the grape vine and the fruit it produces, and in
turn the wine made from that harvest. Wine character
can be a delicate thing and knowing about each vintage
can help predict what the potential is for its wines.
Seasonal conditions can also vary between appellations
and even between micro-climates within a small appellation.
But vintages are not always universally 'bad' or 'good'.
While one variety might enjoy the scorching heat,
others will thrive in cooler weather. And remember,
grapes are just one part of the equation - the winemaker's
skills shine through in every wine and every vintage.
What is Sustainable Winemaking Ontario?
It's a certification program that ensures Ontario wineries
adhere to environmentally sustainable practices in their
winemaking operations. These wineries are identifiable
by the green leaf icon beside their winery description in
the Guide.
This in-depth survey for winemakers and grape growers
is a voluntary program to validate sustainable practices,
which are verifiable through an independent audit.
When consumers see the green leaf logo, they are
guaranteed that these wineries have adhered to a
sustainable "from soil to shelf" path throughout the
entire winemaking process.



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