Ontario winemakers are moving toward “greener” vineyards and wineries, says Andrew Brooks, author of Crush on Niagara. It’s the most important trend in the industry in the province, he says.
“People want to be more responsible in stewarding the land,” says Brooks, noting that an increasing number of producers are moving away from chemical fungicides and pesticides.
Like a lot of other grape growers in the region, Brooks lives on his four-hectare farm with his family and says he doesn’t want to be surrounded by chemicals.
“I have young children and there are things I just will not use on the site because we live here,” he says in an interview.
Brooks profiles 98 Ontario wineries in the book’s new, second edition, which adds sections on Pelee Island, Prince Edward County and the north shore of Lake Erie.
He says the Niagara region, with numerous producers packed close together, offers advantages for the wine tourist.
“There’s really a great concentration of wineries — everything from a bigger multimillion-dollar facility to the ma-and-pa and celebrity winery, and everything in between. In a couple of kilometres you can hit a lot of wineries.”
As well, the region produces a great diversity of wines, ranging from sparkling and dry to ultra-sweet. “For wine tourists … there’s something for everybody.”
Crush on Niagara is published by Whitecap.