Perhaps, the appellation is the most important of all the things we find on the label of a bottle of wine. The appellation is simply the wine’s address when getting down to the heart of the matter. It’s the site of the grape’s cultivation. It gives an oenophile a deep understanding of what’s inside the bottle or can by this simple fact of where grapes were cultivated. Yes, you heard it right, the bottle or can.
It cannot yet be called ubiquitous for a can of wine on the store shelf but that day may be expected. Daily, there are more wines found in cans. The first to can wine is claimed by Barokes Wines of Australia was in 1996 where they invented their own process. In 2004, Sophia Blanc du Blanc in cans was released by the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in California. Now, it was recently introduced wine in cans, the first in the region- Origin sparkling wine by brothers Greg and Yannick Wertsch, owners of Ontario’s Between the Lines Winery, along with their partners Philip Chae and Lucian Cao.
When they started Between the Lines in 2010, Greg and Yannick were 25 and 22 years old. In the area, the brothers were the youngest winemakers but between them, both attended for ten years winemaking school in Germany and Ontario. The brothers started their winery by leasing a building on their parents’ family farm and encouraging an investor who finances for tanks, labels, and glassware. In November 2011, their product was launched.
The brothers produced the kinds of wine people knows early on, wines that emerged, were developed and became famous in other areas of the world. Disappointment is what they felt soon after with the results of venturing in to produce a wine in Ontario that was better befitting to another region. To change course is what they’ve decided to go.
Winemakers have acknowledged the influence of place on wine for centuries. To making those grapes unique to that very location where grapes grow, the particular environment has the biggest contribution. It is often alluded to as terroir and the region as an appellation for these conditions.
These are the eight appellations or winemaking regions Canada recognizes:
- Lake Erie North Shore
- Niagara Peninsula
- Prince Edward County (The first three from Ontario)
- Naramata Bench
- Vancouver Island
- Nova Scotia
It grew as the canning project move forward. Soon, Greg realized he needed partners. To join him, he then called on his partners Lucian and Philip. While he was teaching at Niagara University, Lucian and Philip had been students of Greg. They quickly signed on as both were very enthusiastic about the proposal.