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In 1811, the German officer Johann (John) Schiller planted eight hectares of vines near Toronto on the Credit River, which is considered the birth of Canadian viticulture. He experimented with wild v ines of the species Vitis labrusca found there. In 1866, winegrowers from Kentucky planted vineyards with the Isabella variety on Pelee Island in Lake Erie in the southern tip of the country. By the end of the 19th century, there were already about 50 wineries, most of them in the province of Ontario. From the 1930s onwards, many French and American hybrids were planted, with particular emphasis on frost resistance. One of the main protagonists was the Canadian winegrowing pioneer Adhémar de Chaunac (*1896), who founded the production of ice wines. The climate is extreme, with very cold winters averaging minus 5 °C and hot summers, but on the Niagara Peninsula to the south it is far more favourable and optimal for viticulture due to the moderating influence of the huge lakes Ontario and Erie.

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