Even smoke from Quebec wildfires can’t stop Niagara wineries

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Published June 7, 2023 at 1:22 pm

Two Sisters Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake spans 130 acres and every one of them will be open today despite slightly higher levels of smoke from the Quebec wildfires.

With the news that some cideries, wineries and breweries in Prince Edward County might be limiting their tasting room operations today or tomorrow (June 7-8) due to the heavier level of smoke from the Quebec wildfires, it’s a different story in Niagara.

Local winery experts in Niagara Region say they haven’t heard of any potential closings or limited hours down here.

Rick VanSickle, publisher of the popular wineinniagara.com website, says he hasn’t heard word of any Niagara wineries closing down due to the conditions.

“I personally have not heard of any wineries in Niagara shutting down due to the smoke. It’s hazy here but likely not to the extent that it is in Prince Edward Country,” VanSickle told inniagararegion.

Andrea Peters, PR & marketing senior project manager for the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, echoed his sentiments.

“I am not aware of any wineries who are closing because of this, but I can certainly circle back with you if I hear of anything,” she told inniagararegion.

While that’s certainly a testament that nothing can slow down Niagara’s 60-plus wineries, those closer to Kingston and Ottawa are certainly feeling pressure from the smoky conditions.

Indeed, health officials in Ottawa are telling residents to wear N-95 masks, even for quick shopping trips.

As for Kingston, the Air Quality Index says the city currently has North America’s worst air quality, at a “hazardous” level of 465 as of 8 am today (June 7), as its Air Quality Health Index is at 11 or higher. The chart doesn’t go higher than that.

At its worst today and tomorrow in Niagara Region, the Air Quality Health Index will peak at 7 before dropping quickly to safer levels.

This Tweet from Weather Nation will give people an idea of the skies in Ottawa today.

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