May 2, 2016 2:15 P.M.
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Ontario is investing $2.25 million to help boost sales of Ontario’s world-class Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines and expand tourism opportunities for the province’s wine regions.
The province is launching the annual 2016 Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide to encourage tourists from across Ontario to experience and enjoy the great wines and wine regions Ontario has to offer. The guide will be available at wineries and in the summer issue of LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine on May 4th.
The 2016 Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide provides information about 200 wineries in Prince Edward County, Lake Erie’s North Shore, the Niagara Peninsula, and emerging wine producing regions. It also highlights new trends in Ontario wine, offers touring and tasting tips and showcases Ontario’s four signature wine varieties, for which the province has become renowned on the international wine scene: Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc.
Additionally, the province will be undertaking a re-design of the VQA Support Program to ensure it continues to provide targeted support that encourages wineries to scale-up, create jobs and grow Ontario’s wine sector.
Since 2009, VQA wine sales in Ontario have increased by $103 million, from $170 million to $273 million, the number of wineries has increased from 133 to 200 and 2,000 direct jobs have been created in the industry.
Investing in Ontario’s wine and grape sector is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Ontario is home to the largest wine region in Canada and its wines are internationally recognized for their quality and taste.
- The province is investing a total of $28 million through the Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Program and the VQA Wine Support Program as part of the $75 million Ontario Wine and Grape Strategy.
- This builds on previous commitment by the province to invest a total of $5.25 million to support wine industry promotions in 2016-2017 led by the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario.
- As announced earlier this year, Ontario’s wine and grape sector will also benefit from the introduction of wine sales in up to 300 grocery stores, starting with 70 this fall.