Ontario Craft Wineries Releases New 5-Year Strategic Plan

“Growing, Trusted, Connected”


Charts a Positive Roadmap for Ontario’s VQA Wineries and Ontario Consumers


VINELAND, ON – The Ontario Craft Wineries (OCW) unveiled its new strategic plan at its winery townhall meeting today, under the leadership of its President, staff and board of directors. Following a six-month strategic review of the OCW’s objectives and operations, the new strategic plan will ensure that Ontario continues to be recognized as one of the world’s premiere wine regions. The new plan highlights the need for collaboration between government and the industry to deliver the jobs, growth, and continued product quality vital to their customers and to Ontario’s economy.

As an industry association, the OCW will:



  • For the financial stability of our members. 
  • For a regulatory and public policy framework that supports the growth of Ontario’s VQA wine industry and attracts new capital into the sector.
  • For environmentally sustainable grape growing and stewardship of Ontario’s wine country.


  • Direct and influence innovative marketing that encourages consumers to choose Ontario VQA wines.
  • Educate and engage OCW members and industry stakeholders.


  • Seek common ground with all industry stakeholders.
  • Be the trusted voice for Ontario’s VQA wine producers.

Through interviews and surveys, the strategic review engaged leaders from the wine industry across Canada, OCW members, local grape growers, former and current Ontario government officials and the LCBO to create a robust consensus that will deliver improved outcomes for the Ontario VQA wine industry and for its customers over the coming five years. More broadly, it offered new approaches to support innovation in the wine industry and to support regional economic development of Ontario’s wine country. The OCW also established building blocks needed to deliver different and better results for their winery members. The OCW team has already put the new plan into action and is delivering its new strategy. 




“I want to thank our staff, board of directors, winery members and all stakeholders in the beverage alcohol system for their input during this process. While Ontarioʼs VQA wine industry has much to celebrate, the industry aspires for more. Our new plan envisions an Ontario that broadly celebrates, supports and recognizes Ontarioʼs VQA wine industry as one of the worldʼs premiere wine regions and an Ontario that proudly chooses domestic VQA wines. Ontarioʼs VQA wine producers are committed, passionate and just getting started. The best is yet to come.” – Carolyn Hurst, Chair, Ontario Craft Wineries


“Over the next five years, the OCW will work to ensure that its members and all of its stakeholder’s benefit from a consumer and producer focused wine strategy that places its emphasis on great consumer choice, on continued focus on quality, for grape production continuing to value VQA wines and for a more sustainable industry eco-system in Ontario. Our five-year road map sets out where OCW will bring greater focus for the benefit of all its members. And for the benefit of VQA wine consumers in Ontario.” – Richard Linley, President, Ontario Craft Wineries 

About Ontario Craft Wineries


The OCW champions and advocates for the growth and success of Ontario VQA wine producers. As a capital intensive and vertically integrated businesses, OCW helps its winery members navigate the industry, grow and be successful. Over the past five years, VQA wine producers have grown to 183 wineries from 161 in 2016. VQA production rose to 3.3 million cases in 2021 from 2.24 million cases in 2016, a striking 47% increase. VQA grape production rose to an estimated 40.6 tonnes from an estimated 31.2 tonnes in 2016. Annually, the Ontario VQA industry contributes well in excess of $2 billion to the province’s economy and supports over 11,000 direct and indirect jobs.


For more information, please contact: 


905.562.8070 ext. 225