Wine Council of Ontario Calls for More Access to Ontario Wines

Vineland, ON: – The Wine Council of Ontario welcomes the changes to beer retailing that were announced today by Premier Wynne and Ed Clark, Chair of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets. Ontario wineries are looking forward to seeing these changes mirrored for our local wine industry – because Ontarians deserve the chance to buy local wine in a modernized retail landscape.

While producing world class wines, Ontario’s VQA industry is also creating and maintaining made-in-Ontario jobs, and driving economic growth. Expanded access to Ontario wines is good for consumers and good for Ontario’s economy: the VQA industry supports more than 14,000 jobs, and hosts nearly two million tourists annually.

Ontario’s wine industry has more than doubled in the past decade – from 60 wineries in 2003 to more than 150 now, making a locally grown and produced product. “My winery is a small business in rural Ontario, and we’re growing, but we need more retail access. In this part of the province, an industry with this kind of growth potential should be given the tools to succeed,” said Caroline Granger from the Grange of Prince Edward County. The Grange is a family run winery, and driving economic growth in Prince Edward County.

“We’re pleased that the government is committed to new retail channels for Ontario wines, and appreciate Premier Wynne’s commitment to growing the industry. Our members are concerned that there may be delays in implementation – that’s why we welcome the commitment to finalize these reforms before the holiday season,” said Wine Council President Richard Linley. “We know that Ontarians enjoy VQA wines, and are looking forward to expanded access and more options when it comes to quality, locally made wines.”

Ontario’s VQA industry, by the numbers:

  • Total retail value of VQA sales in 2014: $395M
  • Ontario jobs tied to the continued success of VQA wines: 14,000
  • Value of annual grape purchases: $50M
  • Tax revenue for the government: $600M
  • Economic impact of wine-related tourism: $250M

The OCW leads the growth and profitability of Ontario’s respected VQA wine sector – through strategic partnership and authoritative trusted advocacy. As a non-profit trade association, the OCW represents over 100 wineries from across the three designated viticultural areas of the province (Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore – including Pelee Island) as well as emerging wine producing regions such as Ontario’s South Coast and Georgian Bay/Grey County. OCW members are independently owned small and medium sized businesses – grape growers, manufacturers and leaders in tourism in their communities. Our members are the future of Ontario’s wine industry which is a source of new investment, jobs and award-winning wines.

For more information, please contact: info@ontariocraftwineries.ca | 905 562 8070 ext. 225

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