Ontario Cutting Red Tape to Support Growth in the Wine Industry

Published on August 12, 2019

Vineland - Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Lisa Thompson, was joined by representatives from the Ontario wine industry, today, to announce changes reducing the regulatory burden to support growth in the industry.

Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, notes the changes will benefit grape growers and wineries in Niagara.

“As a world-class wine destination and the largest wine producing region in Ontario, local growers and vintners are producing some of the best cool climate wines in North America,” Sam remarked.

“The latest announcement by our government will ensure grape growers and wineries in Niagara have expanded access to the growing number of consumers selecting Ontario VQA wines.”

Changes have been made to the rules under the Vintners Quality Alliance Act that reduces red tape and provides more flexibility to wineries across the province and expands wine choices for consumers. One of these changes includes adding the Marquette hybrid grape variety to the list of permitted grape varieties to be eligible for Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario approval.

“The addition of the Marquette hybrid grape variety will help small and new wineries experience easier entry into Ontario's VQA wine market,” said Minister Thompson.

“It particularly supports wineries located in emerging regions where cold winter temperatures are a challenge for traditional grape varieties, like Huron-Bruce.”

Ontario wineries can also produce wines using grapes from different vintages, or harvest years, as it is now optional for them to label wines with the harvest year with the Ontario geographical indicator. This will increase the choice of table wines available to consumers.

“Our government is making Ontario Open for Business by removing obstacles in investment, growth and job creation sectors right across the economy - including the wine and grape industry,” said Minister Thompson. “We are working hard every day to modernize government and make it simpler, faster and better to do business in Ontario. We are working to put Ontario back on track as the economic engine of Canada.”