• Grape Grower of the Year 2014-2015

    Kevin Buis
    Glenlake Vineyards
    On behalf of the Grape Growers of Ontario we congratulate Kevin Buis on being chosen Grape King for the year 2014-2015.


  • Annual General Meeting Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at Club Roma


    All grape growers are invited to attend the 67th Annual General Meeting of the Grape Growers of Ontario.

    District meetings will be held prior to the AGM:
    District 5: March 26, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., Pelee Island Winery
    District 6: March 31, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., Ramada Hotel, Trenton


  • Grape Growers of Ontario Welcome You to WineONtour.ca

    Map your route to Ontario wineries with Grape Growers of Ontario's wineONtour.ca.  Customize your tour by winery name, location, wine style or varietal.


  • Growing Forward 2 Capacity Building & Implementation

     Growing Forward 2 (GF2) applications and program guides for Producer Implementation funding assistance are available. Capacity building applications for Intake 2 (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015) closes March 31, 2015.  The application date for Intake 3 GF2 projects will be announced in March 2015.


GGO 67th Annual General Meeting



Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Club Roma - 125 Vansickle Road, St Catharines
Voter Registration from 6:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.

Registration Requirements:  Photo ID and GGO Number  |  Must have sold grapes in 2013 and/or 2014
Proxy Requirements:  Please advise the Baord Office prior to the AGM by emailing info@grapegrowersofontario.com.

NOTE: If you are unable to attend the AGM but would like to vote, please designate in writing the name of the individual representing you as your proxy for purposes of voting. Attendees will not be given a voting card without written confirmation.


Update on Grapevine Cold Hardiness: Deaaclimation

March 26, 2015 | Jim Willwerth, CCOVI

Our latest round of bud hardiness monitoring indicates that grapevines are beginning to deacclimate and becoming less cold tolerant.  It is therefore important to continue to monitor bud hardiness through VineAlert in order to make informed management decisions.  

Our latest bud hardiness data indicate that sensitive varieties such as Sauvignon blanc and Merlot will sustain additional cold injury when temperatures drop <-15C.

It is important to adjust wind machine start up temperatures according to the latest bud hardiness information.

Samples for cold hardiness are taken from multiple varieties and regions across Ontario.  VineAlert is updated on a consistent basis but these regional updates are staggered over time.  During deacclimation it is possible that older postings may not truly  reflect the current state of the vines.  Therefore, it is important to monitor the most current hardiness ratings in addition to those posted for your specific region.  To view the most recent data posted please visit http://www.ccovi.ca/vine-alert/recent.  

CCOVI Lecture Series: Optimizing Cold Hardiness and Winter Survival

Optimizing cold hardiness and winter survival in grapevines based on trials and experiences in Ontario.

Jim Willwerth, CCOVI Vitulturist, Brock University
Monday, March 30, 2015 
2:00 p.m. Mackenzie Chown, Room H313, Brock University
or watch live on the web at brocku.ca/ccovi

Read more

Join the Greenbelt Review Discussion

March 20, 2015 | Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation

For 10 years now, Ontario’s Greenbelt has provided the solution for clean water, healthy local food, and a thriving economy with good jobs. At almost 2 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, and you can help make sure it stays that way.

From March 25th to April 28th, the province of Ontario is conducting a Coordinated Review of the Greenbelt Plan, Niagara Escarpment Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Plan, and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. For further background information about the Review, the advisory panel, and procedures, click here.

The Niagara Region consultation meeting will be held on Wednesday April 15 in St. Catharines at the Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Convention Centre. An open house will take place between 6-7 pm, with round table discussions from 7-9 pm.

2015 Insight Conference Presentations


The 2015 Insight Industry Conference was held Tuesday, March 3, 2015, sponsored by Andrew Peller Limited, Constellation Brands Canada Inc., Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO), Wine Council of Ontario (WCO) and Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario (WGAO) are pleased to invite you to the 5th Annual Insight Conference.      

The speaker presentations are found in the links as follows:

Agenda and Biographies
Wine Region Reputations and Wine Wars - Mike Veseth (The Wine Economist)
Weather and Climate in Canada - David Phillips (Environment Canada)
Sales and Trends:  Wine at the LCBO - Shari Mogk-Edwards (LCB0)
Consumer Research and Insights - Pamela Lawson (LCBO)
The Blink Factor:  Owning the At-Purchase Moment - Jean-Pierre Lacroix (Shikatani Lacroix)

Fighting bird bandits with a bird

Source: The Grower | March, 2015

For some birders, the American kestrel is known as the sparrow hawk. For tender fruit and grape growers, they would like to know it as the starling hawk – a bird that deters one of the most voracious marauders of their fruit.

Ernest Gerhard Reimer

It is with great sadness that the Grape Growers of Ontario learned of the passing of Ernie Reimer Sr. on Sunday, March  15, 2015, at the Hamilton General Hospital at the age of 86.  Loving husband of Mary, dear father of Ernie Jr. & Laurie, Gordy & Robyn, Robin & Debbie, Glenna & Gord Cairnie, Stuart & Jane, beloved Opa of sixteen grandchildren, brother, uncle and friend.

Ernie served on the GGO Growers' Committee in 1979 and 1987-1988.  He was immensely proud of being a farmer and grape grower, and was honoured to be chosen Grape King in 1974.
The family will receive friends at Southridge Community Church, 3970 Glendale Ave. in Vineland on Friday, March 20th from 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  A funeral service will take place on Saturday, March 21st at 1:00 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Missionary Aviation Fellowship.

Effects of Cold Winter on Niagara Wine Country Unclear

Source: Niagara this Week | March 14, 2015
by Paul Hunter, Toronto Star

VINELAND, ONT.—The weather has turned cold, again, as Jim Willwerth trudges between the rows of grapevines that disappear into the distant greyness. Almost knee-deep in snow, he laments that he has not brought his snowshoes.

It’s been another brutal winter here in Niagara’s wine country, lending greater gravity to Willwerth’s frigid forays like this one in early March.

Willwerth is an expert in growing grapes for wine. A scientist at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, he spends part of his time observing how many buds — the tiny nodes that will ultimately produce grapes — survive on the vines after potentially devastating cold events.

Consumer Wine Awards

March 13, 2015

Consumer Wine Awards event is approaching quickly!

The wine tasting judging event will take place on Saturday, April 11 in Sacramento, Calif.  This fresh new approach to wine competitions employs panels of everyday wine lovers, rather than just professional judges, to assess hundreds of wines. Wine professionals and specially trained wine judges are not allowed. This is a wine tasting by the people and for the people.

The most important date right now is March 25, 2015. It is the Last Day for accepting applications, fees, and wines. Be sure to review all handbook information, and note entry deadlines, delivery dates, instructions, and entry rules.   Wine categories and class(es) are located in the back of the handbook.  For any entry-related questions, please call Aaron Kidder at (209) 969-9296. 

Consumer Wine Awards Press Release
2015 Entry Form Wine
2015 Handbook
Consumer Study Summary

Carlo Negri Memorial Scholarship

Thursday, March 12, 2015 | CNW |Globeandmail.com
Photo: Windsor Star

Colio Estate Wines announced today that it will be donating $100,000 towards the creation of two academic scholarships at St. Clair College and Brock University, in memory of their late Master Winemaker, Carlo Negri.

The aptly named scholarship, the Carlo Negri Memorial Scholarship, will have a total value of $50,000 each, with $5,000 awarded to one student enrolled in a Culinary / Hospitality program at St. Clair College and a student enrolled in the winemaking programme at Brock University. Scholarship recipients will be made by a selection committee at the respective institution based on financial need, demonstrated leadership, community involvement, and a passion for their craft.