• 2017 Celebrity Luncheon with Colonel Chris Hadfield

    Thank you to all attendees and sponsors who attended the Grape Growers of Ontario's Celebrity Luncheon with Colonel Chris Hadfield to celebrate our 70th Anniversary and 'growing into the future'!




  • GGO 70th Anniversary Family Picnic






    August 24, 2017 - Thank you to everyone who celebrated the GGO's 70th Anniversary!
    Photo: Denis Cahill


  • 2017-2018 Grape King

    Doug Whitty
    President, Whitty Farms and 13th Street Winery

    Doug Whitty is a third generation grape grower in St. Catharines and has been selected as the 2017 Grape King to serve as ambassador for Ontario's grape growers. 


Grape Growers of Ontario meet with Premier Wynne

October 13, 2017 - ST. CATHARINES, ON: Grape harvest is in full swing in Ontario, and the Grape Growers of Ontario welcomed the opportunity to meet with Premier Kathleen Wynne in the vineyards of grape grower Bill George in Beamsville.

The Premier had a birds-eye view of the vineyards from the seat of a harvester. The harvest is at the mid-point with white varieties such as Riesling and Chardonnay typically harvested early in the season followed by the later maturing red varieties.  While the rain has slowed down harvest this week, the return to warm and dry weather is expected over the next week.

Pictured: Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario; Bill George, Vice Chair, Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association; Matthias Oppenalender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario.

2017 Grape Price Agreement Reached


2017 Grape Price Agreement reached with Grape Growers of Ontario, Wine Council of Ontario and Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario

Niagara – September 6, 2017: The Grape Growers of Ontario, Wine Council of Ontario and Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario have successfully negotiated a grape price agreement for the 2017 harvest. This agreement recognizes the various price categories within the industry, and includes an important proviso for both processors and producers to actively participate in developing a sustainable industry wide plan following harvest.   

“The constant in our industry is the consistent grape quality our growers produce every year to make 100% Ontario grown wine. This agreement recognizes that growers, with their wine partners, can work together to collectively build and strengthen our grape and wine industry’s future,” said Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario.

“WGAO members purchase some 85% of the grapes grown by independent farmers in Ontario for VQA and International Canadian Blend (ICB) wines, and we are very pleased that grape growers and processors have arrived at an agreement for grape prices in 2017,” stated Del Rollo, Chair, Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario.

“I’m pleased we were able to reach an agreement on grape pricing for the 2017 harvest. The agreement provides price certainty, which will help wineries plan and potentially grow their businesses,” said Len Pennachetti, Chair, Wine Council of Ontario.

Ontario’s grape and wine industry is a significant economic driver to the provincial economy which contributes over $4.4 billion economic impact through jobs, tourism and taxes, particularly in the province’s designated viticulture areas: Niagara Peninsula, Prince Edward County, Lake Erie North Shore, and the emerging South Coast region.


Click here to view the base grape prices for 2017. A full pre-harvest package will be emailed to all grape growers and available on eGrape next week.

Letter from the Honourable Jeff Leal to the Grape Growers of Ontario membership


On March 28, 2017, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs provided the Grape Growers of Ontario with a letter supporting regulated marketing in Ontario. The following is an excerpt of the letter, and the full letter can be read here.

"These actions do not impact any other marketing boards regulated under the Farm Products Marketing Act. As I have stated on numerous occasions, our government has not wavered from its commitment to maintain regulated marketing in Ontario. This includes the ability of marketing boards to negotiate collectively on behalf of their members where such a requirement is included in the powers delegated to that board, as is the case for the Grape Growers of Ontario."  Minister Jeff Leal, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

2017 Cheque Day

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Grape Growers of Ontario Board Office
1634 South Service Road, St. Catharines

Growers: Photo ID is required to pick up your cheque. Please bring any contact information changes with you. If you are unable to pick up your cheque, please notify the Board office, in writing, with the name of the individual picking up your cheque on your behalf. 

NOTE: Cheques that are not picked up by 2:00 pm on Wednesday, November 15 will be put into the mail immediately following the scheduled pick up time. If you wish to have your cheque held at the office please call 905-688-0990 before noon on Wednesday, November 15.

IMPORTANT: All grapes harvested after November 7, 2017 will be paid immediately following receipt of the purchase summary from the GGO. All cheques are to be made payable to the grower and delivered to the GGO Board office for pick up by the grower.

For more information, please contact Nick Lemieux at 905 688-0990 ext 228 or nlemieux@grapegrowersofontario.com

Are you a farmer interested in different practices for maintaining soil health?

Two workshops are scheduled which will host talks from Brock University Researchers and farmers involved in an ongoing project investigating the use of agrominerals for soil amendment. This is an opportunity to hear about the latest results from field trials, and a Q&A session will follow to allow for further discussion. Everyone is welcome to attend one, or both, of the below workshops. Workshops are free of charge and will be held at Rittenhouse Hall, Vineland Research & Innovation Centre, 4890 Victoria Avenue North, ON L0R 2E0 on:

November 23rd, 8.30am - 11am

December 6th, 8.30am - 11am

For more information and to RSVP, please email lc15nl@brocku.ca

Top Picks at Ontario’s Legislative Assembly for 2018

Friday, November 3, 2017 - St. Catharines, ON:

The Grape Growers of Ontario with the Honourable Speaker of the Legislature and MPP for Brant County, Dave Levac, hosted the 39th Annual Wine Tasting event at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, November 1st. Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario, Matthias Oppenlaender, along with CEO Debbie Zimmerman are pleased to announce that the following have been chosen as the official wines of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly for 2018:


Red Wine: 2016 Sandbanks Winery Sleeping Giant Foch-Baco Noir

White Wine:  2016 Reif Estate Winery Pinot Grigio

Fall 2017 CCOVI News

Please click here to read the Fall 2017 newsletter from the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, which includes updates on:

  • Preharvest monitoring program
  • 20th Anniversary of Lectures at Niagara Grape and Wine Festival
  • The "Great Chardo" Sway
  • Award-winning industry books 
  • Upcoming Events, and much more!

Honourable Jim Bradley’s Member Statement regarding "Grape King Doug Whitty” on Oct. 23, 2017

The Honourable Jim Bradley, Chief Government Whip and MPP for St. Catharines, rose in the Legislative Assembly on October 23, 2017 to congratulate the 2017 Grape King, Doug Whitty of Whitty Farms, St. Catharines. 

Click here to watch 

CCOVI Consumer Research Lab

October 23, 2017 - thegrower.org

Brock University’s viticulture institute has received $960,00 for a one-of-a-kind consumer research lab.  The Canada Foundation for Innovation grant will help the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) establish the world’s first mediated-reality wine laboratory that will combine sights, smells and sounds to help researchers study the science of consumer choice in the wine industry.

The Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Sensory Reality Consumer Laboratory, to be known as (R3CL), will be able to create a variety of environments in which people purchase and consume wines. These environments could include wineries, liquor stores or even dining rooms. Interwoven with the scenes will be music, smells and other sensory information.

Vineland marks a decade of research

The latest Innovation Report from the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is brimming with success  stories. Featured on the front cover is a new sweet potato variety that’s set to take root on a commercial scale in 2019.

Click here to view the report.