• 2016 Niagara Icewine Festival

                         2016 NIAGARA ICEWINE FESTIVAL
    A Shimmer of Gold

    January 15 - 31, 2016
    Tickets and event details



  • Localgrapes.ca

    Meet the Folks Behind the Grapes

    Our local grape growers pursue the fruits

    of their labour in an entirely literal fashion


  • Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Program (MVIP)

    MVIP provides Ontario's grape growers with 35% cost-share funding to help with the cost of improvements to their production of wine grapes. The 2015 intake opened May 19, 2015 and is now closed. Due to a strong demand for the available funds, the joint Government-Industry Steering Committee has decided that the program will not open a second intake for year 2.


  • 2015-16 Grape King

    Jamie Slingerland
    Director of Viticulture, Pillitteri Estate Winery

    The Slingerland family have been farming in Niagara-on-the-Lake since 1783. Jamie has been selected as 2015 Grape King to serve as ambassador for Ontario's grape growers. 


  • 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.


Dorothy (Bobbe) Puddicombe

The Grape Growers of Ontario extend our sympathy to the Puddicombe family in the passing of Dorothy (Bobbe) Puddicombe on Friday, January 29, 2016 in her 94th year. 

Bobbe Puddicombe is survived by her husband Lew and will be missed by her many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She is mother of Murray Puddicombe and his wife Carol, and grandmother of GGO Director Brock Puddicombe of  Winona, Ontario.

A private family service has been held.  In lieu of flowers, donations to St. John's Anglican Church in Winona or St. Matthews House in Hamilton would be appreciated.

William Robert (Bob) Hunter

The Grape Growers of Ontario are saddened to advise of the passing of William Robert (Bob) Hunter, Hunter Farms Ltd. Niagara-on-the-Lake, on Monday February 1, 2016.

Bob will be missed by his wife Ruth, children Ken (Julie) Hunter, Tom (Kathryn) Hunter, and Jim (Debbie) Hunter and their many family members and friends.

Family will receive friends at the Morgan Funeral Home, 415 Regent Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, on Friday, February 5, 2016, from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. A service will be held at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 323 Simcoe St., Niagara-on-the-Lake, on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 3 pm.

For those who wish, memorial donations to either The Canadian Lung Association, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (NOTL) or to a charity of your choice, would be appreciated by the family.

Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at www.morganfuneral.com

EPIC Festival of Ice

Enjoy Wine and chocolate pairings at participating Erie Pelee Island Coast wineries on Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 7, 2016 from 12:00 -5:00 p.m. each day.

Admission at each winery is free with the donation of a canned good.

Click for more information

VQA Promoters Awards - Nominations Deadline - Thursday, February 11, 2016

February 1, 2016 | CCOVI

Click here for nomination form

Help recognize individuals for their outstanding achievements in the grape and wine industry.  What better way to recognize the hard-working individuals who promote, in an exemplary manner, VQA wines in Ontario?  

Award recipients will be recognized at the Cuvee Grand Tasting (March 4) with their awards given out and celebrated at the Experts Tasting at Brock University on April 2, 2016.  All award recipients, along with their guest, are invited to attend the Experts Tasting at Brock University.

Past recipients are eligible to win in a different category.   For example, a past winner in the LCBO category may now be considered for Lifetime Achievement award.  However, to be eligible a minimum of 3 years must have passed between the Nominee’s first win and subsequent nomination in another category.  Be sure to go to Past Recipients for reference:   http://www.brocku.ca/webfm_send/28226

Categories:  Media; LCBO; Hospitality; Retail; Education; Lifetime Achievement; Promoter-at-Large; Non-Ontario VQA Promoter (someone who is active outside Ontario in promoting Ontario VQA wines)

If your candidate wins, you will receive a chance to attend the Experts Tasting, as a "thank you" for taking the time to make a nomination. (Nominators will be invited to attend the tasting. However, if there is more than one nominator for a successful candidate the names will be placed in a draw. Only one nominator may attend for each successful candidate).

 NOMINATION DEADLINE: Thursday, February 11, 2016

Days of Wine and Chocolate

Indulge in decadence this winter as you explore Niagara-on-the-Lake’s finest wineries. You’ll taste and enjoy some of the region’s most luxurious wines as they are expertly paired with devilishly sweet and savoury chocolate dishes.

 every weekend in February from 11 am to 5 pm.

Purchase a Touring Pass today and enjoy entrance to 23 of our unique wineries.
Touring Passes are $35 (plus HST) and include wine and chocolate pairings.

A Designated Driver Pass is also available for $25 (plus HST), which includes non-alcoholic beverages and food pairings.  Click here for more information and to purchase passes


Ontario Winery Restaurants make Canada's Best Restaurants List

January 28, 2016 |Open Table

Open Table has announced the 100 Best Restaurants in Canada based on over 275,000 diner reviews of approximately 1,600 restaurants across the country. 
Many of Ontario's winery restaurants made the list - another reason to visit wine country. 

Map of Restaurants from Global News  

Open Table 100 Best Restaurants in Canada

Aussie at home at Strewn

January 24, 2016 | St Catharines Standard
by Bob Tymczyszyn

Strewn winemaker Marc Bradshaw took some time off to return home to Australia. He came back reinvigorated ready to take over at the winery.

We’re all the better for it.

When the Aussie native came to Canada in 2004, he thought he would be here for a few months, but he grew to love the region, the people and the wines.

Without knowing it, Bradshaw has become a cheerleader for Canadian wineries.

Congratulations to our Grape Kings

January 22, 2016 | Niagara Advance


Grape Kings showed their community spirit by spreading goodwill at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas parade in December...and take home bragging rights to having the first place float in the Adult category.  Grape Growers of Ontario extend congratulations to all of the category finalists and to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake for an excellent family event.

Brock's grape and wine research centre giving Ontario's economy a boost

21 January 2016 | Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

A new study shows that Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) contributed more than $91-million and the equivalent of 307 jobs to Ontario’s economy in 2014-15.

Conducted by the management consulting firm MDB Insight, the economic impact study found that investments in CCOVI’s industry-driven research and education are translating into job and business growth across Ontario.

CCOVI is an internationally recognized research unit focused on addressing the needs of Canada’s grape and wine industry. The only research centre of its kind in Canada, CCOVI’s activities range from complex laboratory research to in-the-field programs that alert grape growers to imminent threats from severe weather.   

Icewine Festival A Sweet Niagara Destination

January 13, 2016 | Fort Erie Times
By Don Fraser, QMI Agency

A marquee icewine festival is crystallizing into different corners of Niagara.

From Friday to the end of the month, the annual Niagara Icewine Festival will showcase events and tastings that range from Jordan to St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Kimberly Hundertmark, executive director of the icewine festival’s umbrella organization Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. “It has become like a secondary tourism season for us in Niagara, which is awesome for everyone.”

“The impact it has is a bonus for retailers, and accommodation and culinary partners who might otherwise be a little bit slower through the month of January.

“Now it’s a very vibrant time for the region.”