• We Grow the Wines You Love Contest



  • 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. 


Jamie Quai of Quai du Vin Estate Winery Crowned 2016 Grape King

September 14, 2016


Farm Credit Canada, the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival are pleased to announce that Jamie Quai of Quai du Vin Estate Winery in St. Thomas is the 2016 Grape King.

“Each year, the Grape King is chosen based on expertise of vineyard management and vineyard quality – the type of quality that builds consumer trust and is capable of meeting all the demands of a modern industry,” says Farm Credit Canada Vice-President of Operations John Geurtjens. “That’s why we’re proud to be part of this announcement.”

“We are excited to have Jamie serve as the 2016 Grape King and be the ambassador for Ontario’s viticulture industry,” says Grape Growers of Ontario Chair, Matthias Oppenlaender. “Jamie is a young, energetic individual with experience in all aspects of the grape and wine industry,” says Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of the Grape Growers of Ontario.

We grow the wines you love in summer

Summer is like a glass of chilled Chardonnay: bright, vivid and joyous.
Summer is when the air is buzzing and the sun shining.
Summer is when green grapes emerge from grapevine flowers, slowly take on their darker shade, and develop bright flavours.
Summer is when we spend our days nurturing the most flavourful grapes that will transform into the wines you love.
This Summer, enjoy fine days in the sun with a crisp glass of local, VQA wine.

Discover our Ontario VQA wines, food pairings, getaway ideas and more!

Wine Festival showcases homegrown parade

September 22, 2016 | The St. Catharines Standard
By Don Fraser

It’s a classic fall bash for Niagara and its visitors from afar that celebrates the peninsula’s pride.

And this year’s Meridian Grande Parade specifically has Homegrown Niagara as its theme.

Floats and displays will course through downtown St. Catharines Saturday to commemorate the area’s community leaders, bounty and first-class quality of life.

About 75 entries are part of this year’s extravaganza of drumlines, marching bands, floats, music and other crowd favourites.

“What we ask is they point to local heroes or history-makers in their themes,” said festival executive director Kimberly Hundertmark.

Niagara Grape Harvest Underway

September 16, 2016 | St Catharines Standard
by Bob Tymczyszyn

All across Niagara, little clusters of red and white grapes are nearing, if not at the point of, maturity and farmers are spending long hours to harvest them at the right time.

For most grape growers and winemakers, this is the critical time, finding the right balance of sugar and acidity. The long, hot summer and lack of rain accelerated what may have been a shorter season to one of the best in the past few years.

“It’s looking pretty good. Everything that we’ve brought in so far looks excellent, and the weather forecast for the near future looks pretty good,” said Fielding Estates winemaker Richie Roberts.

“Between Labour Day and the middle of October makes or breaks a season. If the weather holds up it’s going to be a really good year for red wines.”

Gerry Dee pops the cork on Wine Festival

September 14, 2016 | St. Catharines Standard
by Bill Sawchuk

The Grape Growers of Ontario picked an interesting pairing for its annual celebrity luncheon Wednesday.

Canadian comedian and actor Gerry Dee entertained hundreds of grape growers, winemakers and guests with his stand-up routine at Club Roma Wednesday.

“I should probably drink more wine than I do. I have kids who are nine, six and three years old,” he said. “The three-year-old is a bit of an idiot.”

Dee is the creator, executive producer and star of one of the longest-running Canadian sitcoms, Mr. D, now in its sixth season on CBC, and he placed the highest of any Canadian several years ago on NBC’s Last Comic Standing show by finishing third.

Grape King has roots in Niagara

September 14, 2016 | St. Catharines Standard
by Bill Sawchuk

Jamie Quai, the 2016 Grape King, is from St. Thomas but his connections to Niagara are strong.

Quai, 33, is the winemaker at Quai du Vin Estate Winery, studied winemaking at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. He became an instructor after graduation in 2006.

“My wife and I are both Brock grads,” he said. “I was on faculty at the university until this past year.

“I grew up in the industry. I’ve been in the business my entire life. I take a lot of pride in developing the industry.”

(Photo of Jamie Quai, 2016 Grape King with out-going Grape King Jamie Slingerland
by Denis Cahill)

Make the most of Niagara Wine Festival

September 12, 2016 | Hamilton Spectator
by Tiffany Mayer
Special to Hamilton Spectator

September is when the Niagara region turns into a giant crush pad and celebrates the grape growing season that was.

This year marks the 65th edition of the Niagara Wine Festival, the oldest of its kind in Canada. It's easily the region's biggest bash where locals raise a glass — or several — to the area's farming roots while oenophiles from Toronto, Timmins, Texas and beyond come to see what all the hype is about.

"It's the best time of year to experience Niagara hospitality on the wine route," says Kimberly Hundertmark, the festival's executive director. "The surprising offerings that the wineries have at this time of year are not to be missed."

How does Niagara stretch a celebration of grapes and wine into a two-week affair? It starts with the formalities on Sept. 14 — the crowning of a Grape King, the event's regal figurehead — and a celebrity luncheon. This year comedian Gerry Dee will be the headliner, injecting some star power and outrageous humour into the proceedings.

Harvests are a celebration of hard work

September 11, 2016 | Fort Erie Times 
by Craig Youdale

The harvest season anywhere in the world is a celebration of hard work, and it has the smell of victory in the human’s battle with nature.

 The “bringing in” of a crop can mean many things, such as food for the table, sustenance for the village, and even financial comfort for the farmer when the bounty is plentiful.

The grape farmer is probably one of the most nervous, overworked wrecks at this time of year, when it’s time for the fruit to be picked.

The grape is such a delicate beast, and it can change its fortune in a blink of an eye. An entire season of warmth, sun and proper moisture can be dashed with severe winds, sudden cold, and a constant flow of rain from the heavens when it’s time to pick.

photo by Denis Cahill

Vineland Fall Newsletter

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre— Fall 2016

Included in this issue:

  • We've got great flavour
  • What's Growin On Research Farm Open House 2016
  • Advancing the Canadian Table Great Industry
  • Easy Home Harvest with Organic Potted Blueberries