• Celebrate an Ontario Grape Grower

    Take the time to make a nomination to celebrate our growers.
    2015-16 Grape King – ambassador for all Ontario grape growers; recognized for viticulture excellence. Deadline July 24.
    2016 Cuvée Award of Excellence in Viticulture– to recognize a grower who promotes excellence in vineyard practices. Deadline August 5, 2015.



  • 2015 Celebrity Luncheon

    Canadian Country Music's 'Rising New Star' Award Winner
     2015 Annual Celebrity Luncheon speaker

    Club Roma, St Catharines, ON
    Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 11:30 a.m.
    Tickets are available at www.niagarawinefestival.com or
    Grape Growers of Ontario at 905 688-0990.


  • 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 opens May 19, 2015 and is now closed. Remaining applications will be automatically entered into a priority queue for consideration for funding in the next program year.


  • 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.


  • 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.


Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Program

A message from the Ontario Government and Agricorp

July 21, 2015

The Ontario government is helping the province’s grape growers and individual wineries make improvements to grape production, winery operations, and better market Ontario’s world-class VQA wine. Through the Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Program (MVIP), Ontario has provided $4 million over two years to help growers invest in their vineyards to produce quality grapes.

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.

All received applications are being reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, please contact Agricorp at 1-888-247-4999 or mvip@agricorp.com.

Celebrate an Ontario Grape Grower

Please take the time to make a nomination to recognize and celebrate an Ontario grape grower.

Please submit the name of the Ontario grape grower that you feel would be an excellent candidate for the 2015-2016 Grape King. This position represents an over 60‐year “Tradition of Excellence” for Ontario’s Grape and Wine industry. The Grape King is an ambassador for all grape growers in Ontario and represents the industry at events throughout his/her one‐year term.

Click here for Grape King nomination Form

Email completed nomination form to info@grapegrowersofontario.com or fax to 905-688-3211 by July 24, 2015.

Nominations are being accepted for the Grape Growers of Ontario - Cuvée Award of Excellence in Viticulture. The award will be presented at the 2016 Cuvée Grand Tasting where we showcase the best Ontario VQA wines. It is in that same spirit we take the opportunity to recognize a grower who promotes excellence in their vineyard practices.

Click here for Cuvée nomination form

Email completed Cuvée nomination form to CCOVI@Brocku.ca by August 5, 2015

2015 Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes

An event celebrating the brilliance of Finger Lakes wines, wineries and growers

August 21-22, 2015
Geneva, NY
Grand Tasting - August 21 5:00 a.m.-7:30 pm Geneva Visitor's Center
Opening Session - August 22, 2015 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Smith Opera House
Cool climate seminars - August 22, 2015 10:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Various downtown venues
Red White and Blues - August 22, 2015 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Linden Street

Read more

Defying Odds as Hastings County Vintner


July 18, 2015 | Toronto Star |
By: Carola Vyhnak Special to the Star, Published on Sat Jul 18 2015

Former All My Children actor now producing wine that gets presidential approval

Stubble-faced, soiled and sweaty from cutting grass, he’s every bit the country boy. But dress him up in Hugo Boss or strip him down to his Calvin Kleins and there’s no mistaking the Greek-god looks of a top fashion model.

Welcome to the two worlds and many hats of Sandor Johnson. A famous figure on runways and in front of cameras around the world, he’s also a grape grower and owner of Potter Settlement Vineyards and Winery, the first such venture in Hastings County, midway between Toronto and Ottawa.

And after toiling arduously under those hats — heavy machine operator, entomologist, chemist, plant scientist — Johnson has just raised a glass to his first 12,000 bottles of wine, produced from the 2013 crop.

Belly Laughs on the Bench

Comedy Night with Joe Pillitteri & Friends
The Staff Farm has always been the anchor for evenings filled with great wine, delicious food, friends, family and laughter.
Friday July 24th at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, Jordan
Evening proceeds to the Howard V. Staff Memorial Fund (Niagara Community Foundation)

Tickets: $40 each, reserved table of 8 $320.00 plus HST
Read more

Life Among the Vines

Niagara-this-Week | July 13, 2015
By Tiffany Meyer
Photo by Mike Sansano

When he’s not buried in the latest mystery novel, Bill George solves the riddle that is the grape-growing business
Bill George likes to tuck into the pages of a good mystery novel. The last one he bent the spine of was Tom Clancy’s Threat Vector.

Come this time of year, though, George doesn’t need a paperback to provide him with intrigue. He finds plenty of it growing grapes in his Beamsville vineyard, and as the chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario.
After two uncharacteristically cruel winters took a toll on grapevines throughout Ontario’s wine regions, and a brutal frost racked up more crop losses in Prince Edward County in May, George is simply trying to make sense of the cold-blooded killer named Mother Nature.

2015-2016 Grape King Nominations

Applications are being accepted for 2015-16 Grape King until Friday, July 24, 2015.  Please submit the name of the Ontario grape grower that you feel would be an excellent candidate for the 2015-2016 Grape King. This position represents an over 60‐year “Tradition of Excellence” for Ontario’s Grape and Wine industry. The Grape King is an ambassador for all grape growers in Ontario and represents the industry at events throughout his/her one‐year term.

Nomination Form

Requirements and Qualifications

  1. All nominees must be a registered member of the Grape Growers of Ontario, have an active Grape Growers of Ontario number, and must have excellent knowledge of vineyard management and the grape growing industry.
  2. Vineyard must be located in Ontario. Vineyard must be of at least ten (10) acres.
  3. Former King’s vineyard is eligible after a ten-year lapse.
  4. Judging will be conducted by personnel from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. In the event vineyard evaluations are close, an Advisory Committee will select the final winner.
  5. The grower’s installation as the 2015 Grape King will take place in his/her vineyard on September 16, 2015.*
  6. The grape grower’s family becomes the Royal Family and will be invited to participate in activities of the 2015 Niagara Grape & Wine Festival.
  7. The Grape Growers of Ontario will present a financial award to the 2015 Grape King.
  8. The Grape King will attend either the 2016 Spring Okanagan Wine Festival or the 2016 British Columbia Wine Grape Council Enology and Viticulture Conference as Ontario’s grape and wine ambassador.
  9. The Grape King will receive an official jacket for attendance at all events.

    * After the 2015 Celebrity Luncheon

What’s on your wish list for community investments?

OFA Commentary: July 10, 2015
By Louis Roesch, Board Member, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

If you could pick the infrastructure priorities for your community, what would they be?

The Ontario government is travelling across Ontario this summer asking for input from local communities as it works on a new plan to fund infrastructure programs in areas outside the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

The invite-only consultations started on July 6 and are running in 16 locations across the province. The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure want to understand local priorities when it comes to building roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and transit.

Bill Schenck, Former Grape Growers of Ontario Grape King Co-Chair of Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Rowing Event

July 3, 2015

Bill Schenck shows excellence in both viticulture and sport; the 4th generation Ontario grape grower and 2009 Grape King Alumni is co-chair for the summer  Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Para-Pan Am Games rowing events being held in St. Catharines July 11th-15th.

First setting a rowing shell in the Henley waters in 1971, Bill has many memories both on and off the course. The most memorable will come this July, during the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games when 14 men’s and women’s rowing competitions will be held at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing course in St. Catharines.

As Co-Chair of the event, Bill has dedicated countless hours over the past six years preparing for all aspects of the Pan Am Games from meeting fire and security regulations, to volunteer recruitment, and logistics for the event that brings together 41 countries. He also had the honour of being one of the 3,000 torch bearers in the days leading up to the event.
photo by: Julie Jocsak, St Catharines Standard

What's Growin' On Open House 2015

Vineland Research & Innovation Centre Open House

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
at Vineland's Victoria Avenue Farm
Research farm tours will be available (advance registration required)
Award-winning journalist Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect: The Surprising Truth About Food and Flavor

Event location:
Victoria Avenue Farm
3310 Marina Boulevard, off Victoria Avenue
Vineland Station
Register by July 20, 2015
For more information, contact Shelby at shelby.vanderende@vinelandresearch.com