• 2017 Celebrity Luncheon with Colonel Chris Hadfield

    Please join the Grape Growers of Ontario and Colonel Chris Hadfield as we celebrate our 70th Anniversary and 'growing into the future' at Club Roma, 125 Vansickle Road in St. Catharines, on Wednesday, September 13th at 11:30 a.m. for a wine reception, followed by lunch at 12:00 p.m.
    Click here for ticket order forms




  • GGO 70th Anniversary Family Picnic






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


  • 2016-2017 Grape King

    Jamie Quai
    Co-Proprietor, Vigneron and Winemaker, Quai Du Vin Estate Winery

    The Quai family is in its third generation of grape growing in Elgin County. Jamie Quai has been selected as 2016 Grape King to serve as ambassador for Ontario's grape growers. 


  • Grape and Wine Industry Night with the Ice Dogs

    All grape growers are invited to attend the Grape and Wine Industry Night at the Niagara Icedogs game on:


    Click here for more information or contact 905-567-3641 ext 226.


Doug Whitty, 2017 Grape King

September 11, 2017 (St. Catharines, ON)— The Grape Growers of Ontario and Farm Credit Canada are pleased to 

announce that Doug Whitty of Whitty Farms and 13th Street Winery in St. Catharines has been chosen as the 2017 Grape King.  “We are thrilled to have someone with Doug’s experience and commitment serve as Grape King and ambassador for our grape and wine industry”, says Grape Growers of Ontario Chair, Matthias Oppenlaender.

“Each year, the title of Grape King is given in recognition of exceptional quality, expertise and leadership in this industry. Doug Whitty’s 13th Street operation helps elevate the entire Ontario grape industry and is proof that Ontario vineyards are more than capable of competing on the world stage,” says Trish Botter Senior Director of Agribusiness and AgriFood, Farm Credit Canada.

Doug Whitty will be officially installed as the 62nd Grape King on Wednesday, September 13th at 3:00 p.m. at 13th Street Winery, 1776 Fourth Avenue, St. Catharines (click here for map).

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

'Impossible things happen', says Hadfield - St. Catharines Standard

By Grant LaFleche, The Standard

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What do you do next?

It’s a simple enough question, but according to former Cold War fighter pilot, astronaut, author and musician Chris Hadfield, it is the only one that matters.

“What should we all do next? That’s the only really valid question.

“What you did in the past is done. What we’re doing right now, okay, it has an effect, but what are we going to do next?,” said Hadfield in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Postmedia Wednesday morning. “That’s the question everybody needs to ask themselves, and how is that going to take you in the direction that you really actually want to go?”

Whitty Named Grape King - St. Catharines Standard

By Standard Staff


A man whose work has “elevated the entire Ontario grape industry” was himself elevated to become the industry’s monarch.

Doug Whitty, owner of Whitty Farms and 13th Street Winery, was selected as the 2017 Grape King, and honoured with the title during a ceremony at his St. Catharines winery Wednesday afternoon.

“I believe that a key component to our continued success as an industry is related directly to our ability to work creatively together with all our partners so that enjoyment of local wine and food experiences are more fully recognized as an important part of Canadian culture,” Whitty said in a media release. “I am pleased yet humbled by this nomination. I have learned a great deal from other grape growers. It will be a great honour and privilege to represent them as Grape King this year.”

Read more

Important ONfruit posts for grape growers

Grapevine viruses, September 2017

W. McFadden-Smith (OMAFRA), S. Poojari  and J.P. Parent (AAFC)

Symptoms of Grapevine leafroll disease (GLD), caused by a number of GLRaVs, are more apparent on red-fruited vinifera cultivars than whites and they vary based on variety of factors including environmental conditions, cultivar, age of the vines, stage and severity of (one or more than one virus) infection and viral load. Continue reading →

Sooty mould — a sure sign of mealybugs (and sometimes scales)

W. McFadden-Smith (OMAFRA), S. Poojari and J.P. Parent (AAFC)

A few weeks ago, it was easy to find mealybugs and scales on foliage and fruit in vineyards that had not been sprayed with Movento.  Mealybugs and scales secrete a sugary substance that not only attracts ants, but also acts as a food source for superficial sooty mould fungi.  The latter are not an issue for wine grapes but can make table grapes unmarketable.  However, the presence of sooty mould is a good indicator of the presence of the vectors of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Viruses (GLR-aVs). Continue reading →

Climate Change Perception and Adaptation Online Survey


All grape growers are invited to participate in an important on-line survey investigating climate change perception and adaptation in the Canadian wine industry and have a chance to win $500. The survey will take about 20 minutes to complete and your identity will be anonymous.

To take part, you must be 18 years of age or older, currently working in Canada as a winemaker, a grape grower or a winery owner, and have access to the Internet.
Visit www.unipoll.ca to complete the survey.


Vineland Research and Innovation Centre Fall 2017 Newsletter


  • Introducing Vineland's latest innovation
  • New tender fruit varieties coming soon
  • Introducing Chinook SunriseTM - Outstanding beauty, exceptional quality
  • Exciting community events at Vineland

Click here to view newsletter

Grape growers pounce on improvement program funding

September 5, 2017 - Fruit and Vegetable

The popularity of a seven-year-old program designed to give wine grape growers funding for production improvements shows no signs of abating. 

When the first-come, first-served application process opened in June for the marketing and vineyard improvement program, the program’s administrator, Agricorp, received enough applications for the available funding in just one day.

There is $2 million worth of funding for the 2017-2018 program year, and another $2 million for the 2018-2019 program, says Agricorp spokesperson Stephanie Charest. The intake of the 152 applications was for both years, as requested by industry.