2015 Regional Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence



Viticulture and Winery Sustainability Certification

St. Catharines, ON (Tuesday, November 10, 2015): The Grape Growers of Ontario are pleased to announce that their joint Viticulture and Winery Sustainability Certification project with the Wine Council of Ontario has been awarded one of fifty provincial Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.

“It is a privilege to receive the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence,” says Bill George, Chair Grape Growers of Ontario.  “The award recognizes our ongoing commitment to grower innovation and sustainability.”

 “Ontario’s grape and wine industry is committed to enhancing its environmental performance by introducing an auditable certification program to formally recognize the sustainable practices adopted by its members,” says Debbie Zimmerman, CEO Grape Growers of Ontario.

 The Viticulture Sustainability program recently launched through the GGO’s eGrape database system, when combined with the WCO’s Sustainable Winemaking Ontario Charter and third-party audits provides a “soil to shelf” package that will help sustain Ontario’s success on the world stage as consumers and wine connoisseurs embrace local, environmentally friendly products.  The voluntary modules have been developed as educational tools as well as an opportunity for growers and wineries wishing to receive sustainability certification.  The program recognizes that environmental stewardship, conscientious production, economic considerations and care for workers’ well-being are all important components to a sustainable industry. The Ontario Viticulture and Winery Sustainability Certification raises awareness of our industry’s commitment to the environment and provides an opportunity for Ontario’s wines to compete domestically and internationally.

Ontario media release: Recipients Recognized at Award Ceremony in Aurora
Event Videos

Chris Ballard MPP for Newmarket-Aurora                           Chris Ballard MPP for Newmarket-Aurora
Debbie Zimmerman, CEO & Mary Jane Combe                   Brian Schmidt, Vineland Estates Winery
Grape Growers of Ontario                                                      

Congratulations to both Vineland Estates and Black Prince Wineries for their Regional Premier's Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

MPP Arthur Potts, MPP Lou Rinaldi, Pete Bradford and Geoff Webb
Black Prince Winery