Backgrounder

Backgrounder

About the Grape Growers of Ontario:

The Grape Growers of Ontario is the official organization representing more than 500 grape growers of 17,000 acres of vineyards located in one of the cool climate viticulture areas in the world — an area that includes the Niagara Region, Prince Edward County, Lake Erie North Shore and the emerging Norfolk County.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is the largest wine region in Canada and is on the same latitude as Burgundy in France.
  • Ontario is known around the world for its Icewine. As a cool climate region, Ontario’s growers also excel in the aromatic white varietals of Chardonnay and Riesling, and red varietals such as Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet.
  • Icewine is most often made from Vidal grapes, but there are many selections using vinifera varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Riesling.
  • Ontario’s 2013 grape harvest is 79,756 tonnes of grapes with farm gate value of $99.7 million dollars, up from last year’s 66,014 tonne crop and $88.6 million farm gate value.
  • Ontario’s 2013 grape harvest will produce enough wine to create the equivalent of 1,134 Olympic ice rink surfaces.
  • VQA wine is made of 100 % Ontario-grown grapes.
  • Ontario VQA wine sales have reached almost 16 million litres and $268 million in sales annually and represent more than 10 per cent of the wine sold in the province.
  • About 6,000 tonnes of Icewine grapes have been harvested from the 2013 vintage, which may produce 900,000 – 960,000 litres of Icewine.
  • Over 14,000 Ontario jobs are tied to the continued success of 100 % Ontario-grown wines.*
  • The wine made from Ontario’s grapes generates $593 million in wages and $3.3 billion in economic impact.*

*Source: 2013 Report, Canada’ Wine Economy – Ripe Robust Remarkable”, by Rimerman.

LCBO provides a number of supports for Ontario wine. Details are available at http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/media_releases/content?content_id=3221