Grape Growers of Ontario is the official organization that represents over grape growers in Ontario, Canada who produce grapes for processing.
Grape Growers of Ontario provides a variety of benefits and services to our members. We serve as the voice of our membership and an information resource for our growers, the general public, media, and our winery partners on viticulture and the relevant grape and wine issues affecting our industry.
Grape Growers of Ontario negotiates prices for all grapes sold to processors. While growers contract their grape sales directly with processors, prices must be no less than the minimum set through negotiations between the Grape Growers of Ontario and Ontario's grape processors.
About 90% of our grape production goes into commercial winemaking, and about 10% is used by manufacturers for juice, jams and other grape products. Our members also supply grapes to the home winemaking market.
We are located in one of the most northerly grape-growing regions in the world, and are the furthest inland of any grape-producing area. Because of our location, we are classified as a "cool climate viticulture region." However, the proximity of the Great Lakes (specifically Lake Ontario and Lake Erie) and their moderating influence allow us to grow high-quality grapes this far north and this far inland. We experience relatively mild winters (although our annual deep freeze in late December or early January gives us the opportunity to produce our world-renowned Icewine) and hot summers, giving our growers excellent vintages.
In Ontario, there are 17,000 acres planted in vineyards. Our focus is on Vitis vinifera grapes. We produce excellent Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gamay, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz grape varieties. Ontario is the number one producer in Canada of premium wine, and the world leader in Icewine production.
Great wines can only be made from high quality grapes, and Ontario wines consistently win prestigious international awards. This is a testament to the dedication, hard work and vision of Ontario Grape Growers.
Click here to view the Grape Growers of Ontario fact sheet.