Effective July 1, 2012, VQA wines that use the appellation of origin "Ontario" may be packaged in containers other than glass bottles. The change does not apply to wines that use more specific claims of origin regulated by VQA Ontario such as Niagara Peninsula, Beamsville Bench, Lake Erie North Shore or Prince Edward County. These wines will continue to be packaged in glass bottles.
The alternative containers include stainless steel kegs and containers made of aluminum, plastic (PET), or multi layer containers such as TetraPak or bag-in-box. These containers may be used under the following conditions:
Federal container size restrictions apply to all wine sold directly to consumers (max 4L) . Wine may be packaged for sale to wholesalers (licensees) in any type of container up to a maximum volume of 20 litres if the purpose of the container is for resale in smaller servings.
For stainless steel kegs supplied to wholesale customers, all of the mandatory VQA labelling information must accompany the container – either on a label, stencil or attached to the individual keg.
The use of alternative packages must be declared as part of the VQA application process and all labels for these packages are subject to approval.
The regulation will be posted on the e-laws website within a few weeks (access through the VQA website under the regulations tab).
VQA logo now optional on package
Wineries now have the option to label VQA wine bottles (or containers) without the VQA logo on the package if they increase the declared appellation size, including the VQA letters, to a size of 3.2 mm or larger. The appellation declaration must appear on the principal display panel.
Sauvignon Blanc has been added to list of approved varieties for Aromatic Sparkling wines.
For more information, please contact the VQA Ontario office.