By Julie Rosenberg,The Windsor Star, August 13, 2012
We were quite surprised to read claims in the Aug. 2 article suggesting the LCBO is not supporting small Ontario wineries. This is simply not the case.
Ontario VQA wines are thriving in LCBO stores, and VQA sales growth continues to outpace imports. VQA table wines are up almost 12 per cent this year, versus six per cent for imports. LCBO sales of all Ontario-produced wines in 2011-12 totalled almost $360 million, almost six per cent higher than the previous year.
LCBO VQA sales growth has doubled that of imports in the last five years for the following reasons:
Through the dedication and expertise of Ontario wineries and winemakers, they are also making better wines and doing a good job promoting them.
The LCBO offers 132 products from 12 wineries in the Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island regions, and last year their sales topped $56 million - a 15-per-cent increase over the previous year. Wines from Pelee Island are the top-selling VQA wines at the LCBO.
Here are a few more facts:
Ontario VQA wines are prominently located at the front of most stores, and, over the next two years, the LCBO will add Ontario wine shelf space equivalent to 35 to 40 winery retail stores through its store expansion program.
The LCBO has and will continue to work closely with the Ontario wine industry and government to further consumer awareness and sales of quality VQA wines.