wine glassMinister of Government and Consumer Services, Lisa Thompson, was joined by representatives from the Ontario wine industry today to announce changes reducing regulatory burden to support growth in the industry.

Changes have been made to the rules under the Vintners Quality Alliance Act that reduces red tape and provides more flexibility to wineries across the province and expands wine choices for consumers. One of these changes includes adding the Marquette hybrid grape variety to the list of permitted grape varieties to be eligible for Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario approval.

"The addition of the Marquette hybrid grape variety will help small and new wineries experience easier entry into Ontario's VQA wine market," said Minister Thompson. "It particularly supports wineries located in emerging regions where cold winter temperatures are a challenge for traditional grape varieties, like Huron-Bruce."

Ontario wineries can also produce wines using grapes from different vintages, or harvest years, as it is now optional for them to label wines with the harvest year with the Ontario geographical indicator. This will increase the choice of table wines available to consumers.

Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) Ontario is an independent, industry-led and not-for-profit corporation responsible for setting and enforcing standards for the manufacture and labelling of VQA wine. VQA wine is made from 100 per cent Ontario grapes and meets quality and labelling standards set out in the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999.Wineries must be a member of VQA Ontario to use the terms, descriptions and designations of VQA, receive authorization and meet the standards for certification and labelling.There are 175 wineries that are members of VQA Ontario out of 271 licenced wineries in the province.

source: media release


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