Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Wine East Opinion

 

Leveling the Playing Field in Ontario

November 2008
 
by Hudson Cattell
 
 
Canada wine
 
The Ontario Viniculture Association is open to wineries who produce fruit wines and non-VQA wines, which are popular choices in the province.
PHOTO: Southbrook Vineyards
 
Wines from Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario (VQA) deservedly enjoy the acclaim they are getting in the province, and they benefit from government funding for promotion and marketing. But there are also fruit wines and other high-quality wines made in Ontario that do not qualify for VQA status and have long been discriminated against by an overly restrictive system for selling wines there. Help may be forthcoming for these wineries in the form of an Ontario Viniculture Association, which was formed in April and now has 55 member wineries. The organization is dedicated to leveling the playing field for all 100% Ontario-grown wines.

When the Ontario wine industry announced the formation of the VQA system in 1988, it was intended to set high standards for Ontario's finest wines. VQA status was limited to wines made from vinifera and a few hybrid varieties. Fruit wines were excluded because in Europe, wine was defined and recognized as coming only from grapes. Native American grape varieties were decreed to be juice grapes and could no longer be classified as winegrapes.

The VQA system proved to be a huge success in raising the reputation of Ontario wines, and its ice wines in particular. Most Ontario wines were non-VQA wines because they did not meet VQA regulations, but this did not mean they wouldn't meet quality standards.

Fruit wines had no chance of being considered for VQA status, and the wineries that made them began suffering from a lack of credibility and marketing. In 1999 an organization was established called Fruit Wines of Ontario--its purpose was to seek government funding for projects that would help change the perception of fruit wines and provide assistance in marketing them. A Quality Certified program was set up and modeled on the VQA system. Jim Warren, a well-known Ontario winemaker, was named executive director.

Fruit Wines of Ontario is now Fruit Wines of Canada, and it has been a big success in promoting Canadian fruit wines. However, it has not been able to achieve its objectives of creating government opportunities and programs.

In April of this year, the Ontario Viniculture Association was formed with the goal of promoting the use of Ontario grapes, fruit, honey and other material suitable for making quality Ontario wine throughout the province, and to ensure equality of opportunities for all Ontario wineries. Jim Warren is the president of this organization, and Larry Paterson is vice president. With 55 wineries as members, leveling the playing field may be more possible than ever before.

In my opinion, this should happen--and, while they're at it, the industry would be well served if the native American varieties were reclassified under the heading of fruit wines. These wines made from native American varieties taste just like the fruit they are made from in a manner that is more similar to fruit wines than wines made from vinifera or hybrid varietals.
 
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
 
SEE OTHER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN ï¿½ CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 $708 million
5%
$7,844 million
6%
November 2013 $673 million $7,428 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 $274 million
21%
$1,799 million
16%
November 2013 $225 million $1,558 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 127
-5%
226
15%
November 2013 134 196
     
 
MORE » Released on 12.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

FEATURES
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • January 7
     
    Putting Your Brand to Work
     
  • January 9-18
     
    Icewine Festival
     
  • January 13-16
     
    VinCO
     
  • January 15
     
    WineFlavor 101B
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Grape Industry Lukewarm on Immigration Act »
 
A band-aid it may be but instead of the negative tone of this article which...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Oregon Wine Institute Plans for the Future »
 
When Mark is involved, things are going to work out just great! We miss the...
Reader: Peter Bell
 
Article: Spanish Cooper Sells Chinese Oak »
 
I would love to find Us wineries using the Chinese oak barrels. Do you know...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Prohibition Laws Linger 81 Years Later »
 
Trader Joe's (Union Square) and Whole Foods (Upper West Side) both have wine shops attached...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Prohibition Laws Linger 81 Years Later »
 
Maybe the economy could use another boost by repealing the post-prohibitionary laws too. Make it...
Reader: csm noble
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Navision Developer
 Graton, CA
General Administration and
 Director Of Contract ...
 Graton, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Quality Assurance Supe...
 Graton, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Southern California Sa...
 Southern California, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Assistant Winemaker
 Prosser, WA
Winemaking and Production
 Wine Club And Dtc Mana...
 Calistoga, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Director Of Marketing ...
 Chicago, IL
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Rep - Kansas Cit...
 Kansas City, MO
Sales and Marketing
 Director Of Hospitalit...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Skilled Cellar Worker ...
 Santa Rosa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.