Ontario Newsroom

Building Up Ontario's Wine and Grape Sector

Archived News Release

Building Up Ontario's Wine and Grape Sector

Supporting Growth of World-Class Wines

Ontario is working with the wine and grape sector to increase competitiveness and innovation, while growing the sales of Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines and boosting tourism to Ontario's wine regions.

As part of Ontario's $75 million Wine and Grape Strategy, the government is launching two programs:

  • The new Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Program will help to increase the sale of Ontario wines in and out-of-province and enhance the marketing of Ontario's wine regions as tourist destinations. The program will also support vineyard production improvements.
  • The renewed VQA Wine Support Program will help increase LCBO sales of Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines, encourage innovation and improve exports and tourism.

Supporting Ontario's wine and grape sector is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

Quick Facts

  • The province is investing $75 million over five years through the Ontario Wine and Grape Strategy.
  • Since 2009, VQA wine sales in Ontario have increased by $100 million, from $170 million to $273 million, the number of wineries has increased from 133 to 200 and 2,000 direct jobs have been created in the industry.
  • Ontario recently launched a pilot program allowing VQA wine sales at farmers’ markets. During its first year, a total of 140 farmers’ markets and 76 wineries participated in the pilot, with sales of over $1 million to date.
  • In 2013, Premier Wynne challenged the agri-food sector to double its growth rate and to create 120,000 new jobs by 2020.
  • The Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets is leading discussions with the wine industry and owners of off-site Winery Retail Stores to determine how additional value might be obtained on behalf of Ontarians.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Ontario wines are known for their quality and craftsmanship. Through these new programs, our government is committed to working with the sector to create new jobs, support the development of world-class wines and promote growth in the agri-food sector.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“Niagara is home to many of Ontario’s most innovative and successful wineries. By continuing to support wineries and growers through the renewed wine and grape strategy, our government is positioning the sector for growth, supporting jobs and tourism in Niagara and across Ontario.”

Jim Bradley

MPP, St. Catharines

“Developing a strategy that promotes Ontario VQA wine is critical to growing our $3.3 billion industry. Wineries and growers across Ontario have created a robust sector truly committed to its success, which is why the government has the confidence to invest in us.”

Patrick Gedge

President and CEO, Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario

“VQA wineries across the province are creating jobs and promoting Ontario’s wine country as a tourism destination. With these two programs, the government is helping increase demand for excellent local VQA wines - valued both at home and abroad. These programs will also strengthen our wineries’ ability to respond to that demand.”

Richard Linley

President, Wine Council of Ontario

“The dedicated grape growers across the province are passionate about growing quality grapes for Ontario VQA wines and welcome this ongoing commitment from the government. Growers continue to invest heavily in new infrastructure technology and innovation to build a stable industry.”

Bill George

Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario

Media Contacts



Rural and North