• Niagara Icewine Festival - January 12-28, 2018

    For three weekends in January the Niagara region is transformed into a wintry wonderland, in celebration of one of Canada’s most cherished products, Ontario Icewine. The 23rd annual Niagara Icewine Festival offers plenty for every taste – glamour and indulgence at the Niagara Icewine Gala, unique wine and food pairings at over 35 wineries, and vibrant outdoor street festivals. For tickets and more information, click here.

  • GGO meets with Premier Wynne

    During grape harvest in October 2017, the Grape Growers of Ontario welcomed the opportunity to meet with Premier Kathleen Wynne in the vineyards of grape grower Bill George in Beamsville.

     

     

     

  • 'The Grower' Icewine Production Podcast

    Bill George, past Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario and current Vice Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association, was interviewed for The Grower's January podcast on Icewine production. The podcast can be heard at  http://thegrower.org/node/1220

     

  • 2017-2018 Grape King

    Doug Whitty
    President, Whitty Farms and 13th Street Winery

    Doug Whitty is a third generation grape grower in St. Catharines and has been selected as the 2017 Grape King to serve as ambassador for Ontario's grape growers. 
     

     

Letter from the Honourable Jeff Leal to the Grape Growers of Ontario membership

 

On March 28, 2017, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs provided the Grape Growers of Ontario with a letter supporting regulated marketing in Ontario. The following is an excerpt of the letter, and the full letter can be read here.

"These actions do not impact any other marketing boards regulated under the Farm Products Marketing Act. As I have stated on numerous occasions, our government has not wavered from its commitment to maintain regulated marketing in Ontario. This includes the ability of marketing boards to negotiate collectively on behalf of their members where such a requirement is included in the powers delegated to that board, as is the case for the Grape Growers of Ontario."  Minister Jeff Leal, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Ontario grant helps Brock create first-of-its-kind wine consumer lab

January 8, 2018 - CCOVI Brock University

Brock University President Gervan Fearon, left, and Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science Reza Moridi, right, listen as Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute Director Debbie Inglis, explains the virtual reality technology they’re trying out. Moridi was at Brock Monday, Jan. 8 to announce $137 million in funding through the Ontario Research Fund, which includes nearly $1 million to develop a first-of-its-kind sensory lab at Brock.

Read more here.

Ray Duc to receive NPF&VGA Award of Merit

Ray Duc, past chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario and Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Assocition, is to receive the 2018 Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association Award of Merit on March 8, 2018.

Ray farms with his son and brother-in-law on a third generation family farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake, growing grapes and tender fruit, and is owner of Forrer Farms. In addition to his past Chair role, Ray is and has been involved with various other agricultural organizations, including Agricultural Adaptation Council, Farm & Food Care Ontario, Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Service and CANAG. Ray is also on the Advisory Committee for the Greenbelt Foundation.

The Award of Merit event will take place at NOTL's Community Centre, commencing at 7pm on Thursday March 8th. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be available during the award ceremony. Limited tickets! Please be sure to RSVP no later than March 1st, 2018, at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/npf-vga-award-of-merit-honouring-ray-duc-tickets-41948238310.

OFA welcomes the New Year with renewed focus

By Peggy Brekveld, Vice President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) begins 2018 with a clear set of priorities to drive our advocacy work throughout the year. The upcoming provincial election will drive much of our advocacy for the first half of this year, along with the other ongoing activities. Some of the issues we work on are ongoing, long-term projects, while others have shorter timelines. The common thread with all these issues is to advocate for the best interests of our 37,000 members.

The Grower Calling....Bill George on Ontario Icewine Production

January 4, 2018 - The Grower

The Grower Calling – the official podcast channel for The Grower - is pleased to release its tenth-podcast episode and first of 2018 to discuss producing ice wine with Ontario grape grower and past Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario, Bill George. 

The podcast can be heard here and is proudly sponsored by the Grape Growers of Ontario.

 

GRAPEVINE COLD HARDINESS ALERT FOR FORECASTED LOW TEMPERATURES

January 4, 2018 - Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute's VineAlert

The following is an alert regarding grapevine cold hardiness and the low temperatures in regions across Ontario.  We are experiencing colder temperatures as a result of a "polar vortex" which has pushed a large system of very cold air into our region.  Some of the coldest temperatures are predicted to arrive over the next few days.  Current forecasts indicate that temperatures may drop below -20 C in some areas between Thursday and Saturday.   Wind will also be associated with these colder temperatures so there may not be inversions or ability to run wind machines due to risk of damage to the machines.  However, it is important to be prepared in case temperature mitigation opportunities exist.

We have initial bud survival data posted and are currently assessing bud damage and will continue these efforts following this cold weather.

As the grape industry naturally ages, future trends emerge

The Grower, January 2018

The untimely death of Karl Kaiser marks a pivotal moment in the Canadian grape and wine business. At 76, he was revered as an icon of the industry co-founding Inniskillin Wines along with Donald Ziraldo in 1975. The advent – and ascent -- of Icewine in Canada is attributed to this duo. Kaiser made it.  Ziraldo marketed it.

As industry friends attended his memorial in Niagara-on-the-Lake in early December 2017, they were reminded of how far the Ontario cool-climate region has evolved – in its viticultural practices, its winemaking and its marketing as a destination for quality wine. No one knows the story better than Gerald Klose because he was at the side of these two pioneers decades ago.

2018 CCOVI Lecture Series: Monday afternoons, January 15 - March 26

Brock University's 2018 CCOVI Lecture Series are being held on Monday afternoons at 2 pm starting on January 15th with a tribute to Dr. Karl Kaiser by David Sheppard, Winemaker, Flat Rock Cellars.

Belinda Kemp, CCOVI Senior Oenologist, will present "How method, timing and severity of leaf removal impacts Cabernet Franc wine flavour" on January 22, 2018.

Click here for more information on the January 15 and 22 lectures.

All lectures are free, open to the public, and will be held in the Mackenzie Chown Complex, Room H313 at Brock University or available online at www.brocku.ca/ccovi.

Agricorp program deadlines

December 31, 2017 – AgriStability final deadline to pay fee for the 2017 program year.

December 31, 2017 – AgriInvest final deadline to submit tax information for the 2016 program year for those that missed the September 30, 2017 deadline.  A penalty of 5% per each month or part month that the application is late will apply.

February 1, 2018SDRM: Edible Horticulture deadline for deposits.

For more information, visit http://www.agricorp.com/en-ca/Programs/Pages/Default.aspx or call 1-888-247-4999.

Dr. Karl Kaiser

KAISER, Karl J. Dr. - Peacefully, after complications of a stroke, Karl Kaiser passed away on November 22, 2017 at the Greater Niagara General Hospital at the age of 76.

The seventh of nine children, Karl was born in St. Veit an der Gölsen, Austria and was son to Joseph Kaiser and Katterina Renz.  After marrying Silvia Kaiser, Karl moved to Canada where he began a new life.  While attending Brock University and raising a young family, he co-founded Inniskillin Wines and dedicated his life to Canadian wine.  A husband, Papa and Grandpapa, Karl will be deeply missed and his memory cherished by his wife Silvia, three children Magdalena, Andrea (John), Maximilian (Mary Colleen) and seven grandchildren Ryan, Madison, Jacob, Willow, Maximilian, Sophia and Oliver, and by John, father to Maximilian and Oliver.  He will be remembered not only for his passion for wine, but his wide grin and his unconditional love, generosity and kindness. 

Cremation and private family interment have taken place.  A celebration of Karl’s life will be held on December 8th, 2017 at The Hare Wine Co., 769 Niagara Stone Road from 5-9 pm.  In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to the Dr. Karl J. Kaiser Memorial Fund at Brock University, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute.   Karl had a special love of learning and sharing his knowledge, and was a graduate of Brock, where he later received his honorary doctorate.  Donate online at www.brocku.ca/donate or by phone at 905-688-5550 ext. 4190. Cheques can be made out to "Brock University" with "In memory of Dr. Karl J. Kaiser" in the reference line can be mailed to Development and Alumni Relations, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1.  Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at www.morganfuneral.com.