• 2017 Celebrity Luncheon with Colonel Chris Hadfield

    Thank you to all attendees and sponsors who attended the Grape Growers of Ontario's Celebrity Luncheon with Colonel Chris Hadfield to celebrate our 70th Anniversary and 'growing into the future'!




  • GGO 70th Anniversary Family Picnic






    August 24, 2017 - Thank you to everyone who celebrated the GGO's 70th Anniversary!
    Photo: Denis Cahill


  • 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. 


Grape Growers of Ontario meet with Premier Wynne

October 13, 2017 - ST. CATHARINES, ON: Grape harvest is in full swing in Ontario, and 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 Premier had a birds-eye view of the vineyards from the seat of a harvester. The harvest is at the mid-point with white varieties such as Riesling and Chardonnay typically harvested early in the season followed by the later maturing red varieties.  While the rain has slowed down harvest this week, the return to warm and dry weather is expected over the next week.

Pictured: Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario; Bill George, Vice Chair, Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association; Matthias Oppenalender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario.

2017 Grape Price Agreement Reached


2017 Grape Price Agreement reached with Grape Growers of Ontario, Wine Council of Ontario and Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario

Niagara – September 6, 2017: The Grape Growers of Ontario, Wine Council of Ontario and Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario have successfully negotiated a grape price agreement for the 2017 harvest. This agreement recognizes the various price categories within the industry, and includes an important proviso for both processors and producers to actively participate in developing a sustainable industry wide plan following harvest.   

“The constant in our industry is the consistent grape quality our growers produce every year to make 100% Ontario grown wine. This agreement recognizes that growers, with their wine partners, can work together to collectively build and strengthen our grape and wine industry’s future,” said Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario.

“WGAO members purchase some 85% of the grapes grown by independent farmers in Ontario for VQA and International Canadian Blend (ICB) wines, and we are very pleased that grape growers and processors have arrived at an agreement for grape prices in 2017,” stated Del Rollo, Chair, Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario.

“I’m pleased we were able to reach an agreement on grape pricing for the 2017 harvest. The agreement provides price certainty, which will help wineries plan and potentially grow their businesses,” said Len Pennachetti, Chair, Wine Council of Ontario.

Ontario’s grape and wine industry is a significant economic driver to the provincial economy which contributes over $4.4 billion economic impact through jobs, tourism and taxes, particularly in the province’s designated viticulture areas: Niagara Peninsula, Prince Edward County, Lake Erie North Shore, and the emerging South Coast region.


Click here to view the base grape prices for 2017. A full pre-harvest package will be emailed to all grape growers and available on eGrape next week.

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

VQA Ontario News — October 2017

VQA Ontario News — October 2017


Don’t forget that the brix minimums are higher for appellation designated wines than for “Ontario” designated wines. You might need to pay close attention to meeting brix minimums this year if you want to make sure wines do not have to be declassified to Ontario. Click here for a quick reference chart of VQA brix requirements.

Read more for news on Icewine Pre-registration, Pre-registration for skin-fermented white wines, LENS Winemakers Forum, and Industry Performance Study.

The history behind the fruit supplier to Niagara’s best vineyards

October 19, 2017 - Beppi Crosarial for the Globe and Mail

Grape grower Warren Saunders wastes no time greeting me as I pull into the steep driveway that leads up and around to the back of his farmhouse. Before I can knock, he's heard car wheels on dirt and pre-emptively emerges with a warm smile into the Niagara sunshine in rubber boots, jeans and a crisp blue beret, followed by his daughter, Ann-Marie.

I've come to inquire about the current harvest and the challenges of farming organically during the mildew-plagued summer of 2017, which saw unrelenting rains and a record-high level in nearby Lake Ontario. But I'm soon treated to time-travel in the bargain. The elder Saunders is 96, a veteran of 52 harvests, during which he's watched the local wine industry go from Baby Duck to biodynamics and crude jugs to trophy bottles.

Click here to read more


Ontario Government helping promote VQA wines in Metro grocery stores

October 6, 2017: Toronto – To cap off Ontario Agriculture Week celebrations, MPP for Beaches-East York Arthur Potts announced that the Ontario government is providing the Grape Growers of Ontario with $20,000 in funding to implement their “We Grow the Wines You Love” campaign.

The campaign will promote the availability of VQA wines, made with 100% Ontario grapes, and highlight the importance of buying local at 10 Metro retail store locations across the province.  Along with promotional displays, Doug Whitty, this year’s Grape King, will engage shoppers with in-store sampling and tips on wine and food pairings.

The Grape Growers of Ontario is one of nineteen local food projects across the province that will receive nearly $500,000 in new investments through the provinces Local Food Investment Fund, administered by the Greenbelt Fund.

Pictured (L to R): Dave Dinning, Sr Director Operations Metro; Andy King, District Manager; John Crisafulli, Store Manager, Metro Danforth Ave; Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario; Burkhard Mausberg, Greenbelt Fund; Arthur Potts, MPP Beaches-East York; Doug Whitty, 2017 Grape King.

Call for 2018 NPF&VGA Research Proposals

The Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association invites 2018 Research Proposal submissions until Friday, December 1st, 2017. Further details can be found in the links below, or by contacting Kelle Neufeld at 905-688-0990 x 236 or npfvga@gmail.com.

NPF&VGA Research and Service Proposals
Researcher's Application Form
NPF&VGA Current Priorities

Ontario Wines Take Centre Stage at LCBO

Ahead of Thanksgiving, LCBO is once again proudly showcasing the fantastic assortment of wines grown in Ontario’s backyard with its “Fall for Craft” campaign, running from September 10 to October 7, 2017. With more than 400 Ontario wine experts in LCBO stores, LCBO’s WOW (World of Ontario Wine) Leaders are available to provide helpful and knowledgeable advice on the more than 500 Ontario-produced wines, including over 300 VQA wines.

The “Fall for Craft” campaign includes many unique opportunities to discover new Ontario wine favourites. Visit www.lcbo.com for more information.

French Connection - John Howard brings France and Canada together through the love of wine

The Invidiata Collection Fall 2017 - Preferred Publishing

The Grape Growers of Ontario congratulate John Howard, who was featured in the Fall Issue of The Invidiata Collection for bringing France and Canada together through the love of wine.

Click here to read the article.

Important Field Worker Activity Survey

The information gathered in this survey may help to reduce the restrictions that are in place for some of grape growing's critical pesticide uses. The survey for field worker activity has been revised and is once again available on-line. 

The survey is needed to document actual worker activity in grapes and field tomatoes in Canada. This is the data that PMRA needs to help determine actual exposure to many grape growing pesticides under re-evaluation. Their proposals are currently based on out of country data that does not represent current activities.

It is very important that the survey be done quickly so data can be summarized this fall. Please get it done by mid October at the latest! CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE SURVEY. An access code is not required to complete the survey.