• 2017 Celebrity Luncheon with Colonel Chris Hadfield

    Please join the Grape Growers of Ontario and Colonel Chris Hadfield as we celebrate our 70th Anniversary and 'growing into the future' at Club Roma, 125 Vansickle Road in St. Catharines, on Wednesday, September 13th at 11:30 a.m. for a wine reception, followed by lunch at 12:00 p.m.
    Click here for ticket order forms




  • GGO 70th Anniversary Family Picnic

    All Ontario grape growers are invited to celebrate the GGO's 70th Anniversary at a family picnic on
    Invitations with RSVP details will be mailed in the coming weeks. For more information, contact 905-688-0990 ext 224 or info@grapegrowersofontario.com


  • 2016-2017 Grape King

    Jamie Quai
    Co-Proprietor, Vigneron and Winemaker, Quai Du Vin Estate Winery

    The Quai family is in its third generation of grape growing in Elgin County. Jamie Quai has been selected as 2016 Grape King to serve as ambassador for Ontario's grape growers. 


  • Grape Growers 70th Anniversary Sign Contest

    Challenging all Ontario grape growers!

    Help celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Grape Growers of Ontario by beautifying your farm gate sign.

    Click here for contest details and sign application form.


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

Condolences ~ John Lewis (Lew) Puddicombe

It is with deepest sympathies that we advise you of the passing of John Lewis (Lew) Puddicombe on July 14th in his 94th year.

Lew was a lifelong resident of Winona, and was a graduate of Guelph University (1947) studying Horticulture. After the passing of his father in 1951, Lew with his wife Bobbe by his side, continued farming until their retirement.

Lew was actively involved in various farm related organizations, and was a Grape Growers of Ontario Board Director from 1972-1978, and a Committee member from 1972-1983. He was a Director for many years of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers Marketing Board, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association.

Lew was also the past President of the Grimsby Curling Club (1964-1965), Chairman of the Group Committee for the Winona Boy Scouts and a member of the St. John’s Anglican Church in Winona.

Friends will be received at the Donald V. Brown Funeral Home, Stoney Creek on Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 7-9 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held on Friday, July 21, 2017 at St. John’s Anglican Church, 1285 Hwy #8, Winona at 10:30 a.m. The interment to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. John’s Anglican Church, Winona or the charity of your choice.

Condolences ~ Jacob Dueck

It is with deepest sympathies the Grape Growers of Ontario learned of the sudden passing of long-time Niagara-on-the-Lake grape grower Jacob Dueck on Wednesday July 12, 2017 at the age of 93 years. Jake was pre-deceased by his wife Anne (Nickel) in 2016. Father of Sam Sr. (Karen) and Ruth (Peter) Maltese, and grandfather of six and great-grandfather of 2.

The family will receive friends at the Scott St. Mennonite Brethren Church, 339 Scott St, on Monday from 6:30 - 8:30pm. The Funeral Service will be held in the Church on Tuesday July 18, 2017 at 10am. Interment at Niagara Lakeshore Cemetery. If desired, memorial donations may be made to Teen Challenge. Online condolences at www.tallmanfuneralhomes.ca.

Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines

The Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines ceremony was held at Queen's Park on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The Grape Growers of Ontario congratulate all nominees and winners of the 2017 awards.

  • Chateau des Charmes - Gamay Noir “Droit” St. David’s Bench Vineyard, 2015
  • Creekside Estate Winery - Iconoclast Semillon Sauvingon Blanc, 2015
  • Flat Rock Cellars - The Rusty Shed Chardonnay, 2014
  • Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery - Riesling Estate, 2016
  • Inniskillin - Sparkling Vidal Icewine, 2014
  • Kew Vineyards Estate Winery - Heritage, 2012
  • Magnotta Winery - Blac de Blanca, NV
  • NOMAD at Hinterbrook - Cabernet Franc, 2013
  • Trius Winery - Showcase Clean Slate Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc, 2015
  • Trius Winery - Showcase Vidal Icewine, 2014
  • Trius Winery - Showcase Riesling Ghost Creek Vineyard, 2014

Winery cuts electrical use by 80 per cent

July 13, 2017 - Penny Coles, Niagara Advance

Bill Redelmeier has been building a reputation for environmental stewardship since Southbrook Vineyards opened in Niagara-on-the-Lake almost a decade ago.

Southbrook already holds the designation of being the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold-level winery in Canada, and its vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic - even the sheep, who roam through the rows of vines eating weeds and bugs, are fed organically-grown hay.

But the winery owner has recently taken a huge step forward in energy conservation with two projects that have resulted in a net reduction in the company’s electricity use of 80 per cent.

OFA - Speak up for ag this summer

July 6, 2017 - By Crispin Colvin, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

The barbecue and summer event season is upon us. For most Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) members it’s time for catching up and enjoying local Ontario fare. This social season is also an opportunity to advocate for issues impacting Ontario agriculture and your farm business.

The summer barbecue season often features community events with politicians, municipal councillors and political advisors. These are excellent opportunities for OFA members to speak up and start a conversation about our agri-food industry.

This summer OFA is focusing our messages on three issues – phosphorus reduction in the Great Lakes and surrounding waterways, the Changing Workplaces Review and rural economic development.

Cuvée Award of Excellence Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence Award. The award will be presented at the 2018 Cuvée Grand Tasting where the Ontario wine industry showcases the best Ontario VQA wines. It is in that same spirit we take the opportunity to recognize a grower who promotes excellence in their vineyard practices. 
Please click here for a nomination form by the deadline of July 20, 2017.

2017-18 Grape King Nominations NOW OPEN!

Nominations are now open for the 2017-18 Grape King.
Please submit the nomination form with the name of the Ontario grape grower that you feel would be an excellent candidate for the 2017 Grape Grower of the Year. This position, also recognized as the Grape King, represents an over 60-year tradition of excellence for Ontario’s grape and wine industry. The Grape King is an ambassador for all grape growers in Ontario and represents the industry at events throughout the year. The deadline for nominations is Friday, July 14, 2017.

Colonel Chris Hadfield to celebrate the Grape Growers of Ontario’s 70th Anniversary at the 2017 Celebrity Luncheon

St. Catharines, ON (June 22, 2017): The first and only Canadian to ever command the International Space Station is scheduled to bring the marvels of science and space travel to guests as the Grape Growers of Ontario ‘grow into the future’ at the 2017 Celebrity Luncheon.

The Grape Growers of Ontario in partnership with Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, are thrilled to welcome Colonel Chris Hadfield to Niagara to celebrate the GGO’s 70th Anniversary and Canada’s 150th birthday which kicks off the 66th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

“Our history as grape growers is woven into the fabric of Canada’s 150 years, and what better way to ‘grow into the future’ than with the man who tweeted from space for five months aboard the International Space Station,” says Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario. 

AgriInvest Program – Use It or Risk Losing It!

June 21, 2017 - Canadian Horticultural Council

The purpose of the AgriInvest Program is to provide farmers with the first level of support for downward fluctuations in income. Under Growing Forward 2, the AgriInvest Program matching contribution rates were reduced from 1.5% and a maximum annual contribution of $22,500 to 1% with a maximum annual contribution of $15,000.
The government has noted that there is approximately $2.1 billion in farmers' accounts and questions the need to increase the level of support when growers are not accessing the full amounts available to them. By not maximizing the funds in their accounts, farmers are insufficiently demonstrating the need for the program and are at risk of losing the program entirely. This was the case with the old Net Income Stabilization Account (NISA) Program. Because farmers had accumulated $3 billion in their accounts, the government questioned the need for the NISA Program and subsequently discontinued it.  
CHC strongly encourages all Canadian farmers to fully use the funds in their AgriInvest accounts. This will send a strong message to government about the importance of the program, and the importance of restoring matching contribution rates to previous levels.