Grape Growers of Ontario raise a glass to a record harvest

Release Date: 
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grape Growers of Ontario are raising a glass to toast the record grape harvest and celebrate this winter’s Icewine harvest.

“Ontario’s grape harvest set records this past autumn. It’s another superb harvest and it’s promising in terms of the quality of the grapes,” said Grape Growers of Ontario Chair Bill George.

Mr. George’s comments came as the Grape Growers of Ontario, joined by Premier Kathleen Wynne and Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Consumer Services released the harvest results at the Queen’s Quay LCBO store in Toronto today, with an Icewine tasting sampled from an “Icewine Luge”.  The 2013 harvest is a record-breaking 79,756 tonnes of grapes, valued at $99.7 million.  These grapes will produce enough wine to create the equivalent of 1,134 Olympic ice rink surfaces.

“Ontario’s grape growers know that great wine starts with quality grapes,” says Mr. George.  “Growers are proud to grow the grapes that go into Ontario and VQA wines.”

As well, over 6,000 tonnes of grapes were netted in the autumn and left to be harvested for Ontario’s celebrated Icewine production.  Authentic Icewine grapes must be frozen on the vine at a sustained temperature of minus 8 degrees Celsius or lower, and pressed immediately while still frozen. This winter’s icy weather has provided several nights of ideal temperatures for Icewine harvest. Celebrate the harvest at the Niagara Icewine Festival from January 10-26 with wine and food pairings, winery discovery passes and family-friendly, outdoor Ice Street Villages. For more information, visit www.niagarawinefestival.com.

“Grape growers are optimistic about the success of our industry and attribute that success to our partnership with the Ontario government, the LCBO, our industry partners, and most of all, wine lovers from right across Ontario and the world,” says Debbie Zimmerman, Chief Executive Officer, Grape Growers of Ontario.

“I want to congratulate Ontario’s grape growers on a record harvest for 2013,” said Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food. “I’m committed to supporting this innovative industry and I encourage consumers to choose Ontario wines throughout the year. Strengthening the grape and wine industry is part of the Ontario government's economic plan to create jobs and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.”

Over 14,000 Ontario jobs are tied to the continued success of 100% Ontario-grown wines and the 17,000 acres of vineyards that are now in place across the province. 

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For information contact:

Grape Growers of Ontario
Debbie Zimmerman

CEO   
905 401-2471
d.zimmerman@grapegrowersofontario.com

Bill George
Chair
905 984-0994