Backgrounder

About the Grape Growers of Ontario:

The Grape Growers of Ontario is the official organization representing 500 grape growers of 17,000 acres of vineyards located in one of the cool climate viticulture areas in the world — an area that includes the Niagara Region, Prince Edward County,  Lake Erie North Shore and the emerging Norfolk County. About 90 per cent of the grapes grown in Ontario are used for commercial winemaking, with the remaining 10 per cent used for juice, jams, other grape products and home winemaking.

Did you know?

  • Ontario is the largest wine region in Canada and is on the same latitude as Burgundy in France.
  • As a cool climate region, Ontario excels in the aromatic white varietals of Chardonnay and Riesling, and red varietals such as Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernets.
  • Ontario’s 2012 grape harvest is 65,800 tonnes of grapes with farm gate value of $88.3 million dollars, up from last year’s 64,500 tonne crop and $78.7 million farm gate value.
  • Ontario’s 2012 grape harvest is one of the highest-valued crops in the industry’s 65-year history, and is more than half the weight of the CN Tower.
  • The wine sold from each acre of grapes generates $16,940 in provincial taxes and levies.  Beyond the government revenue, the industry generates $529* million or $32,000 per acre in economic value-add.
  • Each tonne of grapes sold contributes $10,000 to the economy, compared to a tonne of oil produced and sold from the oil sands which contributes only about $700 to the Canadian economy.
  • The grape and wine industry supports more than 6,900* Ontario jobs.
  • VQA wine is made of 100 percent Ontario grown grapes.
  • Every litre of Ontario VQA wine sold generates $12.29* of economic activity while a litre of imported wine contributes less than a loonie to the economy.
  • Since 2009, Ontario VQA wine sales have increased in the LCBO by 1.4 million litres, the equivalent of 2,000 tonnes of grapes.
  • Ontario VQA wine sales have reached 15.9 million litres and $261 million in sales annually and represent 10.7 per cent of the wine sold in the province.

* Source: KPMG -Study of the Ontario Economic Impact of Ontario VQA Wines, Prepared for the Wine Council of Ontario, November 14, 2011. 

For more information, please call:

Grape Growers of Ontario
Debbie Zimmerman, CEO

905 401-2471
d.zimmerman@grapegrowersofontario.com

Bill George, Chair
905 984-0994