Grape Growers of Ontario is the official organization that represents over 500 grape growers and 18,000 acres of vineyards for processing grapes in the three Designated Viticulture Areas in Ontario: Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, Prince Edward County, and emerging regions such as Norfolk, Ottawa and Simcoe.
For 75 years we have served as the voice and authority for our passionate and hard-working growers, and continue to endorse relevant topics of viticulture, grapes, and wine occurring in our growing industry.
We are an independent, self-governing farming organization acting under the authority of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Act, and are funded entirely by grape growers who pay a fee per metric tonne of grapes sold.
These funds are used to support the grape-growing system and to promote the grape and wine industry in the province.
Founded in 1947, the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board was established to represent grape growers in their dealings with processors. Now for the first time, growers were ensured of a unified, minimum price for all grapes sold to processors. Additionally, growers gained a voice in the grape and wine processing industry.
Beginning in the year 1947, there were 15,000 acres of vineyards in Ontario, and growers harvested 36,000 tons of grapes. The value of processing sales to wineries was $2.5 million.
Today, there are over 18,000 acres of vineyards in Ontario and the kind of grapes grown is dramatically different than it was in the past. The industry has evolved and achieved its status as an internationally acclaimed grape and wine region. In the past 75 years, the farm gate value of grape sales has risen from $2.5 million to more than $100.5 million as of 2021.
Through the ever changing and growing industry, one thing, however, has not changed. We continue to represent growers, act as the voice of the industry, and lobby the government on behalf of grape-growing issues that will help growers, and strengthen co-operative ties with the winemaking industry.
Ontario-grown grape products will be demanded at home and recognized internationally
To achieve sustainable growth and profitability by creating an improved environment for Ontario-grown grape products.
Diversity: We are committed to ensuring a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization where all members, board directors, committee members and employees, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feel valued and respected
Accountability: We are accountable to the grape growers for decisions made and for the rationale upon which these decisions are made.
Innovation: We support innovation through research, new technology and continuous improvement of services provided to the grape growers.
Quality: We promote quality by developing and setting standards for vineyard management for the grape growers.
Respect: We understand the value of people to our organization's success. As such, we trust, respect and value the opinions of all employees and grape growers.
Responsiveness: We are responsive to the needs of the grape growers in a timely manner so that they are supported in their activities which improve their livelihood and economic health.
Service: We exist to serve grape growers by providing them with current, informative and supportive services in order to maintain and grow the industry in Ontario.
Grape Growers of Ontario provides many benefits and services for our grower-members to help them produce the best quality grapes, protect their investments in land and plantings, and achieve profitability in the marketplace. Our growers are the life support for our wine industry.
We are the viticulture industry’s voice and main source of information for government, media and the community. We strive to make clear the true value of our business and promote strong relationships that are crucial to making this industry grow and thrive in a healthy marketplace.