Wine-lovers, rejoice! May 1st kicks off a new two-year-long pilot project in Ontario allowing VQA wines to be sold at farmers’ markets. That’s right, Ontario wines can now be stuffed into your grocery bags right alongside your zucchini and your peppers!
This (brilliant, beautifully brilliant) project is the result of lengthy negotiations between The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and The Grape Growers of Ontario + The Wine Council of Ontario. ?It has finally happened!? said festival organizer Scott Rondeau. ?The [AGCO] are really trying to support the local wineries. It�s really great that they are showing so much support for local wines and allowing us to do this.? The AGCO will be responsible for ensuring that the wines sales are conducted in a responsible manner.
?The move will support the province�s wine industry and help support other products grown in Ontario,? said Premier Kathleen Wynne, who added that her government wanted to connect people with Ontario�s wines and locally-grown produce. She stated that broadening the availability of Ontario wines is part of a five-year, $75-million plan to support local wineries and help the sector grow. Annual sales of VQA wines have grown from $168 million to $268 million in the past five years.
?Sales of VQA wines at farmers� markets create another needed opportunity for Ontario�s wineries to connect with consumers�in this case, closer to home, side-by-side with our farmers,? Ontario Wine Council president Hillary Dawson said. ?We encourage Ontarians to use the opportunity of matching their local food with local wines crafted from 100% Ontario grapes.
The ability to sell their products at farmers’ markets is expected to be particularly helpful for smaller wineries that are looking for affordable places to sell their wine. Richard Karlo of Karlo Estates says: “It is really good to see the government creating a new way to sell 100% Ontario wines. Farmers� Market sales will be particularly helpful to the smaller wineries who don’t currently have a presence at the LCBO.”
Does A�this news fill you, as it fills us, with the urge to snag some wine at your local market ASAP? Never fear: A�Terroir, the annual wine showcasing event for Prince Edward County, will be selling wine this very weekend! It will be taking place at the Crystal Palace in Picton, on Saturday May 3rd, 2014. Tickets are $35 in advance/$40 at the door, and the price includes all wine samples and three food pairings. Additional food items will be available for purchase.
On the arrival of Terrior, Bryan Rogers of Keint-He Winery said: ?This is a really great opportunity for people coming out next Saturday! They can try wines and then, for the first time ever, they can buy those wines right there and then and walk out the door with them. It�s an exciting time to be drinking Prince Edward County wines.? Is it ever! We can’t wait to see what the rest of the province has in store�or, as the case may be, in market�over the next two years!