As most of you know, we love visiting wine country… sipping rose in the sunshine, nibbling on cheeses and chatting up wine makers. It’s a perfect weekend in the making.
It’s easy to forget, while on these amazing jaunts through vineyards and barrel rooms, how big of an impact local wineries have on our local economy.
Ontario is the largest wine grape producing province in Canada, in terms of acreage, tonnage and wine grape sales. Last we checked in with our friends at the Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario, there were over 145 VQA registered wineries, and the industry contributed over 18,000 jobs (at 456 grape farms and 180 wineries!) to the local market.
Over and above that, approximately 2.4 million tourists visited Ontario wineries in 2015 — a number that has surely grown over the last 3 years, though no dedicated study has been done. Supporting these winery visitors are approximately 3,214 employees with total wages of roughly $124.7 million. That’s a pretty big deal.
This impact is huge; but it could be bigger. We firmly believe more restaurants should be pouring more Ontario grown and made wines. Do you agree?
It’s hard not too! Lucky for us all, there are a few ways to turn your opinions into action.
Feast On : A Certified Taste of Ontario
All restaurants holding a Feast On Certification are required to have at least one Ontario white and one Ontario red by the glass; plus, 25% of their bottle list be sourced from Ontario wineries. Look for the logo in storefronts, on menus and online.
We Love Wine Country Ontario
To help you find restaurants that serve Ontario VQA wines, Wine Country Ontario has created the We Love Wine Country Ontario restaurant-recognition program. When you see their sign in the window of a restaurant or bar, you can be sure that they’re pouring wines that are made from 100% Ontario-grown grapes.
goLocal at the LCBO
Ontario wines rule at LCBOs goLocal microsite: You�ll find wine information, recipes, videos, blogs, contests and more at lcbogolocal.com. In the fall, look for the feature in their Food & Drink magazine.
The VQA Wine Truck is back and ready to hit the open road this summer promoting VQA Wines of Ontario and bringing a taste of Wine Country to wine lovers where they least expect it. Head over here to see a full list of summer stops.
And above all, look for the VQA Ontario logo in the LCBO, at Farmers’ Markets and other wine stores. They say the best way to make change is with your dollar, after all.