Ontario Wine and Grape Strategy

In 2009, the Ontario government created a Wine and Grape Strategy to support industry growth, with a continued focus on VQA wine. Since it was launched, the strategy has supported significant growth in the sector, including increasing VQA wine sales, helping to create 2,000 direct jobs, setting new annual records of grape production, and the development of prime tourist destinations, from the Niagara Peninsula and Lake Erie's North Shore to Prince Edward County.

In 2013, the government renewed the Wine and Grape Strategy for a five-year period, with:

  • A 2 year $28 million funding commitment, starting in 2015/16 to 2016/17
  • A 3 year $45 million investment, starting in 2017/18 to 2019/2020

Following discussions with industry partners, the government is making changes to the Wine and Grape Strategy to ensure it continues to provide targeted support that encourages the industry to scale-up, create jobs and grow Ontario's wine and grape sector.

For the 2017/18 to 2019/20 period, the government is committing $22.5M for the VQA Wine Support Program and $22.5M for the Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Program.

The VQA Wine Support Program will be enhanced to:

  • Increase funding for small and medium sized wineries to help them scale up
  • Continue to encourage the sale of premium Ontario VQA wines in the LCBO
  • Assist wineries to take advantage of newly-established wine sales in grocery stores
  • Make it easier for eligible wineries to apply for the program

The Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Program (MVIP) will continue to:

  • Build on the growing strength of Ontario's VQA wine brand nationally and internationally
  • Maintain strong marketing of Ontario VQA wines to help wineries to take advantage of new retail access
  • Stimulate tourism in Ontario's wine regions
  • Increase consumer demand for Ontario VQA wine and grapes
  • Support Ontario's grape growers to encourage viticulture improvements for the production of wine grapes
  • Focus the program on investments that best support innovation and productivity in the vineyard

Program details and guidelines to submit an application for these two programs will be available this spring.

Agricorp will continue to assist in the delivery of the VQA Wine Support Program and the Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Program.

Support for Ontario's renewed Wine and Grape Strategy

"The government's support for marketing allows our industry to make more people aware of the excellent wines that Ontario's wine and grape sector is producing. We appreciate this support and look forward to continuing to work with all partners to grow our industry, create jobs, and create a climate supportive of capital investment and increase tourism."

- Del Rollo, Chair of the Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario

"The Wine and Grape Strategy has been critical to supporting the growth and success of VQA wine sales. This will help wineries better market their products, prepare for future changes in wine retailing in the province and meet the demand for high quality VQA wines."

- Allan Schmidt, Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario

"This program ensures the continuation of innovation in Ontario's vineyards that recognizes the importance of new technology and research which keeps Ontario's grape and wine industry sustainable. The renewal of this program speaks volumes about the economic value each grape grower and winery brings to the province. With thousands of jobs tied to the continued success of 100% Ontario grown wines and the 17,000 acres of vineyards that are in place across the province.

The Grape Growers of Ontario thank the government for this investment in our vineyards and wineries."

- Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario


Renewal of the Wine and Grape Strategy

Building Up Ontario's Wine and Grape Sector

Wine Now Available On Grocery Store Shelves

Growing Small Cider and Spirits Producers' Businesses



Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 28 April 2014
Last Reviewed: 05 April 2017