Niagara-based wine association calling for market boom over the next 7 years


Published March 7, 2023 at 10:12 am

When the Wine Growers of Ontario and Ontario’s VQA Wine and Grape Industry released their “2030 Vision” report, it became clear that the industry is looking at major growth over the next seven years.

The organization, based out of the Vineland area in Lincoln, said Ontario winemakers will see “substantial growth” over that period, adding that they expect market shares, industry employment and related tourism to boom in the province.

While Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore are both burgeoning wine areas, the Niagara Peninsula is the largest wine-producing region in Canada. Spread across 13,600 acres of land, Niagara is the largest viticultural area in Canada.

Looking ahead, the organizations are expecting more than three million tourists visiting Ontario’s wine regions each year.

“The growing recognition of the quality of Ontario VQA wines, the excellence of our wine country tourism experiences and the opportunities for growth will combine to take our world class industry to another level, with premium wine at the centre of a thriving economy and culture,” said Del Rollo, Chair of Wine Growers Ontario.

The 2030 Vision foresees:

  • More than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario’s grape and wine production, tourism and hospitality sectors;
  • Annual Ontario VQA wine sales of more than half a billion dollars (up from $385 million per year currently), with all-channel share of Ontario’s wine market growing by 20 per cent (from current 13 per cent);
  • Three million annual visitors to Ontario’s wine regions (up from 2.6 million today);
  • A 75 per cent increase in capital investment by Ontario wine producers, with 4 million new vines planted over 20,000 acres.

“Are these ambitious goals? They are, but they are absolutely achievable,” said Carolyn Hurst, Chair of Ontario Craft Wineries. “To get there, we need to come together – the grape and wine industry, our culinary and hospitality partners, and government.”

VQA wines are made with 100 per cent Ontario-grown grapes and with advanced cool-climate viticultural research and technologies support, the associations believe that emerging wine markets in Norfolk and Haldimand Counties, Central Ontario and Georgian Bay, Huron Shores and Eastern Ontario will grow at a rapid pace.

The wine industry contributes $5.5 billion annually to the province’s economy.

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