Report says Niagara wine region positioned to become world-class destination


Published July 7, 2023 at 11:16 am

In a first-time partnership, Ontario Craft Wineries, Tourism Partnership of Niagara and Wine Growers Ontario commissioned a report to both check on the present state of the union and more specifically, lay out the framework for growth in the future.

The report, done by Deloitte, a leading global provider of business strategy, had nothing but good news for the grape-loving partnership.

The report, entitled Uncork Ontario, said the Ontario wine sector is “well positioned to drive sustainable economic growth for the (Niagara) region, the province, and the country” because wine is an accelerator for economic growth and job creation.

The report starts by looking at and learning from the world’s leading tourism destinations, such as Napa Valley in California and Italy as a whole.

“Premium wine industries are at the centre of so many of these vibrant, world-class travel hot spots. Wine is a vital catalyst for their economic growth, reaching far beyond the vast vineyards to help: grow a flourishing tourism sector; advance sustainable farming practices; drive transportation and manufacturing; kickstart new construction and infrastructure projects; stimulate and inspire exciting food, hospitality, and cultural experiences.”

The report suggests bringing these global best practices and policies to Niagara as it would mean billions of dollars more in economic growth for our region and all of Ontario.

Niagara is central to the report since it’s the largest wine-producing region in Canada, responsible for 90 per cent of grape production in Ontario and 80 per cent of Canada’s total grape and wine production.

In terms of dollars and cents, the report notes that Ontario’s wine sector contributes more than $1 billion annually to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), despite only 0.03 per cent of arable land being used for vineyards.

However, it adds future potential uplift for the Niagara Region could amount to at least $8 billion in additional real GDP in the next 25 years.

“Increasing the Ontario wine sector’s domestic market share by sales to match B.C.’s could provide an additional $70 million in GDP to Ontario’s economy now, and more than $800 million in additional GDP over 10 years.”

At the moment, the Niagara wine industry provides more than 7,200 direct full-time equivalent jobs in the region.

Below, Deloitte gives the Reader’s Digest of its extensive report.

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