Toronto, Ont. – Starting in May Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food will allow Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wine to be sold at farmer’s markets throughout the province.
The two-year pilot project ties in with Ontario’s local food strategy to promote locally produced food and beverages, and makes it easier for consumers to pair local food with local wine. There are approximately 200 farmer’s markets in the province.
The initiative will be implemented through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to ensure wine will be sold in a socially responsible manner. The move is also part of the province’s Wine and Grape Strategy to support growth in the sector and to develop prime tourist destinations.
Ontario has the largest wine region in Canada, and in 2011 contributed $3.3 billion to the province’s economy. There are now 140 VQA wineries in Ontario, with sales of $268 million in 2013. VQA wines are made from only Ontario-grown grapes, and must follow specific winemaking standards.