Food In Canada

Putting Canadian Wine First

June 18, 2009   by Food in Canada staff

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The Ontario Greenbelt Alliance wants Canadians to know that not all “Canadian” wines are created equally.

Off-Shore Purchasing

The group is calling on the province to review the Wine Content and Labelling Act, which allows Ontario wineries to buy inexpensive finished wine from off-shore vendors, blend it with a small portion of local wine and label it as a “Cellared in Canada” product. Although initially intended as a temporary measure, the OGA says it has become a “permanent part of how non-VQA wine is made in Ontario.”

The minimum amount of Ontario fruit required in “Cellared in Canada” products now sits at 30 per cent, something the OGA says has become a serious concern for Ontario grape growers.

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The equivalent of approximately 30,000 tonnes of grapes were imported in 2008, while at the same time Ontario’s grape growers required a $4 million bailout program due to financial hardship.

Healthier Solutions

According to the OGA, supporting Ontario’s grape industry encourages a healthier local environment and economy. It’s now asking the government to immediately increase the Ontario Content in “Cellared in Canada” wines to 50 per cent; to increase the Ontario wine market share to 51 per cent at LCBO stores; and to increase access to more retail stores to sell more 100-per-cent Ontario-grown wines.

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