Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
Ontario wine getting clearer label

October 16, 2009  By The Canadian Press


October
14, 2009, Toronto, Ont. – Consumers wishing to support local wineries will find
it easier to buy wine made from Ontario grapes now that the province is moving
toward clearer labelling to help boost the wine and grape growing industries.



October
14, 2009, Toronto, Ont. – Consumers wishing to support local wineries will find
it easier to buy wine made from Ontario grapes now that the province is moving
toward clearer labelling to help boost the wine and grape growing industries.

The
government announced October 13 it will work with winemakers and the LCBO to
make signage and labels differentiate between wine made from 100 per cent
Ontario grapes and wine made of a blend of local and foreign grapes.

It
will also increase the content of Ontario grapes in blended wines and raise
taxes for wines that aren’t made up of 100 per cent Ontario grapes.

“This
is a significant step forward, this is a new policy direction for the
government and we’re glad to see it,” said Rick Smith, executive director of
Environmental Defence.

“The
clear message to wine companies today is: Any tax advantage, any advertising
advantage in LCBOs that currently exist for Cellared in Canada wines is going
to disappear in the next couple of years.”

Grape
farmers and their supporters have long complained that the current Cellared in
Canada label is misleading, because it gives people the impression they are
buying local wine when they are in fact only buying wine cellared in the
country.

That’s
different than wine bearing the Vintners Quality Alliance, or VQA, designation
– which ensures the wine is made of 100 per cent Ontario grapes.

Environmental
Defence
had staged a grape-stomping outside a flagship LCBO store in Toronto in
July to highlight the plight of grape growers, who say about eight thousand
tonnes of Ontario grapes will rot on the vine this year because there’s not
enough wine purchased to allow those grapes to be harvested.

The
changes, Smith said, will immediately increase the content of Ontario grapes in
Cellared in Canada wine to 40 per cent and change labelling to make it less
misleading.

The
plan also includes a longer term strategy that will take away tax advantages
previously given to Cellared in Canada wine.

Ed
Madronich, chair of the Wine Council of Ontario, said his group had proposed
several of the changes being adopted and was glad to see the government working
toward a long-term plan for the industry.

“We
really see it, overall, as a step forward for our industry and are cautiously
optimistic that we're going to see a lot of great changes,” he said.

The
council supports both categories of wine, however, and has a few concerns about
the tax changes for Cellared in Canada wines.

“Historically
the government has invested in our industry, and we’re a little bit
disappointed that they’ve transitioned that investment to a tax on a few of our
Cellared in Canada members.”

“When
the government invested in General Motors, they didn’t really pay for it by taxing
Toyota.”


Print this page

Advertisement

Stories continue below