Ontario Wine Goes To Market

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

Local wine producers now have a shot at selling their products right next to Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables and homemade pies.

A pilot project from the Ontario government that will see Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines in farmers’ markets for the next two years launches Thursday. That has local wineries clamoring to get in their applications to get to market.

Phil Ryan is the co-owner of Villa Nova Estates, a small VQA winery in Simcoe. He says the project could be a great thing for small winemakers who don’t have the capacity to sell at the LCBO.

Ryan says he is in the process of applying to sell wine at markets in the Simcoe area.

Turkey Point vineyard Burning Kiln Winery has already applied to sell wine in two local farmers’ market. Director of Wine Operations Karen Matthews says they expect to hear back on whether they were approved any day. Matthews says while Burning Kiln wines are in the LCBO she is hoping farmers markets will open a new section of Ontarians to their wines.

Matthews says Burning Kiln is hoping to be selling wines in farmers’ markets within the next two weeks.

The Liberal government will post a full list of markets approved for wine-selling on Thursday. It says the sale of alcohol in farmers’ markets will be implemented by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission to ensure it is done in a socially responsible manner.

The province says there are 200 farmers’ markets and 140 VQA wineries in Ontario.