Good news for local wineries

Brian Schmidt- Board Chair VQAO (left, Lisa Thompson – Huron-Bruce M-P-P (right) (photo by Bob Montgomery)

The MPP for Huron-Bruce delivered some good news for wineries in the riding on Monday.

Lisa Thompson was in Blyth to announce changes in regulations that will add the Marquette hybrid grape variety to the list of permitted grape varieties to be eligible for Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario approval.

“We found the Marquette grape variety can grown exceedingly well in these areas and make extraordinary wines and so for these emerging wine regions, it allows them to participate in the VQA strategy that the government has placed in terms of enhancing Ontario wines,” said Brian Schmidt, the chair of the board for the VQA. “VQA is 100 per cent Ontario grown grapes.”

Schmidt said climate change is bringing warmer temperatures to regions all over the world, and he expects the varieties of grapes that can be grown in Huron and Bruce counties will change over the next few years as well.

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Catherine Landsborough, the co-founder of Maelstrom Winery near Seaforth, said this is great news for them.  Landsborough said Marquette was one of the first grapes they planted in 2008.

“It thrives in this environment. It makes a wonderful wine that is one of our best sellers out of the store, but we can’t sell it into restaurants or the LCBO because it didn’t have the VQA stamp of approval, so with this, that opens up our market,” she said.