LCBO's Annual Ontario Wine Promotion Something Worth Talking About

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - The LCBO, with Wine Country Ontario, is launching its largest annual promotion of Ontario wines. This year's promotion, called People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine), showcases 142 wines from 50 Ontario producers in 625 LCBO stores between September16 and October 13.

"We are proud to promote Ontario VQA wines which are winning awards for excellence and gaining recognition internationally," said Bob Downey, LCBO's Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. "More and more consumers are taking notice and talking about the great wines Ontario produces."

During the month-long promotion, customers will have the opportunity to discover new Ontario VQA wines which are made from 100 per cent Ontario-grown grapes. LCBO WINES category is unveiling 24 new products and Vintages, LCBO's fine wine and premium spirits business, is releasing 21 Ontario VQA wines. There will be more than 1,200 in-store wine tastings as well as in-store food and wine parings at LCBO event kitchens and video booths in select LCBO locations to encourage customers to talk about their Ontario wine experience.

LCBO's autumn FOOD&DRINK magazine also profiles Ontario's top five wine styles and sparkling wines and a special edition Vintages catalogue is dedicated to Ontario VQA wines. During the promotion, some 100 restaurants across the province are offering a special People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine) menu that pairs local foods with Ontario wines.

Through an array of social media channels, consumers can join the conversation online and speak to each other about their passion for Ontario wine. LCBO's goLOCAL microsite www.lcbogolocal.com will showcase what is being said and will include Instagram photos and videos, all of which can be "liked" and "shared", as well as webisodes with winemakers.

"We know an increasing number of consumers take pride in supporting Ontario winemakers," said Hillary Dawson, President of the Wine Council of Ontario. "This LCBO promotion provides a unique forum for all fans of Ontario VQA wines to share their passion."

For more information on the products and tastings featured in the People are Talking (about Ontario Wine) promotion, call the toll-free, bilingual helloLCBO at 1-800-ONT-LCBO (668-5226).  In Toronto, call 416 365-5900 or visit your nearest LCBO store.  The TTY number for people who are deaf or hard of hearing is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291.

QUICK FACTS

  • On the internet, searches for Ontario VQA wine have increased 90 per cent in recent months. The overall level of online conversation relating to Ontario wines has been positive.

  • Ontario VQA wine sales growth has outpaced all other major wine categories at LCBO. In fiscal 2011-12, Ontario VQA table wine sales were nine per cent higher than in 2010-11. By contrast, imported wine sales were up 5.6 per cent in fiscal 2011-12.

  • In fiscal 2011-12, the LCBO sold more than1,000 different Ontario VQA wines from 88 different wineries.

  • LCBO Wines category offers 520 Ontario-produced wines, including 298 VQA wines year-round.  In fiscal 2011-12, LCBO Wines category released 46 new VQA wines, including many varietal blends, one of the fastest-growing segments. Vintages offered another 284 Ontario VQA wines, including 22 available year-round through the Vintages Essentials program.

  • Ontario wines enjoy significantly more shelf space than their share of sales in LCBO stores. They are prominently located at the front of most stores and there are specially-designed Ontario VQA wine displays in the 250 largest LCBO outlets.  Over the next two years, the LCBO will add an additional 20,000 linear feet of Ontario wine shelf space through its store expansion program, space equivalent to 35-40 winery retail stores.

For more information, see the backgrounder "LCBO support for Ontario wines" in the media centre at www.lcbo.com. Also see attached fact sheet on the People are Talking (about Ontario Wine) promotion.

Video B-roll and photographs available upon request.

People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine)
Fact Sheet

  • The LCBO, in partnership with Wine Country Ontario, presents People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine), its largest annual promotion of Ontario wines.

  • People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine) runs from September 16 - October 13, 2012 and provides LCBO customers with an opportunity to discover Ontario VQA wines, made from 100 per cent Ontario-grown grapes.

  • People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine) supports the Ontario wine industry and local economy by featuring products produced by Ontario wineries. These featured wines were selected by the LCBO in consultation with the participating wineries.

  • LCBO will highlight 142 products and 50 Ontario wineries during the promotion.

    • LCBO WINES will be featuring 137 products, including 24 new VQA wines, such as Cave Spring Cellars new Cave Red and Cave White; a new line from Strewn Winery called Cottage Block; Rosehall Run Vineyards Liberated Chardonnay and Defiant Pinot Noir; Vinology, a new premium line from Flat Rock Cellars; Team Canada 1972, a Cabernet Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc that commemorate the 40th anniversary of Team Canada's hockey big win; and two new wines from Kevin O'Leary's collaboration with Vineland Estates Winery - O'Leary Chardonnay and O'Leary Cabernet Merlot.

    • Five Ontario wine VINTAGES Essentials will also be showcased prominently in-store.

    • In addition, VINTAGES will be releasing 21 VQA Ontario wines through its September 15 release catalogue featuring Ontario wines.

Events:

  • The People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine) promotion provides LCBO customers with many opportunities to taste featured products from Ontario winemakers.

    • On Saturday, September 22 and 29, customers are invited to LCBO event kitchens to discover and taste their favourite Ontario VQA wines.  Samplings include food pairings prepared on-site by chefs using local ingredients.

      Event kitchen locations include:

      • LCBO Summerhill, 10 Scrivener Square, Toronto
      • LCBO The Kingsway, 2946 Bloor Street West, Toronto
      • LCBO Bayview Village, 2901 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
      • LCBO Orion Gate, 54 Steeles Avenue, Brampton
      • LCBO Millcroft Centre, 2000 Appleby Line, Burlington
      • LCBO Rideau Street, 275 Rideau Street, Ottawa
      • LCBO Nepean Crossroads, 543 West Hunt Club Road, Nepean
      • LCBO Roundhouse, 3165 Howard Avenue, Windsor
  • Also on September 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29, LCBO's People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine) event team will be capturing customer testimonials during sampling events at select stores. Testimonials could appear on www.lcbogolocal.com. Please visit the website for store locations, dates and participating wineries.

  • More than 1,200 in-store wine tastings are also taking place across the province.

  • For detailed information on all these in-store tastings, visit www.lcbogolocal.com.

  • In addition to the LCBO in-store events, VINTAGES presents Taste Ontario:

    Friday, September 28, 2012
    Ritz Carlton Hotel
    181 Wellington Street West, Toronto


    General tasting: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    $65 per person

  • Opportunity to taste more than 100 VQA wines from 33 wineries
  • Visit the "Perfect Pairings with Pinot Noir" stations and enjoy Ontario's best
  • Purchase exclusive Ontario wines at the event

Additional initiatives:

  • The autumn issue of FOOD& DRINK, in stores September 5, talks about Ontario's top five wine styles and what's in store for them. As well, we take a closer look at Ontario's sparkling wines and how they are great for sipping and in cocktails.
  • Just this Month Wine Event! - International Canadian Blends products offer amazing value and, between September 16 and October 13, the value is even greater than expected. Visit www.lcbo.com/wineevent for full details.
  • Approximately 100 restaurants across Ontario will be offering a special People Are Talking (about Ontario Wine) menu option that pairs local foods with local Ontario wines. Visit www.lcbogolocal.com for full details.

SOURCE: LCBO

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACTS: 

Julie Rosenberg, LCBO Media Relations Coordinator 
Tel. 416-864-6875; Cell. 647-339-5428; E-mail: julie.rosenberg@lcbo.com

Trina Hendry, hendryPR
Tel. 647-403-8030; E-mail: trina@hendrypr.com