Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario elect Ontario wine veteran Jim Clark of Colio Estate Wines to Chair of the Board

NIAGARA, ON, June 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of the Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario (WGAO) announced the election of veteran industry executive Jim Clark of Colio Estate Wines as the new Chair of the Board.

A founding board member of the WGAO, Clark began his wine career more than 35 years ago developing and purchasing wines at Vintages for the LCBO and in Senior Sales and Retail Management at Vincor Canada.  For the past 16 years, Clark has been the President of Colio Estate Wines and is a strong community leader supporting various charitable organizations including the Princess Margaret Weekend to End Breast Cancer, Ontario Special Olympics and Easter Seals.  Clark is also a Board member of the Canadian Vintners Association and VQA Ontario and previously VQA Canada board.

"I am delighted to become Chair of our important and growing association that represents both leading wineries and grape growers in Ontario," said Clark.  "Never has it been more important than today to be part of the Ontario wine economy as we create more than $3 billion in economic impact, 14,000 jobs and $644 million in tourism contribution to the province," added Clark.

The Board would also like to thank the inaugural Chair Anthony Bristow of Andrew Peller Limited.   Bristow was instrumental in creating the Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario in 2009 along with the founding wineries and grape growers.

"In just four years, the WGAO has grown to represent more than 85% of all Ontario wine sold in the province," said Patrick Gedge President and CEO, WGAO.  "Anthony was a leading force in creating WGAO and establishing our organization as a significant and credible voice for wineries and growers in Ontario."

Murray Marshall, President & CEO, Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd. was elected Vice Chair and Stu Morgan, grape grower, as Secretary/Treasurer.

The WGAO also welcomed Paul A. Bosc, President, Château des Charmes, Sean Taylor, Vice President, Constellation Brands and Greg Berti, Vice President, Andrew Peller Limited as new board members.

"We continue to be focused on the growth of the entire wine industry through improved government policy and regulation to increase Ontario wine sales and create continuing demand for Ontario grown grapes," said Gedge.

About the WGAO

The Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario is a trade association of leading wineries and grape growers working together to ensure the entire Ontario wine industry is robust, sustainable and profitable.

WGAO members produce over 85% of all the wine in Ontario, including both Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) and International Canadian Blends (ICB) wine.  They also purchase over 85% of the grapes grown by independent farmers in the province.

SOURCE: Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario

For further information:

Patrick Gedge
President & CEO
Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario
Phone (905) 937-9463
Cell (905) 328-0169