LCBO goLOCAL promotion builds on Ontario VQA wine sales growth in LCBO stores

TORONTO, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - The LCBO, in partnership with the Wine Council of Ontario, is today launching goLOCAL, its largest-ever annual promotion of Ontario-produced wines. The promotion builds on double-digit sales growth of VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wines in LCBO stores.

"Ontario VQA wines are in high gear at the LCBO with net sales up more than 17.4 per cent in the last five months compared to last year," says LCBO President and CEO Bob Peter. "This promotion will help ensure continued success for Ontario VQA wines into the busy Thanksgiving and holiday sales periods."

Ontario-produced table wines, which include VQA wines, have also been outpacing imports at the LCBO.

"Ontario wines are really taking hold with consumers, thanks to LCBO's support, the quality products being produced by our winemakers and more shoppers taking pride in supporting local producers," says Wine Council of Ontario Chair Ed Madronich. "It's great to see our wines front and centre at LCBO stores, including many wines from 2007, probably the best vintage ever for Ontario wines."

goLOCAL runs until October 10 at all 608 LCBO stores across Ontario. There will be 147 products featured from 44 Ontario wineries, including a total of 104 VQA wines from LCBO's Wines Category and Vintages, LCBO's fine wines and premium spirits business unit. More than 1,000 in-store tastings are planned, including four outdoor consumer events at major LCBO stores featuring Ontario winemakers and their wines, as well as food pairings prepared by local chefs.

Ontario vintners will be featured in webisodes on the goLOCAL Meet Ontario's Talent microsite at www.lcbo.com. There is also an online message from Premier Dalton McGuinty encouraging consumers to support Ontario wines and other local businesses.

Consumers will also find recipes from top Niagara-based chefs paired with local wines in the autumn issue of FOOD&DRINK magazine, as well as features on Ontario wines in two September Vintages catalogues.

There will also be an online contest consumers can enter on www.sweetspot.ca to win grand-prize wine country treks both in the Niagara region and Prince Edward County. goLOCAL will also be supported by prominent in-store displays and print, radio and TV advertising.

"This promotion allows people to discover the great value and quality of Ontario wines just by going to their local LCBO," adds Madronich.

For more information on goLOCAL, featured products and tastings, call the toll-free LCBO Infoline at 1-800-ONT-LCBO (668-5226). In Toronto, call 416 365-5900 or visit your nearest LCBO store. The TTY number for the deaf and hard of hearing is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291. You can also access the LCBO website at www.lcbo.com and Vintages website at www.vintages.com.

Consumers are reminded to bring a reusable bag when shopping at the LCBO and to take empty beverage alcohol containers (large and small glass bottles, PET plastic, Tetra Paks, bag-in-box and cans) to The Beer Store for a full deposit refund.

SEE ATTACHED FACT SHEET

    
                                 Fact Sheet

    -   LCBO, in partnership with the Wine Council of Ontario, is presenting
        goLOCAL from September 13 to October 10 at all 608 LCBO stores across
        Ontario.

    -   This promotion features 147 products from 44 Ontario wineries,
        including a total of 104 Ontario VQA wines from LCBO Wines Category
        and Vintages, LCBO's fine wine and premium spirits business unit.

    -   There will be more than 1,000 in-store tastings, as well as four
        larger consumer events, where customers can meet Ontario winemakers,
        local food artisans, chefs and winery owners. In addition, Vintages
        is hosting its first-ever, sold-out Taste Ontario wine event
        showcasing 32 Ontario wineries and 90 wines at the Art Gallery of
        Ontario in Toronto on September 17.

    -   In September, Vintages is releasing 36 premium Ontario VQA wines, 13
        of them first-time releases.

    -   goLOCAL supports the local wine industry and economy by highlighting
        products from Ontario wineries. Featured wines were selected by the
        participating wineries in consultation with the LCBO.

    -   Net sales of all Ontario-produced table wines grew by 6.1 per cent
        from April 1- August 29 or $6.5 million versus the same period in
        2008. Ontario VQA wines accounted for the most sales growth,
        increasing by almost 19 per cent or $5 million during this period.
        Net sales of imported wines declined by 0.8 per cent over this time.

    -   Vintages Ontario VQA table wine sales grew by 14.1 per cent from
        April 1- August 29 versus last year.

    -   Canada leads all countries in LCBO wine sales ahead of Australia,
        Italy, France and the U.S. The LCBO currently offers some 470
        Ontario-produced wines in its Wines Category. LCBO has also released
        almost 190 Ontario VQA wines through Vintages.

    -   LCBO sales of domestic wine topped $358 million in 2008-09, up from
        $143 million when LCBO first launched its province-wide Ontario wine
        promotion 15 years ago. This annual promotion is the only LCBO
        thematic promotion held consecutively for the last 15 years.
    

SOURCE LCBO

For further information: For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: Trina Hendry, Media Relations Consultant, Marketing and Customer Insights, Tel. (416) 864-6803, Cell: (416) 358-0357, E-mail: trina.hendry@lcbo.com; Chris Layton, LCBO Media Relations Co-ordinator, Corporate Communications, Tel. (416) 864-6772, Cell: (416) 587-3729, E-mail: chris.layton@lcbo.com


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