McGuinty Government Helps Grow Ontario Wine Industry



    Regulations Will Help Improve Consumer Recognition Of Prince Edward
    County Wines

    PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, ON, June 11 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is
helping Prince Edward County wineries build on their reputation for quality
wines by making regulation changes to help them expand their recognition among
consumers, said Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips today.
    "This is just the latest example of how the McGuinty government is
working with wine makers and grape growers to improve Ontario's reputation for
premium wines," said Phillips. "Making Prince Edward County a Designated
Viticultural Area will help consumers recognize and seek-out the great wines
coming from this area."
    A Designated Viticultural Area is a term for a geographic region with
common characteristics such as climate, soil and land features. The
designation helps identify a wine and the grapes that go into it, making it
easier for consumers to recognize and seek-out wines from a particular area.
    "This designation compliments our 'Pick Ontario Freshness' strategy,"
Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said. "If
everyone buys Ontario, everyone wins-in this case, people are getting great
wines while supporting Prince Edward County growers and vintners, its
communities and the local environment."
    There are 15 other viticultural areas in Ontario in Niagara, the Lake
Erie north shore and Pelee Island. There are also 12 sub-appellations in
Niagara. Other well-known appellations of origin around the world include the
Napa Valley in California, Champagne in France and the Barossa Valley in
Australia.
    Ontario's appellation of origin system is administered by the VQA
Ontario, the province's wine authority. For more information about Ontario's
viticultural areas, and the VQA, visit their website at www.vqaontario.com.

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.mgs.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

              PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY DESIGNATED VITICULTURAL AREA
    

    Prince Edward County is Ontario's newest Designated Viticultural Area and
is the youngest wine-grape growing region in Ontario. There are more than a
dozen wineries in the County today, with more on the horizon, up from just one
in 2000.
    A Designated Viticultural Area is a geographic region that helps identify
the origin of a wine and its grapes. It is part of the appellation of origin
system under the VQA Act. This system helps protect the authenticity of wines
from a particular region and provides credibility for the local industry to
build on.
    The area covered by this new viticultural area includes the municipal
boundaries of Prince Edward County plus a small area to the north and
northeast, as well as Amherst Island. This area is well known locally and
provincially as the Prince Edward County wine region.

    
    Other Designated Viticultural Areas in Ontario:

    -   Pelee Island
    -   Lake Erie North Shore (in southwestern Ontario)
    -   Niagara Peninsula
        -  Niagara-On-The-Lake
        -  Niagara Escarpment
    

    About VQA Ontario:

    The Ontario government gives VQA Ontario the authority to establish,
monitor and enforce an appellation of origin system that allows consumers to
identify wines based on the area where the grapes are grown, the methods used
in making the wine and other quality standards. It works with the government
and other stakeholders on issues related to quality standards and works to
promote the value and benefits of VQA-approved wines. VQA-approved wines
assure consumers of the origin and quality of the wines. They are made only
from 100 per cent Ontario-grown grapes and must meet strict production and
labelling standards. For more information about the VQA and Ontario's
appellations, visit www.vqaontario.com.

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.mgs.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Paul de Zara, Minister's Office, Office: (416)
327-3072, Cell: (647) 388-9671; Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, Ministry
of Government Services, (416) 325-8659

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