KPMG: Ontario's VQA Wine Industry a Source of Current and Future Economic Growth

50% Growth in Sales, Added 1300 Jobs Since 2007

VINELAND STATION, ON, Feb. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario's VQA wine industry - which includes those wineries that contain only locally-grown grapes with no foreign blends - has been an engine of economic growth for the province since 2007 and is poised to continue generating disproportionate benefits for the foreseeable future, according to a new study conducted by KPMG for the Wine Council of Ontario.

The report also demonstrates that during this same period, the economic impact of each litre of VQA wine sold rose to $12.29, a nearly 20% increase since 2007, and a value not inclusive of the taxes collected by government.

"KPMG confirms the story of robust economic contribution that we in Ontario's VQA wine industry have long understood," said Ed Madronich, Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario and President of Flat Rock Cellars. "Even in the teeth of recessionary times, our VQA wine industry created jobs in manufacturing, construction and tourism - all the while preserving high-value agriculture in Ontario's Greenbelt and contributing a set of steadily rising economic benefits to the entire province. Since 2007, few other industries can make the same claim."

The KPMG study reveals a pattern of consistent economic expansion that has not only defied slower overall provincial growth but has delivered benefits to rural communities and farm families. Among the study's highlights:

  • Sales of VQA wines in Ontario rose from $178M in 2007 to $269M in 2011 - a 51% increase.
  • The industry's overall economic contribution in 2010 alone rose to $191M
  • 1300 additional jobs were created by the VQA wine sector from 2007 to 2011.
  • The value of Ontario's VQA wine industry impact on tourism stood at $10M in 2010.

These findings add to previous data points that underscore the growing economic importance of Ontario's VQA industry, including:

  • Exports of VQA wines from Ontario have grown by 30% during the past decade and generated $37M in sales in 2010.
  • Demand is now such that there are currently 47 Ontario VQA wineries exporting product around the country beyond the province's borders.
  • Ontario's VQA wine industry now exports to more than 20 countries around the world at a rate of five times that of British Columbia measured in real dollars.

In addition, the industry is poised to build on its record of steady growth in the years ahead. KPMG estimates that wine tourism in Ontario is likely to grow by at least 20% in the next five years.

"The recent record of economic growth is only the foundation upon which our industry is committed to building upon," continued Madronich. "With the continued support of consumers who love high quality locally produced wines that return economic value back to our communities we can achieve even greater results in the years ahead."

The Wine Council of Ontario (WCO) is the champion of Ontario's high quality, authentically local Vintner's Quality Alliance (VQA) wines and of promoting wine country as a destination. As a non-profit trade association, WCO represents 80-plus wineries from across the designated viticulture areas of the province: Niagara Peninsula, Prince Edward County, Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island. Our members are grape growers, manufacturers and leaders in tourism in their communities. We are the future of Ontario's wine industry, which is a source of new investment, jobs and award-winning wines. The Wine Council of Ontario's role is to promote Ontario VQA wines and vintners, support the production of excellent local wines valued at home and abroad, and build on the substantial economic benefits that the VQA wine industry brings to the province. Authentically local VQA wine is made without imported grapes. The Wine Council of Ontario promotes the unique qualities of Ontario's locally grown wines through its consumer facing brand Wine Country Ontario.

SOURCE Wine Council of Ontario

For further information:

For further information or to request an interview, please contact:

Hillary Dawson, President of the Wine Council of Ontario
905.684.8070 ext 225 or 416.407.3607

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