LCBO's largest-ever promotion of Ontario-produced wine builds on growing sales

    TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - The LCBO, in partnership with the Wine Council
of Ontario, is presenting Go Local, the largest-ever promotion of
domestically-produced wines, building on the success of VQA (Vintners Quality
Alliance) wines in its stores.
    "Ontario VQA net sales rose more than 12 per cent in the last five months
and we are working closely with our local winemakers to build on that
momentum," says LCBO President and CEO Bob Peter. "This promotion is an
opportunity for consumers to find out why more and more wine buyers are
choosing Ontario."
    Ontario VQA wines have been outpacing imports which grew by only two per
cent in net sales over the same five-month period. VQA wines offered through
the LCBO's VINTAGES fine wine and premium spirits sections have increased by
almost 25 per cent since April, twice the growth for wine imports.
    "It's exciting to see so many quality products from Ontario's wineries
showcased in LCBO stores across the province," says Wine Council of Ontario
Chair Norm Beal. "This promotion includes many award-winners and some new
products from the 2007 vintage, probably the best harvest so far for Ontario
    Go Local runs from September 14 to October 11 at all 605 LCBO stores.
Almost 150 products from 38 Ontario wineries will be highlighted with
prominent displays and supporting print, radio and TV advertising. More than
1,000 in-store tastings will also be presented, including some 80 larger-scale
wine and food samplings in LCBO stores with event kitchens.
    "Go Local proves yet again that consumers don't have to go further than
Ontario's wineries to find some of the best wines in the world that offer good
value and are great accompaniments to food," says Beal.
    "Our annual promotion of Ontario wineries has been a popular feature for
15 years and remains the only major wine promotion we hold every year," notes
Peter. "It builds on our many year-round initiatives supporting local
industry, including specially-trained staff to promote Ontario wines in our
stores, monthly VQA displays called 'Superstars' and exclusive promotional
programs for smaller Ontario wineries."
    The September 13 VINTAGES release catalogue and the autumn issue of the
LCBO's FOOD & DRINK customer magazine now in stores include tasting notes on
the wines featured during Go Local, as well as profiles of Ontario's wine
regions, winemakers and advice on Ontario wine and food matching.
    There will also be five Go Local podcasts throughout the promotion
showcasing four award-winning Ontario wineries and an Ontario grape grower.
The podcasts will feature information on Ontario varietals, wine regions,
innovation in winemaking, interviews with the winemakers and the stellar 2007
vintage. The Go Local podcasts will be available for free download online at .
    For more information on Go Local, 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
hearing impaired is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291. You can also access the
LCBO website at and VINTAGES website at .
    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.

    For more information, please visit our online media information centre at



    As a strong supporter of Ontario wines, LCBO conducts a number of
in-store initiatives to promote Ontario wines and help Ontario wineries. These
initiatives, consistent with international trade obligations, include the

    Product selection: The LCBO currently offers some 460 products produced
in Ontario on its regular list. Over the past 12 months, it also released
another 260 Ontario wines through VINTAGES, the fine wine and premium spirits
business unit, including 22 available year-round through VINTAGES Essentials.

    Shelf space/location: LCBO shelf space for Ontario wines usually exceeds
their market share, particularly in GTA. Ontario wines are normally located at
the front of the store and more than 260 LCBO stores feature special VQA wine

    WOW (World of Ontario Wines) Leaders: LCBO employees take pride in
recommending Ontario wines and some 300 LCBO store employees are
specially-trained and designated to promote Ontario wines with customers and
to assist their colleagues.

    Ontario Superstars: Every month, two Ontario VQA wines are highlighted in
more than 260 LCBO stores, with dedicated shelving and free promotional
materials. There is also a Superstar wine featured in every FOOD & DRINK

    Annual promotion: From mid-September to mid-October, 150 Ontario products
from 38 wineries are being showcased in all 605 LCBO stores. This year's
promotion, entitled "Go Local", includes prominent displays, tastings, a
contest, newspaper/radio/print advertising, podcasts and information on LCBO
websites. No other country has a major annual LCBO promotion.

    VINTAGES VQA Wine of the Month Program: LCBO's fine wine and premium
spirits business unit features a wine-of-the month promotion for Ontario VQA
wines and wineries.

    VINTAGES ON Tour Program: A monthly feature that profiles an Ontario
winery in the VINTAGES catalogue. Three to four products are selected from the
winery to support the program.

    Small winery support: LCBO Go-to-Market and Ontario Craft Winery Programs
provide in-store presence for smaller Ontario wineries along with support to
help them build sales for wider distribution.

    FOOD & DRINK profiles: This popular consumer publication features Ontario
wine and winemakers in most issues with the autumn issue being a showcase for
Ontario wines.

    LCBO sales of products from Ontario wineries in the 2007-08 fiscal year
ending March 31 totaled $281.8 million, up 6.1 per cent over the previous year
and outpacing imports, which were up 5.8 per cent. Included in this number are
a nine per cent increase in General Purchase Ontario VQA wines and a 15.9 per
cent increase in VINTAGES sales of Ontario VQA wines. Sales of Ontario VQA
table wines were up an impressive 42 per cent through VINTAGES.


    Chris Layton, LCBO Media Relations Co-ordinator
    Tel. 416 864-6772; Cell: 416 587-3729; E-mail:

For further information:

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

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