Steven Page and Dan Aykroyd team up to support local wine

    Cash registers ringing as Ontario VQA wine sales jump

    TORONTO, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - More than a thousand wine and music fans jammed
a Toronto shopping concourse Friday to enjoy a free concert with musician
Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies and Hollywood star Dan Aykroyd who joined
forces to encourage the public to "buy local" and support VQA wines.
    "This was a very exciting day for the Ontario wine industry because we
not only had two well-known celebrities here supporting us but we hosted a
large-scale tasting so the public could sample some of our premium VQA wines,"
said Norm Beal, Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario (WCO).
    More than a thousand people jammed in front of the stage to watch the
entertainers as well as lining up in front of a nearby tasting area where they
were able to sample and then purchase Ontario VQA wine.
    The free concert and tasting took place in downtown Toronto at the busy
business district concourse of Brookfield Place. The event kicked off the "Buy
to Fly" Ontario wine promotion which is taking place at LCBO stores throughout
the province until Oct. 13.
    "The LCBO has worked very closely with us to make this the biggest
promotion ever for the Ontario wine industry," added Beal.
    "The Buy to Fly promotion uses AIR MILES reward miles, a popular LCBO
shopping benefit, to create greater awareness of Ontario wines," says LCBO
President and CEO Bob Peter.
    "This and many other LCBO promotions show consumers that Ontario wines
are high quality, good value and versatile accompaniments to food. We have
seen solid sales growth for Ontario wines and with this major promotion we
expect to carry this momentum into one of the biggest LCBO sales periods, the
Thanksgiving weekend," he added
    "We are seeing more and more celebrities become involved with our
industry including Wayne Gretzky and Mike Weir as well as Dan Aykroyd. They
know we can produce world-class wines and we hope that through this promotion
more consumers will share in that pride of VQA wines," added Beal.
    Wines bearing the VQA label must be produced with 100 per cent Ontario
grapes and pass approval from an independent tasting panel.
    During the Ontario LCBO promotion which began earlier this week, the
public will have the chance to win AIR MILES with every purchase of Ontario
wine. They will also have more opportunities than ever before to sample VQA
wines including:
    -   750 tastings to be conducted during the promotion at LCBO stores
        including special tastings at select Vintages stores.
    -   26 Ontario wineries will be featured.

    The Wine Council of Ontario is a non-profit trade association that
represents Ontario's four wine regions - Niagara Peninsula, Pelee Island, Lake
Erie North Shore and Prince Edward Country. These regions grow 75 per cent of
the grapes used in Canadian wine production.

For further information:

For further information: Sherri Haigh, Director of Public Relations,
Wine Council of Ontario, (905) 684-8070 ext. 228,

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Wine Council of Ontario

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