Get a bottle of wine at the market along with your meats, cheeses, baked goods and produce! The two-year long pilot project in Ontario between the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and The Grape Growers of Ontario + The Wine Council of Ontario is definitely making it easier for consumers to pair local food with local wine.
“I want to ensure our government is doing everything it can to support the good things that are grown and made in Ontario. This project is a great opportunity to connect people with the world-class wine that is made in this province along with all of the other delicious local food found at our farmers’ markets.” – Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food.
“Sales of VQA wines at farmers’ markets create another needed opportunity for Ontario’s wineries to connect with consumers — in this case closer to home side-by-side with our farmers. We encourage Ontarians to use the opportunity of matching their local food with local wines crafted from 100 per cent Ontario grapes. What grows together, goes together.” – Hillary Dawson, President, Wine Council of Ontario
View the list of markets where VQA wine is available (it’s updated frequently to add more markets so keep checking).
Current Halton markets selling VQA wine:
- Burlington Mall Farmers’ Market, Sundays, from June 1 – September 30
- Centro Market, Sundays, now til June 15
Quick Facts about the program:
- Allowing VQA wines to be sold at farmers’ markets is part of the province’s renewed Wine and Grape Strategy.
- Launched in 2009, the strategy has supported significant growth in the sector, including doubling the number of VQA wineries, creating 2,000 direct jobs, record grape production, and the development of prime tourist destinations, from the Niagara Peninsula to Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore.
- According to an industry study, Ontario’s wine and grape industry contributed $3.3 billion to the province’s economy in 2011.
- Ontario is the largest wine region in Canada and shares the same latitude as the Burgundy Region in France.
- VQA wine sales in Ontario have increased by $100 million since 2008 — from $168 million in 2008 to $268 million in 2013.
- There are approximately 200 farmers’ markets and 140 VQA wineries in Ontario.