Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 16, 2009 11:33 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Canadian Grape and Wine Innovation

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2009) - Grape growers can look forward to strengthened crops and improved long-term economic viability thanks to new investments in research to address challenges in Ontario grape production, Member of Parliament Rick Dykstra (St. Catharines), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today. The Government of Canada will invest almost $1.5 million in research led by the Grape Growers of Ontario and which will benefit the grape and wine industry.

"The Government of Canada is making investments in research designed to help Canadian growers become more competitive and profitable," said Mr. Dykstra. "This project will help growers and wineries boost their bottom line by improving the quality of grapes, creating a more stable supply chain, and allowing Canadian wine to compete more aggressively in markets at home and abroad."

Over the next five years, Grape Growers of Ontario will work with Brock University's Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute to collect data and conduct research into grapevine hardiness against winter weather and pest infestation, as well develop best practices and guidelines. This project will complement activities of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, aimed at developing new opportunities for the grape and wine sector.

"The Grape Growers of Ontario are encouraged by the Government of Canada's investment in the Ontario grape and wine industry," said Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of Grape Growers of Ontario. "We look forward to working with Brock University's Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute and all industry partners to ensure prosperous and sustainable growth within the grape and wine sector."

This project is being funded by the Developing Innovative Agri-Products initiative, which supports industry-led science and technology projects. Investments in innovative agricultural practices and processes will help farmers throughout Canada tap new market opportunities, making them stronger and more competitive.

The Ontario grape and wine industry has experienced considerable growth in the last decade, and provides close to $1 billion annually to the economy through grape growers and wineries.

For more information on the Developing Innovative Agri-Products program please visit (under Growing Forward, Science)

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary