OLIVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 15, 2013) - The Harper Government is helping a British Columbia winery innovate to increase its competitiveness. Member of Parliament Dan Albas (Okanagan-Coquihalla) today announced an investment for Stoneboat Vineyards to purchase and install new wine processing equipment at its facility in Oliver, British Columbia.
"Our government is pleased to support innovative ideas like this that help introduce new products to the marketplace and help grow our economy," said MP Albas. "These products will help Stoneboat Vineyards tap into domestic markets currently dominated by imports and increase export sales."
Stoneboat Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery that produces premium-quality, artisanal wines. This investment of more than $125,000 will be used to purchase new sparkling wine processing equipment that will enable the company to produce a new type of wine that is not currently made in the province. Using the Charmat method, wines will undergo carbonation through a second fermentation in stainless steel autoclaves, resulting in smaller, longer-lasting bubbles.
Stoneboat Vineyards will increase sales by entering a domestic market currently dominated by foreign producers. This will also facilitate the company's access to international markets through exports to China. The project is expected to lead to an increased demand for Okanagan Valley wine grapes.
"We wanted to create a fresh, approachable, fruit-forward sparkling wine, similar to Italian Proseccos. The style is a perfect match for the grapes we grow in the Okanagan," said Lanny Martiniuk, proprietor of Stoneboat Vineyards. "The technical aspects of production are intensive, and the capital required is very significant for a winery of our size. We are fortunate that there is government support for projects like ours, and with our new equipment we believe that we can create a product that is every bit as delicious as import wines made with the same technology."
This project is supported through the Agricultural Innovation Program, a $50-million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011. The Program is part of the Government's commitment to help Canadian producers commercialize innovative new products, technologies, and processes for the agricultural sector.
In September, federal, provincial, and territorial ministers of agriculture reached agreement on the five-year Growing Forward 2 policy framework. The new agreement will continue to drive innovation and long-term economic growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.
In December 2012, Minister Ritz announced the continuation of research and development and commercialization support under the new framework with the launch of the AgriInnovation Program.
For more information about the Agricultural Innovation Program and other Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programs, please visit www.agr.gc.ca. For more information about Growing Forward 2, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.