Exciting times for Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wine in Ontario!

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Exciting times for Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wine in Ontario!
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Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides is an accredited Sommelier certified by both the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) and Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Passionate about great wine, food, and travel experiences, Cynthia is owner of Niagara Vino providing tutored wine tasting and tour services in the Niagara Peninsula wine region of Ontario, Canada.Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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So just what is Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA)? “VQA Ontario is Ontario’s Wine Authority, a regulatory agency responsible for maintaining the integrity of local wine appellations and enforcing winemaking and labelling standards.” VQA is about the diverse places where wines originate in Ontario, and the quality of production from vine to glass: quality wines of origin.

Did you know that Ontario is the leading grape producer in Canada with approximately 2/3 of the country’s production? Last year the Wine Country of Ontario produced 21.9 million litres of wine (2.4 million cases). Also in 2013 the Ontario government renewed their Wine and Grape Strategy which includes a two-year pilot program: VQA Wine Sales at Farmers’ Markets. Authorized wineries began sampling and selling VQA wine on May 1st at many markets in the province. Markets in the Halton region currently include:

The Burlington Lions Club’s Burlington Mall Farmers’ Market – Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays

Centro Farmer’s Market – Sundays

Grimsby Farmers' Market - Leaning Post Wines

Grimsby Farmers’ Market – Leaning Post Wines

Aside from VQA wine now being available for sampling at some Farmers’ Markets in Ontario, the LCBO in the Olde Oakville Marketplace located at 321 Cornwall Road has a wine tasting bar which sells samples of premium wines so you can try before you buy. The store is doing “Sneak Peek – Vintages Pre-Release Tastings” for $5.00 on Thursdays July 3, 17 & 31, August 14 & 28. They also have a “Demo Island” offering these experiences this month:

Friday, July 4, 2014, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Tini Sangiovese di Romagna DOC & Tavernello Collezione Sauvignon Friuli Grave

Friday, July 11, 2014, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Boundary Ale & Moosehead Lager

It was fantastic to sample VQA wines at the Grimsby Farmers’ Market last month from 13th Street Winery and Leaning Post. What wine and drink experiences have you had lately?


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