Government of Canada invests more than $11 million to advance innovation and growth in Canada’s wine sector

Tim Kenyon, vice-president research at Brock University; Matthias Oppenlaender, chair of Grape Growers of Ontario; Debbie Inglis, director of Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute; Gary Comerford, board chair Brock University; federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay; MP Vance Badawey; MP Chris Bittle; Gervan Fearon, president of Brock University.

Canada’s wine sector is growing, with the industry generating revenues of $1.2 billion in 2016 and employing over 5,600 people. Winemakers and grape growers across the country are working hard to ensure their businesses are able to thrive in Canada’s climate, and innovate as the industry grows.

Today, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced an investment of up to $8.4 million to the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN) under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Clusters. This is the first time grape and wine-producing organizations from across the country have come together, as the CGCN, to develop a national research cluster.

This research investment, which includes up to an additional $3.7 million from industry contributions, will help growers better protect their crops, test new vine varieties, and analyze growing practices in Canadian vineyards that are better for the environment.

“I’m thrilled to be launching Canada’s first-ever grape and wine cluster. Our domestic grape and wine sector has had a positive impact on Canada’s economy, and it continues to grow. Today’s announcement will help increase the market share of Canadian wines by supporting research that improves wine quality and vineyard management practices, addresses challenges faced by the sector, and build upon Canada’s international reputation as a top cool-climate wine producer,” said MacAulay.

Minister MacAulay also congratulated the Canadian Vintners Association on completing a $1.5 million project under Growing Forward 2’s AgriMarketing program. This funding helped the Canadian wine industry enhance Canada’s international reputation as a top cool climate wine producer through market development and trade advocacy activities, and helped launch the Wines of Canada brand.

Matthias Oppenlaender; Emma Garner, Winemaker, Trius; Minister MacAulay; Debbie Inglis.

Minister MacAulay also announced an additional investment of $1.5 million over three years to the Canadian Vintner’s Association under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriMarketing program. The funding will assist the industry in activities such as participation in trade shows, missions, and promotions in traditional markets, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, as well as CVA’s participation at international trade advocacy events.

“Today’s announcement and investment in the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network for Canada’s grape-growing industry comes after many years of hard work and collaboration,” said Matthias Oppenlaender, chair, Grape Growers of Ontario. “The Grape Growers of Ontario are pleased to be working alongside our partners in Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia and with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to create a domestic supply of clean rootstock which is critical to the future of Canada’s grape growing industry.”

Today’s announcement is part of the minister’s cross country ‘Growing Canadian Agriculture’ tour which started in Quebec last week and ends in B.C. on July 17.

The minister is meeting with farmers, processors and industry leaders, as well as participate in rural agricultural events, to highlight strategic federal agricultural investments and programs – including those recently launched under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership—and how they will help to build an even stronger and more innovative sector for Canada.

“On behalf of the Canadian wine industry, this contribution of 1.5 million over three years from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is significant in helping to build the Canadian brand for our exceptional Canadian wines,” said Dan Paszkowski, present & chief executive officer of the Canadian Vintners Association. “From British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, to Nova Scotia, Canadian vintners are growing and making wines that are competing and winning in international markets.”

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