Wednesday, October 27, 2021- St. Catharines, ON: The Grape Growers of Ontario with the Honourable Speaker of the Legislature and MPP for Wellington-Halton Hills, Ted Arnott, hosted the 42nd Annual Wine Tasting event at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, October 26th in a revised format following COVID-19 protocols. Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario, and CEO Debbie Zimmerman are pleased to announce that the following have been chosen as the official wines of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly for 2022:
Red Wine: Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery 2019 Meritage
White Wine: Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery 2020 Chardonnay
“As the legacy partner of the Legislature’s wine tasting event, the Grape Growers of Ontario thank the Hon. Speaker Arnott for continuing the tradition of choosing the official VQA wines of the Legislative Assembly for the coming year,” said Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair. “Our agriculture value-added industry is rooted in the land, and the Grape Growers of Ontario look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Ontario to support Ontario’s grape and wine industry.”
“Congratulations to all of Ontario’s wineries on producing top-quality 100% Ontario VQA wines, and thank you to the four wineries that participated in this year’s tasting. The wines showcased at this event reflect the connection between locally grown grapes and the winemakers who craft them, and are a testament to the dedication, hard work and vision of grape growers across the province,” said Debbie Zimmerman, CEO.
“We are thrilled and honored to have our 2019 Meritage selected as the official red wine of the 2022 Ontario Legislature. Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery thanks the Honourable Speaker and Ontario’s Members of Provincial Parliament for supporting 100% Ontario grown wines,” said Lydia Tomek, Winemaker, Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery.
“Matt, Dan and I, along with the team at Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery are proud to be recognized by the Legislative Assembly for our hard work and dedication to producing quality VQA Ontario wines,” said Paul Speck, President. “We have a wine industry in Ontario because we have the climate and specialty lands to grow grapes. Our 2020 Chardonnay showcases that cool-climate character with bright and aromatic flavours ranging from vibrant apple to citrusy grapefruit and a nice hint of oak.”
Traditionally, members of Provincial Parliament have gathered annually to support the local industry and select the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s official VQA wines to be served at legislative functions throughout 2022. In keeping with COVID-19 restrictions, a virtual event with a select group of participants tasted and marked their preferences on a voting ballot to determine which wines would be selected from four wineries from across the province.
The Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO) is the official organization created by growers in 1947. Our membership includes all processing grape growers in Ontario including 186 wineries. The majority are family owned and operated farms and wineries in the province’s three viticulture areas: Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County, and emerging regions across Ontario.