Without grapes, there would be no wine. Without passionate and skilled growers, there would be no grapes. Next time you sip a crisp local Chardonnay, savour the rich flavours of an opulent Merlot or indulge in Canada’s world-renowned Icewine, say merci! Behind every glass of fine regional wine is a team of 500 avid grape enthusiasts who meticulously cultivate more than 17,000 acres of vineyards across the province, primarily in the grape-growing regions of Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore. Thanks to their expertise and hands-on labour, from rich soil springs luscious, fruit-laden vines.
Some artists use oils and canvas as their medium of choice. Others use pastels and paper. The famed Michelangelo used marble. Our local grape growers are artisans too, and their medium is the region’s fertile, rich soil. For many, the craft has been passed down through the generations and is a family affair. Wine, you could say, courses through these growers’ veins.
The Folks Behind the Grapes
Our local grape growers pursue the fruits of their labour in an entirely literal fashion. This band of grape-growing brothers and sisters cultivate an astounding 40 varieties of grapes, the bulk of which are sent to the region’s 178 wineries. The Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore regions account for more than 70 percent of Canada’s wine production volume. Local growers have proven the skeptics wrong. Viticulture is thriving in our province, thanks to these stewards of the land who coax bumper crops of premium vinifera and French hybrid grapes year after year. The economic boost to the area keeps climbing. Our regional grape growers continue to invest (to the tune of $684 million plus) in expanding their vineyards to meet rising local demand for premium winemaking grapes.
Savour and Enjoy!
There’s something extra special about uncorking a bottle and indulging in a glass of wine crafted from grapes grown in your backyard that have been nurtured in local soils and lovingly harvested by your neighbours’ own hands. Think about the source of the wine as you indulge, and you’ll surely enjoy it that much more.
The GGO Symbol
This is the symbol that says that a wine was made exclusively from local grapes. And it speaks volumes! It’s an indication of the labour of love put into each harvest. It symbolizes the sheer craftsmanship of some 500 families of grape growers, cultivating over 40 grape varieties.
These growers are nothing less than stewards of the land. In some cases, they are third-generation grape experts, masters of their craft who are proudly involved in their local communities. Where can you find them? Mostly—but not exclusively—in the Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore regions.
Every grape is tended to perfection, and that dedication can be tasted in each sip of wine bearing the GGO symbol.
And it all begins right here, in the vineyards some of us are lucky enough to call our backyard!