Province launches an interactive map to bring awareness to VQA wines
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Buying Ontario-made wine has just got a little easier with the launch of a new mobile site that shows consumers where to find local wine at farmers’ markets across the province.
Earlier this year, the province started its VQA Wines at Farmer’s Market two-year pilot program allowing the sale of VQA wines (wine made from 100% Ontario grown grapes) at farmers’ markets. There are more than 60 wineries currently selling VQA wine at over 100 farmers’ markets throughout the province.
The provincial government says that since the program was created on May 1, 2014, the sale of VQA wine at farmers’ markets total more than a quarter of a million dollars. The program aims to boost the province’s local food strategy and encourage the sale of local wine. The initiative was implemented through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
“I invite Ontarians to check out our mobile map, visit the markets and buy world-class VQA wines that are crafted entirely from Ontario-grown grapes,” Jeff Leal Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a release.
According to an industry study, Ontario’s wine and grape industry combined contributed $3.3 billion to the province’s economy in 2011. Since 2008, the sale of VQA wine has increased by $100 million, and $273 million from 2013 to 2014.
The interactive map can be accessed using a computer or a Smartphone to find VQA wine and get information about directions and hours of operation from participating farmers’ markets. The consumer-friendly map can be found on the provincial government’s website.