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                                                                                                            February 2007

                                                             ...Dedicated to the Success of Ontario’s Grape Growers
Inside this issue:
GGO AGM 2007               2             Grape growers to press for replant program
Upcoming Events            2
                                                                        By Scott Rosts
New Grape and Wine         3
Reporter                        The time is ripe for a national replant program, say the Grape Growers of Ontario.
KCMS                       3
                                With a juice grape contract with Cadbury Schweppes set to expire at the end of the year
Project brings remote
sensing to Niagara              and juice grape prices plummeting by more than a third since 1997, the Grape Growers
                                are making a major push to the provincial and federal governments to participate in a
‘Bag it Back’              5    joint funding program to assist with a replant program. The program would help juice
Brock Media Release        6    grape growers make the transition from labursca grapes into higher-end wine varieties.
Research Update            7
                                Grape Growers CEO Debbie Zimmerman said in recent months the organization has
Vitis is new and im-       8
                                met with local MPs and MPPs, as well as finance representatives in Toronto and Ot-
                                tawa. The most recent was last Thursday, when the board met with Finance Minister
Con’t Grape growers        9    Greg Sorbara.
press for replant
Prince Edward County 10         "One of them needs to take a stand. We're urging both the federal and provincial gov-
onside for replant              ernments to become actively involved," says Ms. Zimmerman.
Replant Update           11
                                Recent meetings with the local representatives, said Ms. Zimmerman, have been
For Sale Items           12     "excellent" but she said both the provincial and federal government are needed to en-
                                sure the project moves ahead. In all, the board is asking for $7 million for Ontario
                                growers over the next seven years -- a $49-million commitment. Zimmerman said the
Monthly Insert:                 growers would provide a one-third contribution as well.
Best Management Prac-
tices for HWT vines             The program, she said, would provide "added value" to the government.
                                She said the marketing board recently completed an economic impact study that looked
                                at the changing 25 per cent of labrusca, about 4,500 acres, to the higher-end varieties.

                                "It will generate hundreds of millions of dollars through tax returns," said Zimmerman,
                                noting the estimates are that the federal government will have a return of $4,600 per
                                year on its $4,000 per acre investment through taxes received from wine sales. Plus, it
                                is estimated there is an almost $56-million economic impact when provincial taxes are
                                factored in, as well as the profit for the LCBO.

                                "We're competing worldwide today," she said. "Other countries pour a ton of money
                                into the industry."
   GGO Services                                                                   Continued on page 9
  •   Grape Research, Pricing & Promotion     •   Government Policies & Regulations   •   Crop Insurance Requirements
  •   Grape Inspection                        •   Farm Labour Legislation & Program   •   KCMS Code-A-Phone
  •   Government & Industry Relations         •   Chemical Registration               •   Business Risk Management (CAIS & SDRM)
  •   Government Lobbying                     •   Nutrient Management                 •   The Ontario Weather Network
                 P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 p. 905.688.0990 f. 905.688.3211
February 2007 Newsletter                                                                Page 2

      Grape Growers of Ontario Annual General Meeting
                                      Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 7pm
                                                Club Roma
                                          125 Vansickle Road,
                                           St. Catharines , ON

                                                                             More Information to Follow

  Up-Coming Events:
     ♦   Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention
         Wednesday, and Thursday, February 21-22, 2007
         at Brock University.
         For more information please contact:

     ♦   2 great events. 1 great location. ..
         Uncorked @ Bacchus

         Brock University
          June 7, 8,9 , 2007 - Brock University
          St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
          For more information please contact:
          Barb Tatarinic: 905-688-5550 ext. 4652 or

Grape Growers of Ontario
P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
February 2007 Newsletter
                                                                                        Page 3

             New Grape and Wine Reporter at The Standard
    Hello Grape Growers of Ontario members:

    My name is Monique Beech and I'm the Standard's new wine and viticulture reporter. Every Friday, The
    Standard will be printing a fun and lively column (we hope) filled with local wine and grape industry news.
    This a behind the scenes look at the industry, covering everything leading up to the finished bottle of wine.

    I'm looking for interesting tidbits on everything from who's new and who's leaving Niagara wineries to new
    innovations in grape growing and wine making. I'm also hoping to hear about any noteworthy upcoming
    events wineries are hosting. Please pass along any other story ideas/tips you may have.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Monique Beech
    P: 905.684.7251 ext. 247
    F: 905.684.6032

                           Join KCMS Advanced Crop Management 2007
                            With over 30 years of professional training and experience, locally and internationally,
                           we provide specialized independent services that will deal with your specific needs
                           and issues. Client packages (meetings, scouting, GPS/GIS, bud sampling, crop esti-
                           mations, etc) will be determined on an individual basis. Discounts are available for
                           large acreage monitoring.

As part of this program, you receive access to our weekly KCMS Report and weekly meetings where we
•     Crop development stages across Niagara
•     Provide important pest control information and strategies
•     Updates on new pesticides or other crop production products
•     Review of crop production practices to assist you in premium fruit production
• Discuss crop nutrition programs (micro and foliar nutrient use included) and timing for soil and tis-
  sue sampling

Provide an opportunity to discuss new research and industry issues

For more information call 905-945-8228 or catch Kevin, Ryan or Jina at the OFVC meetings at Brock
University February 21 and 22, 2007!
Grape Growers of Ontario
P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
February 2007 Newsletter                                                                Page 4

         Project Brings Remote Sensing to Niagara Vineyards
Remote sensing of vineyards, using multi-band digital images taken from aircraft, is common in Aus-
tralia, New Zealand and California. The images are processed to map vigour zones, monitor for dis-
ease, and plan for selective harvest or vineyard renovation. Precision viticulture, or matching inputs
to crop requirements through spatially variable management, is also facilitated by images taken dur-
ing the growing season.

A team of local researchers aims to develop a delivery system to bring remote sensing to Niagara
vineyards. This collaborative team involves the University of Guelph, Brock University, Kim Geo-
matics Corporation, Environmental Geosolutions Inc., Agricorp and Weather Innovations Inc. The
Centre for Earth and Environmental Technologies (Ontario Centres of Excellence) has provided fund-
ing to start up the project.

Grower participation in the project has been requested. General input is sought at the beginning of the
project to define management issues that are important to Ontario growers and to develop the features
that will make such a system useful. Meetings at several locations near clusters of interested growers
will be announced shortly. In addition, the team would like to recruit 6 growers willing to take an ac-
tive role in the study. These growers would allow access to their vineyards for collection of ground
data, including soil, weather and vine observations and sampling, and would work closely with the
researchers on using the maps provided for their vineyards.

Those interested in participating should contact either:

Ralph Brown, University of Guelph (519) 824-4120 ext 53922,
Andy Reynolds, CCOVI, Brock University (905) 688-5550 ext 3131

            Important information Package
           on Hot Water Treatment of Vines
 Included in this month’s newsletter is an information
 package on hot water treatment of vines coming to Can-
 ada in 2007 from France. Please fully review the back-
 ground and best practices documents.

 If you require further information, or have questions
 about vine warranties, please contact your local Nursery

Grape Growers of Ontario
P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
February 2007 Newsletter
                                                                                        Page 5

                               Save your wine bottles...
    Ontario introduces deposit on liquor and wine containers
On February 5, 2007, a new deposit return program for
recycling wine, beer and spirit containers started. The
program encourages Ontarians to return empty wine and
alcohol containers to the Beer Store for a refund. As of
February 5, 2007 Ontario consumers will pay a deposit
when they purchase beverage alcohol (beer, spirits and

The program will help elevate approximately 25,000 to 30,000 additional tons of garbage
from landfills - equivalent to about 80 million bottles.

How does it work?
Instead of putting wine, beer and spirit containers in to your Blue Box, Ontarians will ‘bag
them back’ to the Beer Store for a refund of their deposit.

Eligible Containers
All wine, beer and spirit containers purchased after February 5, 2007 from the LCBO,
Agency stores, and Ontario winery and distillery stores.

What’s the Deposit?

                 Deposit                                          Container Type
                                       ♦    Glass containers, Tetra Paks, bag-in-a-box and PET
                                            plastic bottles less than or equal to 630 mL
                 10 cents
                                       ♦    Cans of one litre or less

                                       ♦    Glass containers, Tetra Pak, Bag-in-a-box, PET plastic
                                            bottles greater than 630 mL
                 20 cents
                                       ♦    Cans greater than one litre

Grape Growers of Ontario
P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
February 2007 Newsletter                                                                Page 6

 January 18, 2007

 RE: Brock University Students Bring Home Wine Tasting Honours

 The results for the 3rd Annual Wine Tasting Challenge have just been released and Brock University grape
 and wine studies students have taken four of the top eight placements. In a competing field of almost 200 of
 the top sommeliers, wine professionals and amateur wine enthusiasts in Canada our Brock contingent came
 through strong.

 In the very competitive professional category, Jakub Lipinski, Brock University business major and CAPS
 (sponsored by CCOVI) sommelier student, came in second. Jakub in addition to his current wine studies
 comes from a famous local wine family and completed the Brock University, “Introduction to Wine” course
 with honours. In the newly introduced spirits round, Brock University oenology and viticulture student and
 professional sommelier Barclay Robinson, took top honours with a first place finish. The spirits round was
 especially challenging as it came at the end of the hour long test. Due to his excellent training and experience
 Barclay was able to keep his palate fresh throughout the Challenge.

 In the special amateur category where up-and-coming wine professionals are allowed to compete, two Brock
 students placed second and third. Amy Blake, oenology and viticulture graduate student in Dr. Gary
 Pickering’s lab garnered second place. Amy’s studies here at Brock are a continuation of her academic work
 which included top honours in our grape and wine studies program. Securing a strong third place finish was
 oenology and viticulture undergrad Rhiannon Plant. Rhiannon was thrilled at her placement and is already
 looking forward to next year’s competition.

 Dr. Isabelle Lesschaeve, director of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture institute at Brock University
 stated, “We are so proud of our students’ placements.” As the administering and auditing body of this very
 important competition, we at CCOVI ensure a rigorous and equitable Challenge. It was wonderful to see our
 students rise above the very stiff competition. I believe that these results once again enforce the strength of
 our grape and wine studies program.”

 The Wine Tasting Challenge took place on November 27, 2006 in the Air Canada Club of the
 Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The total prize purse is over $80,000 in cash and prizes and our
 winning students will be very happy to share in those winnings. For more information on the
 Wine Tasting Challenge and a complete listing of all the winners please visit

 For any further inquiries please contact David Hulley, Grape and Wine Industry Liaison and
 Communications, CCOVI, Brock University. 905-688-5550 ex. 5222

Grape Growers of Ontario
P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
   February 2007 Newsletter                                                                Page 7

 Effects of Wind Machines on Bud Survival Research Update Meeting

A recent meeting was held at Rittenhouse Hall to provide          Above: Debbie Zimmerman (CEO, GGO), Gerry
an overview of grape bud sampling to establish winter             Walker (Agricorp), Marty Byl (GGO Board Member),
survival as part of a 3 year winter injury and wind ma-           Roger Vail, and Doug Funk, look on as Lisa from
chine project. The research team is conducting exciting           KCMS prepares bud samples.
research and we are pleased with the progress to date.

Research Update
On January 16, 2007 the GGO held a meeting to discuss the Vineland Research Renaissance project and the Ontario
Grape and Wine Research Foundation.

Mr. Ken Knox presented an overview of the Vineland Research Renaissance project and the work to date. It was indi-
cated that a business case for the revitalization of the Vineland Research Station was submitted to the Ontario govern-
ment in December 2006 and that the business case is under review for the development of a Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre

In addition, to a presentation on the Vineland Research Renaissance project, Debbie Zimmerman presented on the de-
velopment of an Ontario Grape and Wine Research Foundation. The concept of an Ontario Grape and Wine Research
Foundation was a recommendation from NeoBio Consulting’s report titled, “Recommendations for the Establishment
of an Ontario Grape and Wine Research Foundation.” In this report a recommendation was put forth that the GGO and
WCO should establish an Ontario Grape and Wine Research Foundation in which funding should be stable and based
on a fair division of industry contributions.

For the development of the Ontario Grape and Wine Research Foundation, the GGO Board supports the following:
       •   A tonnage fee formula:
              − Membership contribution ($3.50 per tonne on wine grapes)
              − Research Fund contribution ($1.50 per tonne on wine grapes)
              R & ED tax credits should reduce the membership contribution from $3.50 to less than $1.50/tonne
           *This tonnage fee formula is subject to wineries contributing $0.01/L on all wine produced

                                                For further information view
   Grape Growers of Ontario
   P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
February 2007 Newsletter
                                                                                        Page 8

   Vitis… New and Improved
     On March 5, 2007 a new and improved version of Vitis will be made available to the
     Grape Growers of Ontario membership.

     New Features:
     ♦ Easier navigation through your vineyard records (a navigation tree is now present
       on the left side of the screen at all times, for easy movement back and forth through
       different levels of vineyard information)
     ♦ Advanced and novice mapping tool options (depending on what level the user
       chooses to work at, different mapping tools will be displayed), giving the map a
       clearer, more simplistic feel
     ♦ Map print-outs are larger, and there is the ability to add personalized map titles, and
     ♦ Intuitive help menu that will be continuously updated as your questions change
     ♦ Concise one page vineyard summary report (you will have the ability to export the
       report to excel or to a PDF) that includes all Vine Import Program information if it
       is applicable to your vineyard. Further reports to come in the near future
     ♦ Historical yield information, and weigh bills will be available in the near future
     ♦ Production practices record keeping section will be available in the near future

     The new version of Vitis will be available on by
     clicking on the Vitis button seen above (similar to the current login process). As of
     March 5 you will require a new access ID to login. If you are a current user of Vitis
     your new access ID and temporary password will be sent to you directly. For all oth-
     ers, if you are interested in getting started on Vitis you can contact Julie Dixon (905-
     688-0990 x228) at the Grape Growers of Ontario office for your information.

     Individual Grower training on Vitis and related computer programs will also be offered
     through the Grape Growers of Ontario. For training priority please contact Julie Dixon
     at 905-688-0990 x 228.

Grape Growers of Ontario
P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
February 2007 Newsletter
                                                                                        Page 9

           Con’t...Grape growers to press for replant program
 The hope is the government will also look at reinvesting some of those funds into initiatives such as
 research. The Grape Growers have said they would like to see the Vineland Research Station in-

 Zimmerman said the marketing board has worked to address concerns previously raised during simi-
 lar consultations, including a regulation that growers must have a contract with a winery before they
 can have access to replant program funds.

 "We need to engage our growers," she said. "That means working with the wineries."

 From a provincial government perspective, Agriculture Minister Leona Dombrowsky said her minis-
 try supports such a program, but the government needs to take the lead.

 "It is a national replant program," said Dombrowsky in an interview last week. "I made it very clear
 the province would be prepared to participate."

 She noted, however, the federal government needs to show some "leadership" and get the ball roll-

 Niagara West-Glanbrook MP Dean Allison said Niagara MPs are supportive of the initiative, but
 there are some challenges the board has to overcome.

 "When you come to the federal government you're on a much larger scale. It's got to be a national
 thing," Allison said. "We don't typically do a one-off for a province, because the challenge is you
 end up with different provinces doing different things."

 Mr. Allison said he knows the marketing board has been talking to various provinces, as well as
 various levels of government. He said he and fellow Niagara Conservative MPs Rick Dykstra and
 Rob Nicholson will continue to work with federal Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl, and wait to see
 what the marketing board "comes up with".

 Zimmerman says three other provinces, however, have recently worked out their own replant pro-
 grams -- Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. She says the marketing board will continue to
 press to make the government understand their needs.

                                                                                   Reprinted with permission from:
                                The Grimsby Lincoln News and Niagara This Week (January 27,2007 Issue)

Grape Growers of Ontario
P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
  February 2007 Newsletter
                                                                                         Page 10

            Prince Edward County on-side for Replant Program
  Local winegrowers would probably be interested in a replant strategy for their vineyards, but the process is cur-
rently mired in a ‘chicken and egg’ standoff between the provincial and federal governments, as each waits for the
other to take the lead.
   The replant program is primarily being driven by the fact that the last juice processing plant in Ontario is to close
at the end of this year, thus making it attractive for juice grape growers to convert to wine grape growing.
  The program is also of interest to those already engaged in wine growing, however, because it provides an oppor-
tunity to switch to grape varieties that are more suited to the soil and climate of a particular area.
  “I think there’s a range of interest - and considerable skepticism, which is probably affecting the interest,” laughs
Prince Edward County Winegrowers’ Association president Richard Johnston, of By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery, just
west of Wellington.
  “There are a bunch of people who are looking forward to replanting varietals that they think will prosper here - in
spite of the kind of weather we¹re getting today (last Monday).”
  Johnston feels that Ontario being part of a national replant strategy would make the program economically afford-
  There was a replant strategy back in the 1980s, designed to encourage people to move from the labursca (juice &
jam) grapes into more hybrid varieties for fine wine.
  According to Johnston, this was the origin of the fine wine industry in Ontario.
  The current push for a replant program now is slightly different and, in the case of Ontario, takes place in the
shadow of successful program already operating in Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
  Ontario Agriculture minister Leona Dombrowsky has said her ministry supports a replant program, but is waiting
for the federal government to make a commitment.
   The federal government, however, is reluctant to move until it sees the province with by far the most vines planted
- i.e. Ontario - already participating.
  “In Ontario, for reasons we’re really not clear about, there seems to be a lack of interest among some growers,”
Johnston said, adding that the damage done two years ago by harsh winter weather - that resulted in only a 20 per
cent crop in the Niagara Region - was expected to propel one and all into the arms of a replant program.
  Johnston says there was a move 10 years ago from hardier vines to those usually found in warmer climates. Now
the tide is turning toward hardier stock.
  “At that point, we thought it was a foregone conclusion that we’d be going ahead with a replant strategy,” he said.
  In Prince Edward County the impact is slightly different because here we know that some of the vines that grow
in Niagara require protection here in the winter, or they’re not going to make it.
  “We actually have a whole different approach than in Niagara, where we bury our vines and things of that sort.”
  The issue, Johnston reckons, is productivity. Growers here don¹t mind having some vines that have to be buried
and only yield two tonnes to the acre, but they¹d like some that they could be guaranteed would yield four tonnes to
the acre.
  Thus, they look to more hybrid grapes that can withstand the cold, and would like to plant some regular hybrids
that are known and have been used in Ontario for a long time, as well as some experimental hybrids, such as those
being tried in Minnesota, for example.
  Any replant program would not differentiate between grape juice growers and wine growers and would also in-
clude the tree fruit industry as well.
   But participants would have to have plants already in the ground and replace plants. The program is not meant to
allow growers to simply cut the cost of their planting.
  Grape Growers of Ontario
  P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
   February 2007 Newsletter
                                                                                          Page 11

  Speaking for his own winery, Johnston admits he had no idea what would grow here initially, and planted eight
different varieties to see what would work.
  Now I know which are the best four or five and I’d love to be able to narrow it down, rather than the eight I’ve got.
And this would be an option, because the concept is a third from the feds, a third from the province and a third from
the grower, and that would really make it affordable.
  “And we are getting a clear message that this is going to be a go in Ontario.” He notes, however, that there seems
to be a split between the Grape Growers of Ontario, who very much favour a replant program, and the Wine Council
of Ontario, which is dominated by a few large Niagara wineries, and isn’t pushing for it at all.
  The Grape Growers of Ontario is the official organization that represents approximately 540 growers of nearly 15.4
million vines on 17,800 acres in the province’s four growing areas: Niagara Peninsula, Pelee Island, Lake Erie North
Shore and Prince Edward County.
  The cold weather the last few weeks hasn’t been too damaging for local vines that are buried and covered with
snow. Where there is exposure, however, damage may have occurred.
  “I think the only ones who’ll be in trouble this year are people who didn’t bury,” Johnston says.
  The PECWA now consists of 12 wineries and 45 growers. Johnston expects there will be at least one and perhaps
two new wineries joining later this year.
  Grape Growers’ CEO Debbie Zimmerman has been urging both the federal and provincial governments to become
involved in a replant program.
  The Grape Growers’ board is asking for $7 million for Ontario growers over the next seven years - a $49-million
commitment. The growers would provide a one-third contribution too.
  Changing 25 per cent of current labursca to high-end grapes would generate hundreds of millions of dollars
through tax returns, Zimmerman has said.
  Estimates are that the federal government would see a return of $4,600 a year on a $4,000 per acre investment,
through taxes received from wine sales.
  For the province, there is also an almost $56 million economic impact when provincial taxes are taken into ac-
count, not to mention profit for the LCBO.
  Under the National Replant Strategy Program, as applied to Ontario Vineyards, growers would be eligible for a
maximum grant of $8,000 per acre of a total estimated minimum cost of $12,000 per acre to cover all pre-harvest ex-
  Growers would also be limited to grants covering 25 per cent of their total acreage over seven years.

“Plan would allow to shift to grapes more suited to climate” - Reprinted with permission on Feb 14, 2007 from
                                                                                           The Picton Gazette

  Replant Program Update
  The GGO has presented the Replant Program business case to the Government of Ontario and the
  Government of Canada. Recently, the provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia and British Columbia
  have recognized the importance of a Replant Program.

  For further information on the proposed Replant Program, please visit our website at:

   Grape Growers of Ontario
   P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211
    February 2007 Newsletter
                                                                                          Page 12

             For Sale                                                          Contact                     Telephone

♦    Property in the Gaspereau Valley in Nova Scotia                      Paul Cressman                902-542-7393
     for sale with a great location, large size and ideal                                                    Or
     soil type
♦    The Gaspereau Valley is developing a fantastic
     reputation for grape growing, and a number of                                               Call or email for more in-
     Vineyards have been started her in the last few                                             formation. Photos avail-
     years                                                                                       able upon request
♦    Advertising property to Grape growers across Can-
     ada before listing property on the market n the
♦    Property Details:
−    16 acres in Gaspereau Valley (5 acres cleared; 11
     acres mature mixed forest)
−    Sloped southern exposure
−    5 km from Gaspereau Valley Vineyard
−    Natural Springs on the property
−    150 yr old farm house (Vinyl siding, metal roof,
     upgraded plumbing and electrical, 1.5 story, 1000
     sq ft, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 2 out buildings - 1 barn, 1
     driving shed) - $210,000

♦    Grapes for sale. Ready for production in 2008                                Ed                     905-562-3606
     (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling). Premium

♦    Will start pressing icewine juice next year
     (Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and
♦    Icewine juice for sale – 500 L of Cab Franc                             Marty Byl                   905-328-4722
♦    Icewine juice for sale - 1600 L of Vidal (40 brix)                     Hilda Wiley                  905-682-0877

♦    For Rent - 42 Acres with 28 acres of wine grapes                         Mr. Ross                   905-468-2250

                                                 To place an ad, please call
                                               Kathy Sirotnik at 905-688-0990

    Grape Growers of Ontario
    P.O. Box 100, Vineland Station, ON L0R 2E0 Phone: 905-688-0990 Fax: 905-688-3211

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