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Sustainable Winemaking Ontario moves to an accredited certifiable program


Ontario’s craft wineries adopt sustainable practices in their winemaking operations

VINELAND, ON – The Wine Council of Ontario (WCO) is pleased to announce that 13 Ontario VQA wineries are certified as part of the Sustainable Winemaking Ontario (SWO) program. Through a rigorous third-party independent audit, these wineries received passing scores, accrediting them with program certification.

“At Cave Spring Cellars our goal is to minimize our environmental impact so to preserve the natural world we live in for future generations, while recognizing the need to produce wines that are economically viable and meet the expectations of the marketplace,” said  Dave Hooper, Winery Operations Manager for Cave Spring Cellars. “We take into account the impact our winemaking has on the environment and always look for ways to reduce and improve energy and water consumption. Becoming a certified Sustainable Winemaking Ontario winery was the next step to solidify our environmental practices and lay claim to our sustainable priorities in how we grow our grapes to how we make our wine,” added Hooper.

Launched in 2007 in partnership with the Grape Growers of Ontario, the SWO program was created to provide information on the environmental requirements, identify sustainable opportunities for the Ontario wine and grape industry, and acknowledge Ontario’s environmentally-friendly wineries and vineyards. New for 2017, the program has moved from a self-accredited program to a third-party independent audit, transitioning the SWO program into a certifiable program that ensures Ontario wineries adhere to environmentally sustainable practices in their winemaking operations. In addition, eco-conscious visitors to Ontario’s wine country will now be able to discern the certified SWO wineries by the green leaf icon placed beside winery descriptions in the yearly VQA Wines of Ontario’s Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide.

“As the voice for Ontario’s VQA wine industry, it is inspiring to see a representation of craft wineries certified as Sustainable Winemaking Ontario wineries,” said Allan Schmidt, Chair of the WCO. “The commitment these wineries have made to producing wine in an environmentally-friendly manner not only ensures that their land is a better place for future generations, but it also meets the needs of the environmentally conscious consumer.”

When consumers see the green leaf logo in the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide or purchase wine from a Sustainable Winemaking Ontario winery they are guaranteed that these wineries have followed a sustainable “from soil to shelf” path throughout the entire winemaking process.

 2017 CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE WINEMAKING ONTARIO WINERIES

  • Cave Spring Cellars
  • Flat Rock Cellars
  • Henry of Pelham Family Estate
  • Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery
  • Malivoire Wine Company
  • Pelee Island Winery
  • Pelee Island Winery Pavilion
  • Pillitteri Estates Winery
  • Reif Estate Winery
  • Rosewood Estates Winery
  • Southbrook Vineyards
  • Stratus Vineyard
  • Strewn Winery

For more information, please contact:                                                                                             
alison@winecouncilofontario.ca
905.562.8070 x 230


The WCO leads the growth and profitability of Ontario’s respected VQA wine sector – through strategic partnership and authoritative trusted advocacy. As a non-profit trade association, the WCO represents over 100 wineries from across the three designated viticultural areas of the province (Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore – including Pelee Island) as well as emerging wine producing regions such as Ontario’s South Coast and Georgian Bay/Grey County. Our members are independently owned small and medium sized enterprises – grape growers, manufacturers and leaders in tourism in their communities. Our members are the future of Ontario’s wine industry which is a source of new investment, jobs and award-winning wines.

For more information, please contact: info@winecouncilofontario.ca | 905 562 8070 ext. 225