Ontario makes some of the best wine in the world. I never get tired talking about the talent of our growers and winemakers and the quality of their wines to anyone that will listen. I was recently nominated to be the 2015 Grape King and I’m excited for this opportunity to tell even more people about what our region is capable of.
And there’s a lot that I think we’re capable of achieving. As Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario’s Sustainability Committee, I have been a champion for sustainable practices and have seen first-hand the innovative approaches Ontario wineries have taken to reduce their environmental impact along with their costs of doing business. I firmly believe that Ontario can be an internationally recognized leader in sustainable winemaking.
The Grape Growers of Ontario and the Wine Council of Ontario are introducing a Sustainability Certification Program for Ontario’s grape and wine industry. This auditable certification will provide local and international consumers with confidence that our wines are produced in a way that is aligned with their values around sustainability. This recognition is an important step in demonstrating leadership and pushing us to perform better.
Responsible water use is a major factor when it comes to the sustainability of wine. Ontario is already at an advantage when it comes to water sustainability. We don’t rely on a scarce resource like drought-prone winemaking regions (and we don’t need to irrigate as much either). By recognizing that sustainability is a core business effort for wineries, we can use the advantages our location provides to become global leaders.
Initiatives like Water & Wine provide us with the tools we need to implement changes, keep improving, and learn from each other’s experiences. I learned a lot working with BLOOM on the development of Water & Wine. About how wineries use water, where there are opportunities to improve, and what we can achieve if we put our mind to it.
I’m excited to have been a part of the development of this site and look forward to continuing to participate in this Community. Striving to continually improve and sharing our experiences can help all of us improve and become more competitive as an industry.