Government of Canada invests more than $11 million to advance innovation and growth in Canada’s wine sector

News release

July 4, 2018 – Niagara on the Lake, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada’s wine sector is growing, with the industry generating revenues of $1.2 billion in 2016 and employing over 5,600 people. Wine makers and grape growers across the country are working hard to ensure their businesses are able to thrive in Canada’s climate, and innovate as the industry grows.

Today, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced an investment of up to $8.4 million to the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN) under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Clusters. This is the first time grape and wine producing organizations from across the country have come together, as the CGCN, to develop a national research cluster.

This research investment, which includes up to an additional $3.7 million from industry contributions, will help growers better protect their crops, test new vine varieties, and analyze growing practices in Canadian vineyards that are better for the environment.

Minister MacAulay also congratulated the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) on completing a $1.5 million project under Growing Forward 2’s AgriMarketing program. This funding helped the Canadian wine industry enhance Canada’s international reputation as a top cool climate wine producer through market development and trade advocacy activities, and helped launch the Wines of Canada brand.

Minister MacAulay also announced an additional investment of $1.5 million over three years to the Canadian Vintner’s Association under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriMarketing program. The funding will assist the industry in activities such as participation in trade shows, missions, and promotions in traditional markets, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, as well as CVA’s participation at international trade advocacy events.

Today’s announcement is part of the Minister’s cross country ‘Growing Canadian Agriculture' tour which started in Quebec last week and ends in British Columbia on July 17.

The Minister is meeting with farmers, processors and industry leaders, as well as participate in rural agricultural events, to highlight strategic federal agricultural investments and programs - including those recently launched under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership—and how they will help to build an even stronger and more innovative sector for Canada.


“I’m thrilled to be launching Canada’s first-ever grape and wine cluster. Our domestic grape and wine sector has had a positive impact on Canada’s economy, and it continues to grow. Today’s announcement will help increase the market share of Canadian wines by supporting research that improves wine quality and vineyard management practices, addresses challenges faced by the sector, and build upon Canada’s international reputation as a top cool-climate wine producer.”
- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“I am pleased to be a part of this support for grape growers in Ontario and across the country.  The Ontario wine industry is one more example of the diversity and entrepreneurship that are the hallmarks of our agriculture industry.”
- Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre

“The wine industry is an important economic driver in Ontario.  These investments, demonstrate our commitment to keeping Ontario’s grape and wine industry strong and growing.”
- Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines

“This is the first time the four grape growing provinces have joined forces to form the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster. Research plays an important role in the continuous enhancement of the quality of grapes and wine and the reduction of the environmental foot print of the entire production cycle. We are very grateful for the investment that the Government of Canada and Minister MacAulay provide toward the ongoing success of the Canadian Grape and Wine sector.”
- Hans Buchler, Chair, Canadian Grapevine Certification Network

“Today’s announcement and investment in the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network for Canada’s grape growing industry comes after many years of hard work and collaboration. The Grape Growers of Ontario are pleased to be working alongside our partners in Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia and with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to create a domestic supply of clean rootstock which is critical to the future of Canada’s grape growing industry.”
- Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario

 “On behalf of the Canadian Wine Industry this contribution of 1.5 million over 3 years from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is significant in helping to build the Canadian brand for our exceptional Canadian wines. From British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, to Nova Scotia, Canadian vintners are growing and making wines that are competing and winning in international markets, “
- Dan Paszkowski, Present & Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Vintners Association.

Quick facts

  • Canada’s wine industry generated revenues of $1.2 billion and employed over 5,600 people. Exports of wine in 2016 equaled $133.6 million.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Partnership builds on Growing Forward 2, the previous five-year agreement that ended on March 31, 2018.

  • The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation. Through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, up to up to $338 million initiative, the government is supporting leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.

Associated links


Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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