Essex Winer Review

What is VQA?

Vintners Quality Alliance
Perfect grapes. Passionate Winemaking. Obsessive quality. Ontario terroir. Simply put, the VQA Medallion represents the essence of Ontario wines.

The VQA is a set of standards for winemaking excellence from the vineyard right through to the bottling line. Every Ontario VQA wine earns its place by meeting exacting standards and then undergoes complete laboratory and taste testing. If a wine has VQA on its label, you can be sure it represents all the authenticity and quality Ontario has to offer.

Here are the basic VQA regulations:

To claim Ontario as its origin, a wine must:

  • Be made from 100% Ontario grown grapes of approved varieties.
  • Wines bearing more specific origin (sub-appellations) must be 100% from the stated area.
  • Meet minimum sugar levels (ripeness) at harvest as set for each grape variety.
  • Be made from a minimum of 85% of grapes grown in a single vintage (year) and indicate the vintage on the label.
  • To claim a defined growing region as its origin, a wine must:

  • Be made from at least 85% of grapes grown in the named area (and 100% Ontario grapes overall)
  • Meet minimum sugar levels (ripeness) at harvest as set for each grape variety.
  • Be made only from approved Vitis Vinifera grape varieties.
  • Be made from a minimum of 85% of grapes grown in a single vintage (year) and indicate the vintage on the label.
  • To carry the name of a specific Estate, a wine must be entirely grown, made, and bottled on a single estate.
    To carry the name of a specific vineyard, 100% of the grapes used must come from a single vineyard.

    VQA Ontario is an independent regulatory authority that tests wines, inspects wineries and enforces truth-in-labelling laws on behalf of the Government of Ontario.

    For more information on the VQA contact:

    Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario
    1 Yonge St., Suite 1601 Toronto,
    ON M5E 1E5
    Ph: 416-367-2002
    Fax: 416-367-4044

    To access VQA regulations please check out this website: www.vqaontario.ca