Vineland Estates managing partner Allan Schmidt says they submit six to eight products a year for consideration and one or two may get listed.
The number of wineries in Niagara has doubled in the past 10 years, said Schmidt of Vineland, who is also president of the Wine Council of Ontario.
says the LCBO
is an extremely effective retailer and works hard to promote Ontario wines.
But shelve space is too limited to support the industry and offer suitable choice to consumers.
"At my winery, I have to go international to build a brand before I can sell at the LCBO
And Ontario is behind in growth because of it, says Schmidt
VQA wines account for about 7 to 8 per cent of market share.
In British Columbia, which has provincially owned wine stores alongside private operators, that number is 20 to 25 per cent. Provincial revenue suffers too, he
B.C.'s liquor sales amount to $195 per person.
It's about $70 lower in Ontario.
Changing the system could add $800 million to provincial coffers, he
On the up side, Schmidt
says if Ontario changed its alcohol system tomorrow, the wine industry would be ready to take advantage.
There has been about $30 million of investment in wineries in new, more efficient equipment and tourist amenities, says Schmidt
winery makes more on a sale in Hong Kong than it makes at a liquor store in Ontario.
at the wine council agrees.
Among Niagara's great advantages is the proximity of one of the world's big tourist attractions at Niagara Falls and North America's fourth-biggest metropolis, says Schmidt
The region has cultivated a food and theatre culture, as well.