founding the vqa

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  • 1. In Ontario

2. 3.

  • Every wine growing region has a body of regulations that set standards for its finest products.Based on years of trial and error, these laws define the geographical areas where grapes can grow and specify how the wine is made
  • -Donald Zirald,Northern Bounty , 1995
  • The VQA is Canadas governing body over all wine production
  • Similar to AOC-France, DOC-Italy, QmP-Germany
  • VQA Ontario was incorporated on November 26, 1998 as a not-for-profit corporation to prepare for the implementation of theVintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999.
  • In the early years before the initialization of the VQA, the association was known as the Niagara Vintners Alliance
  • The VQA was necessary to sell Canadian wine on the world market


  • The European Economic Community (EEC) restricted Canadian varieties untilimproved regulations were met for all aspects of the vineyard and vinification process were in place
  • The NVA adapted the guidelines set out by theOffice International de la vigne et du vin(QIV) in 1947
  • This general assembly stated:
  • a wine or spirit may only bear an appellation of origin if the latter is sanctioned by usage or of acknowledged repute -(QIV) general assembly, 1947


  • Studies were done to ascertain Ontarios Designated Viticultural Areas (DVA)
  • Ontarios viticulture areas were: (originally)
  • - The Niagara Peninsula
  • (bounded by Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, and the Escarpment itself)
  • - Peele Island(Lake Erie)
  • - North Shore , Lake Erie (bounded by Lake Erie, the St. Clair River, and the Thames River)


  • -Prince Edward County (bounded by Lake Ontario,the Bay of Quinte, and the Adolphus Reach(obtained DVA certification in 2007)
  • Once Ontarios original DVAs were certified, then the stringent codesand regulations were devised and put into place
  • Creating the basis for the rules governing over the wineries today
  • To become VQA designated, wines are evaluated by a panel of experts


  • Wines under go rigorous tastings, along with evaluations of the entire vinification process
  • After the stringent standards of the VQA for production and appellation criteria, the wine meets or exceeds these standards, the wine will be awarded with VQA designation
  • There is a gold medallion designation awarded by VQA, only for wines that exceed their top honours

8. 9.

  • Mission-Effectively manage the appellation system while striving for continuous improvements in wine quality.Communicate the VQA promise of origin and authenticity to consumers.
  • Vision-Consumers will use VQA appellations as their guide to buying authentic wines of origin and quality.


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