UR Opinion

Ontario VQA Wine a Welcome Addition to Downtown Farmer's Market

Liz Rolston

By Liz Rolston

Two weeks ago, I found out that a Niagara-on-the-Lake winery had joined our Orillia Farmers' Market through the new allowance beginning May 1st that Ontario VQA wines could be sold at Ontario farmers' markets. It is an understatement that I became excited. As a recent graduate of a wine program in Ontario's Niagara region, I look forward to interacting with and making purchases from some of my favourite wineries here in my own backyard. This will allow me to keep current in my field of interest without having to travel to the Niagara region as frequently to procure wines that are not available in the local LCBO stores.

Of course, our local politics have clouded this excellent news. Local councillors are providing an extension of the recent advertisements informing Ontarians that more readily available alcohol is a negative influence for our younger generations and bad news for those who have alcohol consumption problems. We should not ignore that wine is a controlled substance, but we should also acknowledge that other Canadian provinces have moved forward with changes to the structure in the sale of beverage alcohol without chaos ensuing.

If the AGCO and provincial government have allowed the sale of Ontario VQA wines at Ontario Farmers' Markets, then this issue should stay out of municipal government. After all, these wines are rigorously monitored and approved by the LCBO and certified as quality Ontario artisanal products. A purchase of our homegrown wines puts 50% more back into our economy than an imported wine would. I am appalled that our community would consider turning away Ontario wineries from our Downtown Farmers' Market denying job creation and a boost to our provincial economy.

Come June 14th, I look forward to supporting our provincial community and our local community at our Downtown Market as I have every Saturday since returning here after graduation.

Elizabeth Rolston

Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions