About VQA Ontario

The trusted independent authority on Ontario wine appellations
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VQA Ontario was designated as Ontario's wine authority under the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999 on June 29, 2000 by the Honourable Robert W. Runciman, Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

In its capacity as Ontario's wine authority, VQA Ontario exercises delegated authority to administer and enforce the VQA Act and its associated regulations. It is accountable to the Minister of Consumer Services and operates under a framework set out in an administrative agreement with the Ministry. Along with its statutory duties, VQA Ontario engages in related activities such as promoting awareness of the VQA appellation system, participating in national and international standards discussions and encouraging public education about VQA appellations and wines.

Our Mandate

The VQA Act sets the framework by which standards for the production of VQA wine and appellations for wine growing regions are established. VQA Ontario has the following operating objectives:

  • To establish, monitor and enforce an appellation of origin system in accordance with the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999 that allows consumers to identify wines on the basis of the area where the grapes are grown, the methods used in making the wine and other quality standards;
  • To control the use of specified terms, descriptions and designations associated with the VQA appellation system – by both VQA wines and non-VQA wines made in Ontario;
  • To act as the wine authority under the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999, and to participate in discussions with government and other stakeholders which relate to quality wine standards;
  • To inform, educate and work with the grape and wine industry, governments and the public to promote the value and benefits of VQA-approved wines.

VQA Ontario’s long term strategic goal is to build a strong and credible appellation system, supported by quality and label integrity, and to raise the recognition and knowledge of each of Ontario’s wine appellations and their unique features.

For more information, see our page on Governance.