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Current & archived news articles relating to VQA Ontario

Ontario Winery Convicted Under VQA Act

25 June 2014
Welland, Ontario – Winery convicted of using a prohibited variation of VQA regulated term Icewine.

Update

Charges against Royal DeMaria Wines were heard in Provincial Offenses Court on April 25, 2014. A decision was rendered on June 24, 2014.

The winery was convicted on a charge of using the variation “Icevine” of the VQA regulated term Icewine, without the approval of the wine authority. A fine of $5,000 was levied by the Provincial Offenses court. The winery was acquitted on three charges related to the use of VQA regulated terms in association with wines that had previously been approved by the wine authority.

February 27, 2014

Royal DeMaria Wines Ltd. was charged with using terms regulated under the VQA Act without the approval of the wine authority. The charges stem from allegations that the winery used the regulated terms "VQA", "Niagara Peninsula" and "Icewine" on wine labels attached to a wine without approval from the wine authority. These charges are expected to be heard by the Provincial Offenses Court in March 2013.

 

"VQA Ontario’s role is to enforce labeling rules that ensure the wine meets a specific standard and has completed steps to verify compliance." said Laurie Macdonald, Executive Director of VQA Ontario. "Consumers expect these rules to have teeth and non-compliance to have some consequence. Especially when it comes to local products, it is important that we maintain the integrity of the appellation system so that consumers can be confident in their choices."

The standards and legislation for protecting Ontario's wines of origin are similar to those in place in all major wine producing regions.

VQA Ontario is an independent regulatory authority that has been delegated the responsibility for administering the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999 by the Ontario government.

VQA Ontario establishes, monitors and enforces a system of quality standards and verifies wine origin for Ontario-grown wines. Only those wines approved by VQA Ontario may use designated appellation terms and descriptions. These include geographical terms such as "Niagara Peninsula", "Lake Erie North Shore", and "Prince Edward County" as well as "VQA" and terms that are linked to regulated production processes such as "Icewine" and "Late Harvest".


Ontario Wineries Convicted Under VQA Act

16 June 2014
St. Catharines, Ontario – Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario (VQA Ontario) obtained four convictions related to charges against two Niagara wineries for the unauthorized use of regulated wine appellation terms.

Update

Charges against Sue Ann Staff and Howard Equities Inc. were heard in Provincial Offenses Court on May 23, 2014.

Sue Ann Staff entered a guilty plea to 3 counts of using VQA terms, designations or descriptions without the approval of the wine authority.  A fine of $7,500 was levied by the Provincial Offenses court in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Howard Equities Inc. entered a guilty plea to 1 count of using VQA terms, designations or descriptions without the approval of the wine authority.  A fine of $5,000 was levied by the Provincial Offenses court in St. Catharines, Ontario.

February 14, 2014

Charges were laid under the authority of the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999.  Standards and legislation regulating Ontario’s wines of origin are similar to those in place in all major wine producing regions.

Howard Equities Inc., operating as Megalomaniac Wines, was charged with using terms regulated under the VQA Act without the approval of the wine authority.  The charges stem from allegations that the winery used the regulated terms “VQA”, “Niagara Peninsula”, “Ontario” and a vineyard designation to describe and label wines that were not approved.  These charges are expected to be heard by the Provincial Offenses Court in March 2014.

Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery was charged with using terms regulated under the VQA Act without the approval of the wine authority.  The charges stem from allegations that the winery used the regulated terms “VQA”, “Niagara Peninsula” and “Ontario” to describe and label wines that were not approved.  These charges are expected to be heard by the Provincial Offenses Court in March 2014.

VQA Ontario’s role is to protect consumers by ensuring wine descriptions are accurate and not misleading.” said Laurie Macdonald, Executive Director of VQA Ontario. “The approval process is intended to assure consumers that the claimed standard has been met and it is important that wineries respect the rules to maintain a fair and informed marketplace.”  She emphasized that integrity in origin labelling is especially important since wine is uniquely defined by the place the grapes are grown, and Ontario consumers are increasingly interested in authentic local wines.

VQA Ontario is an independent regulatory authority that has been delegated the responsibility for administering the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999 by the Ontario government.

VQA Ontario establishes, monitors and enforces a system of labeling and quality standards and verifies wine origin for Ontario-grown wines.  Only those wines evaluated and approved by VQA Ontario may use designated label terms and descriptions. These include geographical terms such as "Niagara Peninsula", "Lake Erie North Shore", and "Prince Edward County" as well as “VQA” and terms that are linked to regulated production processes such as "Icewine" and “Late Harvest”.

 


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VQA Ontario is an independent regulatory authority that has been delegated the responsibility for administering the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999 by the Ontario government.

VQA Ontario establishes, monitors and enforces a system of quality standards and verification of product origin for Ontario wines. Only those wines made from 100% Ontario grown grapes, and approved by VQA Ontario may use appellation terms and descriptions. These include geographical terms such as "Prince Edward County", "Niagara Peninsula", "Lake Erie North Shore", and "Estate Bottled" as well as terms that are linked to regulated production processes such as "Icewine" and "Late Harvest".