VQA Wine Standards
Every VQA wine meets the following standard:
- Wine must be made from 100% fresh Ontario grown grapes — no concentrates are permitted - Grapes used must meet a quality standard for each variety (measured by natural sugar content in the ripe grapes)
- No water can be added in the winemaking process
- Labels must be truthful and accurately represent the wine in the bottle
- All wines except for sparkling wines must be vintage dated and meet vintage requirements
- All wines must be packaged in glass bottles with cork, synthetic or approved screwcap closures
- All finished wines are evaluated by an expert taste panel and a laboratory analysis and must meet minimum quality standards before release
In addition, regulations establish detailed standards for specific claims of origin and for each individual style and type of wine. Wine-making standards are described in full in regulations made under the VQA Act.
Making sure label information is accurate is a critical part of VQA Ontario’s responsibility.
Always look for the statement of origin on the label – VQA appellation name VQA – all VQA wines must show these markings if they are certified to be true appellation wines. Wines that do not qualify are prohibited from using regulated appellation terms.
The label on a VQA wine can tell you a lot about what is in the bottle. VQA sets standards for label claims about origin, grape variety content, and vintage along with other things such as the accuracy of alcohol content. Every label is reviewed to ensure it matches the wine in the bottle and is compliant with VQA standards.