smells like rotting grapes
December 7, 2008
Why are Ontario wine grapes rotting on the ground? This year Ontario saw many growers who had tons of ‘uncontracted’ grapes – grapes without buyers. The Government of Ontario has provided a one-time limited “bailout” to assist grape growers who have uncontracted grapes. Steve Kocsis from Mountain Road winery had this to say:
“As thousands of tons of Ontario grapes are thrown to the ground to rot the Government of Ontario throws a bone for starving dog grape growers and farm based wineries to fight over. The bone is barely enough to feed a few, but hundreds will snarl and bite fighting to get a mouthful. . . .
Ontario grapes rotting on the ground while the shelves are filled with imported and imported/blended wines; shame on us all for not taking to the streets with pick axes and WD-40 ing up the guillotines. . . .
All I want to do is grow grapes, make wine, take it to market and make a living from the land. The only roadblock is the LCBO and the Government of Ontario and their co-opted industry associations purportedly representing our interests.”
-Steve Kocsis in a letter to the Grape Growers of Ontario
I support standards that limit grape production for quality purposes as is done here (VQA) and almost everywhere else in the world that has an official quality system. But, I don’t understand why these surplus grapes can’t be used for non-VQA wines.
It seems like Andre’s (the Giant) and Vincor would rather use less costly grapes from elsewhere than use Ontario grapes. This is hurting our farmers and adding pressure to lower farm worker wages in Ontario.