The Vintners Quality Alliance, or simply known as the VQA is the governing body for all wines made of 100% Ontario grapes.
VQA Ontario’s responsibility as the appellation authority is the development and regulation of standards that serve consumers and the wine industry. From quality standards for grape growing and winemaking, to comprehensive testing and truth in labeling and consumer safety standards, all stages of the regulation are stringent and intensive.
There are over 125 Ontario wineries producing VQA wines of various appellations - all backed up by VQA Ontario’s assurance of origin and quality.
As a result, VQA wineries are among the best producers of fine wine of origin in the world. When consumers see an appellation and the VQA letters on a bottle, they see a symbol of authentic origin and have an expectation of inherent quality.
These symbols provide the foundation for VQA wineries to build quality and expectation, and to express an enriched and relevant story of terroir and origin through their wine and communications.
VQA Means Wines of Origin
Appellation defines Ontario's viticulture. As steward of Ontario's appellation system, VQA Ontario is responsible for building appreciation and maintaining the integrity of Ontario's wines of origin by ensuring claims of origin are accurate and meaningful. As viticulture in Ontario continues to evolve, industry stakeholders and wine lovers alike can rely on the VQA Ontario as the comprehensive and trusted source on Ontario's appellation character and culture
VQA Means Quality Assurance
Ontario’s VQA wines of origin represent a promise of quality and authenticity. Through origin verification, extensive laboratory testing and tasting by an independent expert panel, as well as comprehensive label reviews, VQA Ontario ensures precise adherence to rigorous winemaking standards and label integrity that consumers can trust.
VQA and Icewine
Icewine production is regulated in Ontario under the VQA Act and regulations. Strict standards are in place and production is monitored by VQA inspectors from the vineyard to the bottle. Rules cover grape varieties, harvest procedures, winemaking, and testing before the wine is released. No wine may use the term “Icewine” on its label unless it is certified by VQA Ontario. Violators can be charged in Provincial court and subject to fines up to $100,000.