Over the last 10 years our association has developed a set of Quality Certified (Q.C.) standards, which are accepted by the independent tasting panel at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
The Q.C. program is modeled on the VQA regulations and functions with the co-operation of the LCBO in Ontario who taste and test fruit wines on the same basis as VQA grape wines. Sales of Q.C. fruit wines have increased dramatically in the last two years and are now making inroads into the LCBO retail system.
FWO has been successful in its short history in obtaining grants from both federal and provincial governments to assist in establishing a quality identity for fruit wines, including meads, ciders, and maple products. The organization has been involved in testing fruit wines at the University of Guelph to establish health benefits and analyze winemaking techniques which will take the category to a higher plateau.
We continue to lobby government for increased acceptance of fruit wines to help remove them from the large shadow cast by grape wineries. Such efforts require the assistance of all wineries making wine from fruit other than grape as there is truly strength in numbers.