This document serves two purposes: To help prospective winemakers understand the complexities of managing a commercial wine business in Ontario. Second, to guide commercial vintners through the process of preparing a business plan for establishing and operating a commercial winery in Ontario. A step-by-step reference to the rules, regulations, agencies and policies that govern the establishment and operation of a winery and winery retail store in Ontario, and the organizations needed to start, grow and operate a winery business.
The WCO leads the growth and profitability of Ontario’s respected VQA wine sector – through strategic partnership and authoritative trusted advocacy. As a non-profit trade association, the WCO represents over 100 wineries from across the three designated viticultural areas of the province (Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore – including Pelee Island) as well as emerging wine producing regions such as Ontario’s South Coast and Georgian Bay/Grey County. Our members are independently owned small and medium sized enterprises – grape growers, manufacturers and leaders in tourism in their communities. Our members are the future of Ontario’s wine industry which is a source of new investment, jobs and award-winning wines.