Niagara Wine industry gets funding boost

The Niagara wine industry is getting a significant funding boost from the federal government for a new program in Canadian grape and wine production.

Brock University says the money is important to their research to improve quality and taste in our local wine.

Brock University is at the center of Ontario’s research in a new $11,000,000 program called the Agri-Science cluster.

The federal government is funding 8.4 million dollars of it, in an effort to grow the Canadian grape and wine sector.

The remaining 3.6 million dollars will be funded by industry contributions.

Debbie Inglis who directs Brock’s research believes this will grow Canadian wine market share.

The funding will allow Brock to start a number of science research initiatives.

If diseases are found in crops, it could take up to 4 years, and cost vineyards up to $30,000 acre to replant. One of the initiatives is to better understand and identify diseases to develop healthier grape vines.

They are also developing Canadian yeast used in the fermentation of wine instead of importing it, and protecting vines from the cold snaps with wind machines.

A machine helps mix the warm air above with the cold air below which will help warm the vine 4-5 degrees celcius. This could mean the difference between a plant dying or surviving.

Brock will work on improving their vine alert data base which helps collect valuable information on which vines work best here.

The owner of the Huebel Grape Estates says the research will allow farmers to start planting top quality vines.