With Valentine’s Day around the corner, how are you planning to celebrate that someone special in your life? On a cold winter evening, nothing says romance like two glasses and a bottle of delicious wine.

The great thing about good wine is that you don’t need to travel across the world to get it. Fantastic wines are produced in Ontario’s Greenbelt, with grapes grown across the Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, and Prince Edward County.

In Ontario, there are 17,000 acres of vineyards – most in the Greenbelt. Whether you like whites, red, still, bubbly, or sweet, Ontario’s Greenbelt has it all.

Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines are certified Ontario wines crafted from 100 per cent Ontario grown grapes. The VQA seal helps consumers support local vintners. It’s easy to do the right thing.

According to the VQA, the number of local wineries has grown from 66 (2003) to 150 (2014.) And Ontario wines are delicious! Check out the winners from 2014’s Ontario Wine Awards. Wine grown in Ontario’s Greenbelt has also won international awards. Wines from Inniskillin Niagara Estate and Flat Rock Cellar, to name a few, have won awards at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits competition in the UK. Pretty impressive!

Aside from the wine being fantastic, there are environmental reasons to support Ontario vintners. Buying local supports local farmers and vintners – sustaining local jobs and growing the local food movement. And buying Ontario wine means a lower carbon footprint than wine that came to your table from across the globe.

Here are some tips for a fantastic Greenbelt Valentine’s Day:

– If you’re buying a bottle of wine, look for the VQA label so you know that 100 per cent of what you are drinking was grown in Ontario. Check out this list of Greenbelt producers to find wineries in the Greenbelt.

– Cooking a romantic dinner to go with that wine? Don’t forget that the Greenbelt is also a source of delicious produce. Naturally complementing one another, regional food and wine makes for a perfect pairing.

– Why not head out to the Greenbelt and visit some local wineries? Many, like Cave Spring Cellars and Thirty Bench Wine Makers, offer wine tastings and tours.

-If your love prefers beer to wine, not to worry. The Greenbelt is a source of locally grown hops and craft brewers.

– If your partner enjoys the great outdoors, consider a romantic stroll along one of the many trails in Ontario’s Greenbelt. One can find romance in nature. After all, it’s all about the bird and the bees, isn’t it?

Wishing you the happiest of Valentine’s Days (and as always, drink responsibly.) Cheers!

 

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