Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario (SWO) Certified is a collaboration between the Ontario Craft Wineries (OCW) and the Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO).
In 2007, Ontario VQA wineries and growers collaborated to proactively establish an industry-led sustainability program for Ontario’s VQA wine and grape industry. As caretakers of the land, certified wineries and growers are committed to a sustainable future for generations to come and are mindful of the impact their businesses have on our world.
Third-party audited since 2017, this program is built around the three core pillars of sustainability – Environment, Economy and Community. Practices within these pillars reflect how Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario (SWO) Certified wineries and growers are invested in respecting our natural resources, building sustainable businesses and committed to social responsibility.
Wineries that produce Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario Certified wines are identified by the green leaf icon in the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide. You will also find the green leaf icon on the labels of their certified sustainable wines.
When choosing VQA wines from a Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario Certified winery, you are supporting your local economy, community and a cleaner environment. For the latest #SWOCertified news follow Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Additional information on the SWO program can be found at sustainablewinegrowingontario.ca.
Wineries that produce Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario Certified VQA wines are listed below with links to their websites for more information on their sustainability initiatives.
Cave Spring Vineyardhttps://www.cavespring.ca/about
Hidden Bench Estate Winery (Certified Organic)
Southbrook Organic Vineyards (Certified Organic, Biodynamic, & LEED Certified)
Stratus Vineyards (LEED Certified)
Some wineries also have additional certifications, some examples are as follows:
Certified Organic wineries use 100% grapes grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. Instead, they fertilize with compost, compost teas, green manure and cover crops.
Biodynamic wines are generally certified through the Demeter Farm Standard, which reflects the biodynamic principle of the farm as a living organism: self-contained self-sustaining, following the cycles of nature.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building rating system. It promotes global adoption of green building and development practices through the implementation of universal performance criteria. It is administered in Canada by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
Take a deep dive into Ontario’s sustainable wine story by watching our Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario Certified Winery Spotlight video series, where wineries that produce SWO Certified wines outline one of their sustainable practices.
For additional information on sustainable winemaking and winegrowing in Ontario, be sure to check out the articles and videos below:
Ontario Culinary | How sustainable is your wine? (Read)
The Globe and Mail | What does it mean when a wine is certified sustainable? (Read)
WineAlign | Sustainable in Ontario and More Great Picks (Read)
Carolyn’s Tasting Room | Certified Sustainable Wines from Ontario, Part 1 (Watch)
Carolyn’s Tasting Room | Certified Sustainable Wines from Ontario, Part 2 (Watch)