Charges against the Sanson Estate Winery were heard on March 5, 2013 and a guilty plea was entered by the winery on two counts related to using VQA terms, designations or descriptions without the approval of the wine authority. A fine of $5,000 was levied by the Provincial Offenses court in Windsor, Ontario
August 18, 2011
Sanson Estate Winery Inc. was charged with two counts of using terms regulated under the VQA Act without the approval of the wine authority. The charges stem from allegations that the winery used the regulated terms “VQA” and “Lake Erie North Shore” on wine labels when it was no longer authorized to do so. These charges are expected to be heard by the Provincial Offenses Court in September 2011.
“The VQA legislation is in place to protect consumers and verify that label claims fairly represent what is in the bottle” said Laurie Macdonald, Executive Director of VQA Ontario, “With the continued strong interest in local wines and places of origin, it is especially important that we maintain the integrity of the appellation system so that consumers can be confident in their choices.”
The standards and legislation for protecting Ontario’s wines of origin are similar to those in place in all major wine producing regions.
VQA Ontario is an independent regulatory authority that has been delegated the responsibility for administering the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999 by the Ontario government.
VQA Ontario establishes, monitors and enforces a system of quality standards and verifies wine origin for Ontario-grown wines. Only those wines approved by VQA Ontario may use designated appellation terms and descriptions. These include geographical terms such as "Niagara Peninsula", "Pelee Island", "Lake Erie North Shore", and "Prince Edward County" as well as “VQA” and terms that are linked to regulated production processes such as "Icewine" and “Late Harvest”.