By Logan Somers 
BELLEVILLE – Both the federal and provincial governments are committing around $2 million in total to Ontario grape growers to support projects that will help grow the province’s wine grape industry.
Chris Bittle and Sam Oosterhoff, two members of parliament, alongside Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture made the announcement Monday.
“Canada’s vineyards are a source of pride and have become an important part of our national economy and local grape growers are major contributors to the economy here,” said Bittle in a news release.
In the same release it said they seek to support 500 Ontario grape producers grow their businesses.
The Marketing and Vineyard Improvement Programming (MVIP) alongside the government will provided cost-share funding to help vineyards with ongoing and emerging growing challenges.
The program will also contribute investments to new technology that will help the quality of grapes supplied to Ontario wine producers.
The MVIP application for funding will open March 5, 2020.
Projects eligible for funding are: new equipment to help improve growing, infrastructure to enhance vineyards irrigation, environmental monitoring equipment, consultation with a viticulture expert for new technology and implementation of testing for pest management.
“These investments will help ensure our local growers have access to resources and technology they need to continue to produce high quality grapes,” said Bittle.
In Prince Edward County alone there are over 30 wineries, and around 180 wineries in all of Ontario.