Diamond Estates backed for sparkling wine expansion

Canada’s single largest VQA winery has picked up public funding to add new equipment including a sparkling wine production and processing line.

Diamond Estates Wines and Spirits, maker of VQA Ontario wines such as Dan Aykroyd, Sundance, 20 Bees and Fresh, will get $700,000 from Ontario’s rural economic development program to boost production at its Niagara-on-the-Lake winery.

Diamond Estates CEO Murray Marshall said in a provincial release Friday that the funding “is helping us increase efficiencies, expand into new markets, and boost processing capacity for Ontario table and sparkling wines.”

The added equipment is expected to help the company reduce processing waste, source more Ontario grapes from local farmers, generate $9 million in additional revenues and add 38 new jobs to the company’s staff of 142.

“This investment is in keeping with the necessity that Ontario-grown grapes are bottled and not dumped on the ground,” Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor said in the province’s release.

The provincial support is expected to help create new jobs in the Niagara greenbelt and boost markets for local farmers, Craitor said. “It’s also strengthening our local economy and creating new short, medium and long-term opportunities for families here in Niagara-on-the-Lake.”

Diamond Estates was formed in early 2000 in a combination of Toronto-based Boka Wines and Spirits with the acquisitions of Niagara wineries Birchwood Estate and Lakeview Cellars Estate.

The merged company also serves as an agency in Canada representing international wine brands such as Nine North, Fat Bastard and Mad Dogs + Englishmen, as well as various international spirits and beer brands including Dos Equis and Sapporo.

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