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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - December 9, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta 2 - THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Wednesday, December 9, 1970 Guessing your tase in wine is his job If your a betting man Jook up George Hostettei FIREMEN ON DUTY - Five Lethbridge firemen are handling Santa Claus duties at Centre Village Mall this year. Working on a daily shift basis, in their off-hours from their regular posts with the fire department,are Doug Ferguson, Larry Mead, Ed Gilchrist, Gord Dow and Roy Crawford, and they're donating their earnings to their pet project, the Muscular Dystrophy Fund. Lawrence Mead is on the job, above. By IRVING C. WHYNOT CP Business Editor ST. CATHARINES, 0 n t. fCP) - If you're a betting man, try looking up George Hosteller. His job is to guess what kind of wine you'll be drinking 10 years or so from now, and he has already made his decision. Since you probably have no idea yourself what your choice will be in 1980s, that should make an interesting bet. For Mr. Hostetter, though, this is a more serious business, one involving millions of dollars. As chief viticulturist for Bright's Wines Ltd., his job is to make sure his company has the right grapes for the right wine at the right time. If new varieties of grape are involved, that could mean deciding now what the demand will be in 10 years time because that is how long it takes to bring new varieties into production. It's all part of the booming Canadian wine industry and the efforts of the grape growers-concentrated mainly in the N i a g a r a Peninsula-to predict and satisfy the market WINE SALES DOUBLE Wine sales in Canada have doubled since 1960, and although Canadian wines still outsell imports by two to one they are not grabbing as much of the increase as imports. Since I960, sales of Canadian-made wines have increased 92 per cent while imports have jumped 139 per cent. The key statistic for the wi- neries and grape growers, however, is per-capita consumption which now is about three-quarters of a gallon a year, up from about half a gallon a year ago. The United States average is about a gallon a year and in France it it is well over 20 gallons. That leaves plenty of room for growth in Canada, and the industry looks for continuing increasing demand. The 1.400 grape growers in the Niagara area have a vital stake in this market, since the wineries take about two-thirds of all the grapes they grow. That turns out about 80 per cent of Canada's wine production. SQUEEZE ON FARMLAND The processed grape industry is one of Ontario's largest agricultural industries with wages alone running about $4 million a year. Total value of the industry is difficult to calculate but probably is about $60 million, including about $25 million in wine consumed in the province and shipped to other provinces. The only haze on the horizon is the squeeze on farmland as industry and housing developments infringe on the 22,000 acres of vineyards. So far, there have been no serious inroads into the vineyard acreage. But land prices are high and many of the vineyards are operated as small family-owned plots, making it difficult to assemble large acreage units which the major growers feel are necessary in the future for efficient production. R. K. Matthie, secretary-treasurer of the Ontario Grape Growers' Marketing 9s Jf^outic^ 327-3494 CENTRE VILLAGE MALL - PHONES - (ALL CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED) t\f *Salon ^Wigs of Open Tuesday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday fill 9 p.m. J^eavitij