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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - December 9, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta 2 - THE UTHBRIDGE HERALD - Wednesday, December 9, 1970 Guessing your tase in wine is his job If your a betting man ,look up George Hosteller FIREMEN ON DUTY - Five Lethbridge firemen are handling Santa Claus duties at Centre Village AAall 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 lUVING C. WHYNOT CP Business GdUor ST. CATHARINES, 0 n t. (CP) - If you're a betting man, try looking up CFeorge llosletler. His job is to guess wiiat kind of wine you'll be drinking to 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 lOROs, that sliould make an interesting bet. For Mr. Hostetter, tlwugh, 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 lo 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 Niagara 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 1960, 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. Tliat leaves plenty of room for growth in Canada, and the Industry looks for continuing increasing demand. Tlie 1.400 grai^e 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 'Hie 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 al>out $60 million, including about S25 million in wine consumed in the province and shippf;d 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 arc necessary in the future for efficient produe tion. R. K. Matthie, secretary-treasurer of the Ontario Grape Growers' Marketing oreen 327-3494 CENTRE VILLAGE MALL - PHONES - (ALL CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED) For the utmost Service and Permanent Satisfaction PHONE 327-3494 For Your Christmas and Party Time Coiffures 4 operators to serve you ion for that very special Gift and the Holiday time choose one of the many styles and the best of quality wigs at open Tuesday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 pm. Thursday and Friday till 9 p.m. 2) omen YOUR WIG SERVICE CENTRE Phone 328-2843 We carry the famous Reid-Meredlth line - fhe finest of fibres - in Ladies' and Men's Wigs and Hairpieces. 5 fj^OuticfHC GOWNS and ACCESSORIES FOR THE BRIDE-TO-BE and HER ATTENDANTS CENTRE VILLAGE MALL Personal Interest Given to nil Patrons Board, sees vineyards taking over more of the Niagara farmland in future years. He predicts thai many growers will replace their pear, peach atui cherry orchards with vineyards as the consumer and winery demand for grapes increase. The trend is already in that direction. Orchards now occupy 2,400 less acres than they did 10 years ago and vineyards h a v e increased about 2,000 acres. Men such as Ronald Moyer, a grower and chairman of the board, see nothing but growth in the futme. They are gambling heavily that they are right. Mr. Moyer already has a large acreage In grapes and now Is clearing out an apple orchard on a recent land purchase to plant still more grapes. It will be years before these turn in a cash crop, but he's convinced the wait will be worth it. He estimates there are another 10,000 acres in the Niagara area suitable for grnijo"; -almost half the acreage already under cultivation and enough to supply the demand for years to conie. OlUe Bradt also is working hard for the future. He is a research scientist at the provincial horticultural station at Vineland where new varieties of vines are under experimentation. On a 35-acre plot first planted in Mr. Bradt has more than 3flO different vines in various stages of growth. His job is to help develop the best growing methods and the best vines for the grapes that are likely to be in demand in the future. STANDS ON MEUITS Wild grajxis were found In abundance in Canada by tiie early CNplorers, European colonists made wine from the native grapes and planted vines from their own countries in the 1600s. Wine was made from Cana-diai. grapes as early as 1636 but there was no commercial grape cultivation until the early 1800s when a small winery stai-ted business at Cooksville, 0 n I. Extensive cultivation didn't start until the middle of the 19th century. Now, men such 8.1 John Couillard insist that Canadian wine can stand on its own merits. He admits to a prejudice, of course, since his job is general manager of the Canadian Wine Institute. Tell him that the wine of one country is better than that of another and he'll say flatly: "Balderdash." He has a simple explanation for the appeal o�' French wines. "Tlie French," he says, "are the best propagandists." "I sometimes think they are better at propagandliing their wine than at making it." He says Canadian wine sells well in the United States where It is labelled "Imported." That, he says, is "snob appeal." ritlCE IS HIGHER Grapes for processing brought the Niagara growers about $135 a ton last year and $10 or Sl.'j a ton more this season. The owner and two men can handle a 100-acre vineyard and should gross about ,<;r)0,G0O. How much would be left as profit ("epends on the efficiency of his operation. Industry spokesmen figure that the smaller plots in tlie 40-ncre range likely net $4,000 to $7,000 a year tor the owner, depending largely on the grane varieties grown. The Ontario grape crop averages about 60,000 or 65,000 tons a year. This year's output is about 62,000 tons and might have hit 70,000 except for some frost loss. If you're still interested In betting with George Hostetter, his guess is that in 10 years from now the demand will be for more sparkling and white wines, more dry wines, and less sherry and port. IVIA.IOR WATERFALL During normal times, more tlian two and a half trillion gallons of water annually tumble over Great Falls, 10 mtiles aouth of Washington. Please drop in and take advantage OF OUR BARGAINS And be Sure to Enter Your Name for Our FREE DRAW on a 4 foot CHRISTMAS STOCKING n?a� SHOE STORE CENTRE VILLAGE MALL Phone 328-5030 Lethbridge ;