[AWARD] The Windsor-Essex Wine Report Wins 2012 EDCO Award

Thursday, February 7, 2013

WEEDC Media Release

February 7, 2013


The Windsor-Essex Wine Report Wins 2012 EDCO Award

Windsor Essex and Pelee Island, February 7, 2013 - A regional report developed by the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) in partnership with the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) Winegrowers Association has been awarded a 2012 Economic Development Council of Ontario (EDCO) Marketing Award for excellence in product and research development.


"In early 2011, our winegrowers association approached WEEDC about assisting us in helping to build capacity in our wine industry," explains Tom O'Brien, President of the EPIC Winegrowers Association. "Working with all of our community partners, including Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, St. Clair College, and the University of Windsor, we were able to clearly identify areas where we were strong and areas where we could grow. Most significant was the decision to rebrand our region to EPIC - Essex Pelee Island Coast."


The report determined that the wine sector impacted seven of the nine priority industries identified by the region for future economic growth and outlined wide-ranging opportunities for the wine industry.


"One of the most beneficial aspects of this report was that it helped residents across the Windsor-Essex region become aware of all the wine industry has to offer," states Karolyn Hart, Vice President of Marketing, Operations, & Community Development at WEEDC. "What we learned in our research is that in every region where a wine industry gains capacity, it ends up becoming one of the lead industries. As we look to the future to diversify our economy, this is exciting news."


Since the release of the report a number of the recommendations have been adopted and are underway. Preliminary discussions
have occurred with the region's CAO's with respect to the development of a regional signage strategy, the region proudly celebrated its quality of wines by promoting the 36 awards it secured in 2012, and the wineries and EPIC have been a strong voice of advocacy in helping local wineries gain access to the market.


"We are very proud of the WEEDC team and collaborative partners that have been recognized with this award," explains Joe Byrne, Chair of WEEDC. "This is an example of our region's commitment to excellence and how working together allows us to accomplish great things."


A copy of the report is available at www.choosewindsoressex.com


About the Essex Pelee Island Coast Winegrowers Association - The Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) Winegrowers Association (formerly known as the Southwestern Ontario Vintners Association or SWOVA) is an organization of wineries, growers, and allied industries dedicated to growing the wine industry in Essex and Pelee Island. The area offers a "unique maritime climate" ideal for luscious vineyards. The EPIC Winegrowers Association can be found on the web at http://www.epicwineries.com.


About the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) - The WEEDC is the lead economic development agency proudly representing Windsor-Essex, Ontario, Canada's fastest growing economy (Conference Board of Canada), one of the world's Top 7 most intelligent communities (Intelligent Community Forum) and FDi's 2011 #2 Large City in which to invest. Acting as a catalyst and network developer WEEDC works to positively impact the region by providing services including business attraction, retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurial development, and community development activities.




For more information please contact:

Karolyn Hart, VP Marketing, Operations & Community Development
Tel: 519 980 7575

Tom O'Brien, President EPIC
Tel: 519 977-3111