Our History

The Ontario Wine Awards were founded by Tony Aspler, Order of Canada Recipient, as a means of showcasing the best of Ontario Wines. As an international wine consultant and judge with extensive experience in Europe and the new world, Tony is recognized as one of the leading authorities on Canadian wines.

In 1995, Tony approached Air Canada’s Air Ontario with the concept and request for sponsorship of an Ontario based awards program. Embraced by both the airline and wine industry, the Ontario Wine Awards program was born, helping to establish Ontario wines as some of the most sought after and respected in the industry. In 2001, Air Ontario was disbanded. Following the departure of the airlines’ sponsorship, Tony teamed up with Forefront Communications, one of Canada’s leading beverage alcohol marketing and communications companies, to further develop the awards. Building on the success of the Ontario Wine Awards, ‘sip Ontario’ was born to publicly showcase VQA award-winning wines, and demonstrate to the public the benefits of supporting the wine industry in their own province.

Today 'sip Ontario' has grown in size and stature and has since been renamed sip & Savour Ontario. sip & Savour Ontario is an evening celebration of award-winning VQA wine, paired with market fresh Ontario food that is prepared by some of Toronto’s top Chefs. It’s efforts help to encourage consumer participation in the Ontario wine and food experience and plays a vital role in identifying the importance of a thriving culinary industry in our province.

Join us in our mission to help recognize and enjoy the abundance of amazing VQA wine and local food Ontario has to offer. We hope that our events will give you a taste of Ontario’s home-grown excellence and inspire you to help fund the continued enjoyment of Ontario’s finest foods and VQA wines for years to come!