Canada's Government is to invest around C$1.5m (US$1.4m) in research to help domestic winemakers become more competitive and profitable.

The investment aims to address challenges in Ontario grape production, the Government announced yesterday (16 December).

"This project will help growers and wineries boost their bottom line by improving the quality of grapes, creating a more stable supply chain, and allowing Canadian wine to compete more aggressively in markets at home and abroad," said member of parliament Rick Dykstra, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

Over the next five years, Grape Growers of Ontario will work with Brock University's Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute to collect data and conduct research into grapevine hardiness against winter weather and pest infestation, as well develop best practices and guidelines.

The project is being funded by the Government's Developing Innovative Agri-Products initiative, which supports industry-led science and technology projects.