A New Grape King is crowned

A New Grape King is presiding over the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

Officially crowned yesterday, third generation grape grower Doug Witty will be a national ambassador for grape and wine producers in Ontario over the next year. Witty owns Witty Farms and 13th Street Winery in St. Catharines.

Part of those duties include taking part in the Mayor's Grape Stomp on Saturday at 12 p.m. - a challenge Witty says he has been training for.

"I've been stomping in the backyard to try and get my cardio up, but I'm not sure - it's been a long time since I've done a lot of sports. So I'm going to hope for the best."

Witty says there are challenges facing the industry, but those challenges can force growers to find innovative solutions.

"I still need to capture more of our own market, as is the case in most wine regions of the world. I think we've got a lot of talent people working very hard on it, but we have a long way to go."