The Curious Climbdown on BC’s Wine Markup

As part of the BC government’s ongoing wine and liquor reforms resulting from its Liquor Policy Review, a new wine wholesale price structure was announced in December 2014. The changes rested on two premises: that the price structure would “level the playing field” among various categories of retailer (licenced retail stores – LRS, private wine […]

New Rules Will Encourage Wine Tourism – How to Keep it Sustainable? Part 1

Part 1 – What are the economic benefits? The advance trickle of endorsements by the BC government of uncontroversial recommendations from the Liquor Policy Review continued in mid-December. Several of these were warmly welcomed in BC wine tourism circles.  Among the tourism-friendly announcements (also applicable to craft breweries and distilleries) were: streamlining producer licenses to […]

Comments to British Columbia’s Liquor Policy Review

October 28, 2013 Hon. John Yap Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform Province of British Columbia, East Annex, Parliament Buildings Victoria, BC  V7V 1X4 Via email to http://engage.gov.bc.ca/liquorpolicyreview/ Dear Mr. Yap: Re:  Comments to British Columbia’s Liquor Policy Review The initiative taken by the Province to review BC’s antiquated liquor laws is welcome – for […]

The Politics of Wine: More Heat than Light (So Far)

Two recent political developments have caused BC wine enthusiasts – and winemakers – to get excited about the prospects for the industry.  On the heels of the BC Liberal re-election, the first took place in the heart of the Okanagan, when MLA and winery proprietor Ben Stewart stepped aside for Premier Christy Clark to contest […]

Canada is negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union. Should wine drinkers care?

Absolutely we should care! First, a bit of background:  A few agreements already govern Canadian – European trade in wine, including broad international trade protocols relating to taxation, duties and agreements on intellectual property, and more specifically  the 2004 Wine and Spirits Agreement that offered better protection for “geographic indicators” – terms that designate origin […]

How can BC wineries and wine lovers benefit from the rapid growth forecast by Vinexpo? Part 3

A look across the border clearly demonstrates the promise of the direct-to-consumer shipping market (while noting that the US wine market is not without difficulties of its own). ShipCompliant’s 2012 report (available here) finds a “direct-to-consumer wine shipping marketplace that is now well established, though always evolving as new technologies and business models emerge.” The […]

What wines will Canadians be drinking in 2016? Part 1

In January 2013, Vinexpo – organiser of the immense biennial international wine fair in Bordeaux – released its annual study (here) of worldwide wine trends over the coming three years. Canada, it forecasts, will continue its impressive growth in wine consumption by 14.2% between 2012 and 2016 (it rose 14.5% between 2007 and 2011). This […]