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 […]

Post Mortem: Status Quo in BC’s Managed Liquor System

The BC government announced in late September that the liquor distribution privatisation was a casualty of the collective bargaining agreement with its largest public sector union.  Thus ended a poorly designed process, for which government never clearly explained the end policy goal (in the February budget it was to sell off public real estate, but […]

Is the BC Wine Industry Competitive (Enough)?

BC wines are well-known and well-supported by BC consumers. However there appears to be a coming supply/demand/price crunch facing the industry. Broadly speaking, quality is improving, but prices continue to creep upwards, and the price/quality ratio deserves some critical attention.  There is some evidence that the BC consumer is close to tapped out.  While demand […]