April 11 8-9pm PST: Cellared in Canada

HERE’S HOW THE CHAT WENT:

CELLARED IN CANADA April 11, 2012

Come one!  Come all!  Time to talk Copper MoonJackson Triggs Proprietor’s SelectionLinden BayWild Horse CanyonSawmill CreekPainted TurtleNaked GrapeDomaine D’OrSchloss Laderheim and Similkameen Superior–to name a few.

Wines under the “Cellared in Canada” section of BC liquor stores are available at a lower price than other BC VQA wines. There is a place for wines under $10.  Other country’s lower priced exports are generally made from grapes grown in the export country, but in Canada there is not a lot of extra acreage available for growing grapes to satisfy this price category.  Therefore, commercial wineries are allowed to bring in grapes, juice or wine from outside of Canada, bottle it here and label it “Cellared in Canada”.

Specifically, the labels now generally read “Bottled in BC from Imported and Domestic Wines”.   In British Columbia this means that these wines MAY be produced from 100% foreign content.  In Ontario it means that these wines are produced with NO MORE THAN 60% foreign content (slated to change in 2014 to match BC’s rule so that it does not need to contain any Canadian wine).

How is it allowed that these wines can state on their back labels “Cellared in Canada from Imported AND Domestic Wines” when in BC they do not need any amount of BC content whatsoever? Do these wines fill a niche in Canada?  Producers of Cellared in Canada wines such as VINCOR, Peller Estates and Mission Hill maintain that this category of wines are responsible for a considerable number of jobs in the Canadian wine industry and that they allow Canadian wineries to compete in a category that VQA wines cannot satisfy.  Do these wines get any unfair advantages on wine lists and retail shelves that are not afforded to wines made from BC grown grapes?  Does the average consumer still believe that these wines are made from BC grapes? Should terms such as “Similkameen” be allowed on a product that contains no grapes from BC?

We’re looking for comments from all sectors on this #BCWineChat–BC wineries, retailers, restaurants and, of course, most importantly consumers.

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