Shipping Canadian Wine Across Borders, Bill C-311 and Free My Grapes – Natalie MacLean

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Posted in BC Wines and Wineries, Bill C 311, Canadian Wine law, canadian wines | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bill C311 Wine shipping in Canada or Cowboys and Indians

On Tuesday May 29th bill C 311 was posed to pass it’s third reading in Canada’s Parliament. Introduced as a private members bill by Dan Albas, this bill  supposedly had support from all the parties and was sure to pass. The wine industry and Canadian consumers were holding their breath and getting ready to pull some corks and celebrate. Finally after eighty years, shipping wines between provinces was going to be legal. Free My Grapes was going to happen. Our Nell was going to become an honest woman !

Lets tell this story through media articles and what happened on social media. To start let us look at an article from lawyer Mark Hicken  There was also an article in the Penticton  Western News  titled  “Politicians rally around wine bill”, with pictures and everything of everyone standing around drinking wine and smiling, it is all going to be good, right. It is always going to be good when the pols are drinking wine. At least they where drinking B.C. wine . Expectations were high. Even I felt the glow. It was all going to have a happy ending.

No corks pulled, no celebrations. It had all gone sideways. No B.C. wine for you Ontario. I will still have to smuggle wine back and forth across the country.  The bill had stalled.  The earliest possible time to pass would be in the fall, or perhaps never . Our poor Nell was tied to  the railroad tracks with the train speeding ever closer. The Villains dressed in black sitting on the side lines, laughing maniacally. Our hero was similarly  trussed up and could not save our poor Nell.

Our Poor Nell

So what happened ?  How did our poor Nell get tied to the tracks ?  At best, was she going to have to  go back working in the Saloon  serving Cellared  in Canada wines? Here is a great article from BC Wine Lover on how it all went wrong. Stalled by a political filibuster.

Instant anger and a sense of how could they do that to our Nell. Then all hell broke loose on social media. Facebook and Twitter went nuts. There is a weekly forum on twitter with the hashtag #bcwinechat. BC Wine chat is hosted by Sandra Oldfield from Tinhorn Creek every Wednesday night on Twitter at 8:00PM PST. Here is link to the conversation . Here are some of the stats, all in a forty eight hour period. There were 1500+ tweets with 2.5 million impressions, 358 contributors in that hour alone during #BCwinechat. Meanwhile the #freemygrapes hashtag on twitter had 1031 tweets with 345 contributors with 1.5 million impressions. There were also over 250 (I stopped counting) tweets directed at Thomas Mulcair to get his party on board to let the bill pass. I do not need to comment on the numbers, but the audience was booing the villains from their seats.

Meanwhile the press, in another scene, were commenting on the Villains’ behavior. An article from the National Post  The national media was commenting on the cynical games, and why our poor Nell was tied to the tracks and about to be run over.

Wait, fade to black, another scene at the zoo, I am sorry it was on Parliament Hill, wrong movie. The villains say they did not mean it and offered to untie our poor Nell. It was all a mistake, a misunderstanding.

I will let the hero of our story tell us what happened next. He was all tied up, but wait, an unlikely group, the Indians, come and help out and offer to untie our hero and rescue our poor Nell.

Stay tuned for next week as our hero and the Indians are rushing to the train tracks to save our poor Nelll. The villains have said they are putting on their white hats and will not stop our hero from untying our poor Nell.  Will our hero make it in time ? Are the Villains really going to help before the train runs her over. Wait ! There is another group that can force our poor bill back to the saloon.  Like I said stay tuned !

Here are some some more comments on the story of our poor bill.

Posted in Bill C 311, Canadian Wine law, Tin Horn Creek Wines, VQA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Media Comments and Stories on Bil C311


A few articles this week on wine shipping in Canada and Bill C311. The saga continues.

Kelowna News Mainstream Media

BC wine Lover Blog Post

Global TV Mainstream Media

CBC News Sudbury Mainstream Media

National Post Mainstream Media

Globe and Mail Mainstream Media

CTV CA Mainstream TV

Kelowna News Mainstream Media

Globe and Mail Mainstream Media

Windsor Star Mainstream Media

AM 1150 Mainstream Radio

Vancouver Province Mainstream Media

The Merritt Hearld

Old Fields Wanderings Web Blog

SteepCreek Web Blog

The Toronto Sun Mainstream Media

Posted in BC Wines and Wineries, Bill C 311, Canadian Wine law, Tinhorn Creek, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guess the BC Winery

We have spent the last few days in the Okanagan, doing barrel tasting and meeting wine makers. From the pictures below can you guess which vineyards or wineries we have visited ? We will be doing a series of blogs on each of these wineries and their wines over the next few weeks.  In a few days we will post the correct answers. Leave your answers in the comment section.

Picture No 1

Picture No 2

Picture No 3

Picture No 4

Picture No 5

Picture No 6

Picture No 7

Posted in BC Wine Institute, BC Wines and Wineries, Hester Creek, Oldfield Merlot, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Stags Hollow Winery, Tin Horn Creek Wines, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vancouver International Tequila Expo

The Vancouver International Tequila Expo will be taking place Saturday May 12th, truly a do-not-miss event.  By attending, you will also be helping the BC Hospitality Foundation. There will be an impressive lineup of quality Tequilas  available for tasting, with a varied selection of Tequila brands, styles, and expressions. This will be an excellent opportunity to taste the different styles of modern quality Tequilas in one place. Some of the producers  represented will be Cabo Wabo, Herenca de Plate and one that has impressed me, Tavi , among many others. The emphasis here is on quality and artisanal producers, many new to British Columbia. This Expo will change your idea of what Tequila is and will definitely raise the profile of Mexico’s premier spirit in our native province.

Whatever you have been led to believe, the agave spirit of Mexico is becoming   quality-driven and sophisticated, produced by second and third generation  Tequileros across Jalisco, Nayarít and Michoacan. We are now talking about tequilas being barrel aged and low production artisanal products. We are not dealing with shooters here. These are sipping Tequilas on par with Scotch and Bourbon.

There are some  excellent seminars to learn more about Tequila. Eric Lorenz, Canada‘s National Tequila Examiner is doing Tequila 101 from 11AM to 12:30PM. Having been to Eric’s seminars, I can attest that this will be an excellent opportunity to really learn how Tequilas are produced and where. We always learn something new from Eric about Tequila. There is also a Seminar on The Ancient Origins Of Agave Spirits from 1PM to 2:30PM.

                                                            Platinum Sponsor

The Flavors and Aromas of Barrel-Aged Tequilas

This is a seminar I am not going to miss, a joint effort by Sommelier Tim Ellison of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and Eric Lorenz of Lorenz Agave Spirits.  Tim is a wine and spirits educator who always entertains while educating. Eric Lorenz is one of the most knowledgeable Mexican spirits instructors in Canada. In this seminar, we will taste 6 premium and ultra-premium 100% agave tequilas, while analyzing differences in barrel toast, maturation time, French vs. American oak, the use of bourbon, scotch, sherry, and wine barrels for tequila aging, and to use their words, ‘so much more!’ The world’s only tequila-specific aroma kit, designed by Maestra Catadora Ana Maria Romero from Guadalajara will be used to help teach about the aromas of tequilas. This seminar will be held at Legacy Liquor Store Tues May 8th from 7PM to 8:30PM 1633 Manitoba Street Tickets are $45 with only 36 Seats available.

Tasting Menus at participating restaurants around Vancouver

Las Margaritas

The Edge Social Grille Lounge

Pacific Institute Of Culinary Arts

Doolins Irish Pub
The Expo’s Main Event will also be accompanied by a Trade Tasting on Saturday May 12th from 3PM till 5PM..

Press Release for Ticket Prices

Vancouver Convention Centre
999 Canada Place
Saturday May 12th
6pm to 9pm

Come to The Main Event and taste the excellent selection of tequila brands, styles, and expressions offered by our exhibitors in a fun yet elegant setting. Regular ticket price is $65 and includes ten (10) tasting tokens. Partial proceeds to benefit the BC Hospitality Foundation.

Early Bird tickets:
Get your tickets before April 15th at the super early bird price of $45 per ticket.
Get your tickets before April 30th at the early bird price of $55 per ticket.
After May 1st all tickets sold at regular price – $65 per ticket.


Posted in barrels, food and wine pairing, sommelier, Spirits, Tequila | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment