As recently as a few months ago, it was hard to imagine anything successfully smashing through the status quo of Ontario's liquor retail regime. But things are suddenly looking up. Chris Selley and NOW's Jonathan Goldsbie discuss the sudden and potentially seismic shift in public sentiment.
The events kick off on Jan. 9 at the Niagara Fallsview Casino that will play host to the first Icewine Festival that started it all in 1995, the Niagara Icewine Festival Xerox Gala. Wine enthusiasts, foodies, and music lovers unite to experience several Icewine related events, from formals, to outdoor Ice village settings, intimate winery settings, and vineyards covered in a winter wonderland.
Making it easier for Ontarians to buy booze is popular and makes more money for the government, but it'll probably kill some people. Ottawa's top public-health doctor is frustrated that nobody talks about the second part. It never comes up when the province boasts about letting wine be sold at farmers' markets, or promoting craft breweries.
The latest obstacle is a shake-up in B.C. liquor regulation that will see a new markup structure kick in April 1.The new markup structure will establish a single wholesale price for all retailers and see the per-liter markup shift to 89% on the first $11.75 of value and 67% on any additional value.
"The wind is pretty brutal, but it's rare we get to do this during the day," Paul Speck, president of Henry of Pelham, said Monday afternoon just hours after the winery started to haul in its estimated 150 tonnes of reisling, cabernet franc and vidal grapes. "We're going to go around the clock to get this done."
Jamie Slingerland of Pillitteri Estates Winery has been harvesting frozen grapes in his Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyards for 16 hours straight: "This is the week to do ice wine and think everybody's going to get their ice wine wrapped up this week."
What I think it means is that provincial liquor boards require a certain percentage of Canadian wine to be used in this category of wine. That the LCBO website lacks transparency to advise us what this category is sends shark attack flags to be raised on my beach.
As B.C.'s first winter storm of the year continues to plow through the province, the snow has piled up in the Okanagan, prompting Twitter users to hashtag the wine-growing region #Snowkanagan instead. The storm hit the southern interior Sunday night, and is expected to bring more snow and possible freezing rain west of the valley on Tuesday.
Beer, wine and liquor consumers, mark your calendars: May 12, 2015 is when new purchasing options may start opening up for you. That's the date that was set last week for the trial of New Brunswick resident Gerard Comeau to commence.
The wine industry is filled with tales of wineries starting because a hobby got out of hand, but Kettle Valley Winery owners Bob Ferguson and Tim Watts took it way beyond what most would consider viable - or sane.
Justice Minister Suzanne Anton will announce yet more changes to provincial wine sales on Friday as part of her government's makeover of the liquor industry. But industry insiders say consumers will still be hit with higher prices and less choice for quality wines as a result of the Minister's tinkering
Corcelettes Estate Winery is set to start the new year off with a bang. Having recently acquired Herder Winery and Vineyards, 2015 marks the start of a new era for Corcelettes Winery. Early in the new year, the Corcelettes team will begin the move from their current location in Cawston to their new location, the previous home of Herder Winery in Keremeos.
Encore Vineyards Ltd, spearheaded by British Columbia's most renowned wine industry pioneer, Harry McWatters, is offering an ownership opportunity to people interested in becoming a part of a fully-integrated wine company.
Oenophiles will have another way to celebrate their favourite beverage in the new year with the inaugural Niagara Icewine Festival events in Niagara Falls, Ont. A three-day event is being held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre from Jan. 23 to 25.