As the map below from the World Health Organization shows, Russians and their neighbors drink more than almost everyone else in the world. Canadians drink more than Americans, keeping pace with most European countries.
I still run into people who think that Stag's Hollow Winery-one of the woefully underappreciated gems in B.C. wine-is brand-new. I've written about them a number of times-including their rosé in last week's column-but the good folks at Stag's Hollow can't seem to shake their underdog, under-the-radar image.
Raise a Glass to Ontario Act 114 aims at cutting red tape for local brewers, cideries, wineries and vineyards by eliminating transportation and warehousing regulations, as well as allowing producers to sell products from other wineries or breweries at their on-site stores. "This bill is now going to end up in the vacuum because of the election that was just called," Smith said. "But it's still a very important piece of legislation that signifies we need serious changes in the way we sell alcohol in the province."
Wine sales are coming to theSt. Jacobs Farmers' Market starting May 10. Two Niagara Region wineries will have bottles of Ontario-made product for sale at outdoor booths. "We see this as a great opportunity to get access to market and to be able to sell to our consumers," said Paul Pender, at Tawse Wineryin Vineland.
Blacksquare founders Mathew Protti and David Gluzman developed Blackboxx, an online ecommerce platform that, since 2011, has been enabling winemakers to transcend boundaries and government protectionism by selling their products on the Internet. In the process, they have helped create new markets and a surge in sales for small estate wineries in Canada and around the world.
It takes two hands to count all the research projects the BC Wine and Grape Council will support thanks to an influx of funding from the Canadian government announced on Earth Day. Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan visited Grey Monk Estate Winery, Tuesday, for a press conference trumpeting a $2 million dedication from the five-year Growing Forward 2 initiative, fostering innovation in agriculture.
"The research is very clear: allowing convenience stores to sell beer, wine and hard liquor would lead to harmful consequences in our community," said Jeff Newton, President of Canada's National Brewers.
This investment builds on previous support of $2 million provided to BCWGC under the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative, for a project to help improve irrigation and nutrient management to achieve the highest vine and fruit quality
"When our current structure was put in place there were 131 grape wineries in BC, today there are 235. While that growth has propelled the BC wine industry to contribute $2 billion a year to the BC economy, the current board of directors believes now is the time to give pause and ensure the BCWI is structured properly for our continued success in the future."
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre scientist Bernard Goyette has invented a chamber that allows winemakers to dry grapes appassimento style while controlling climate, air flow and humidity using a unique method.
While Washington growers continue to expand their acreage, many B.C. growers are landlocked and disenchanted by the high costs of apple production coupled with variable returns. In the last 25 years, the area planted to apples in British Columbia has shrunk from 22,000 acres to 8,420 acres today. B.C. Tree Fruits Cooperative, which handles most of the province's wholesale apples, packs about 4 million boxes annually.
Statistics Canada has released a report about the year ending March 2013, and says Canadians spent $21.4 billion on alcoholic beverages, up 2.2 percent. Beer still has the biggest part of the market at $9.1 billion, little changed from a year earlier. Wine sales of $6.8 billion, on the other hand, were up 4.9 percent.