It's a new year in the Okanagan and as the sap begins to push, the dreams of most producers turn to thoughts of the best growing season ever. Much has changed over the last decade but if you are thinking the wines are better than ever it is more than that
"I would say the Shores of Erie, that weekend is as good as a month of sales here in retail," said Stephen Mitchell, the president of the Sprucewood Shores Winery and the Essex and Pelee Island Coast Growers Association. Kelly O'Rourke, the director of the festival, said the economic benefit on the region was $2.8 million in 2014, based on the Ontario Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM).
Ontario may soon allow its restaurants, clubs and pubs to sell beer for home consumption. In the whole Canada, there are only six provinces that allow these establishments as part of their liquor license to sell beer for home consumption.
Under it's far-reaching liquor policy changes, the province is proposing to to put into play a limited number of VQA licences, which will allow grocery stores, like Houser's East Vancouver Super Valu, to sell made-in-B.C. wine.
"We're way up from last year," said Andy Gebert, co-owner. "I think it's the good weather in the Okanagan, everybody likes to come and take in spring. After the winter it's nice to see visitors coming back and enjoying the Okanagan with all the great restaurants and of course the wine."
Restaurants Canada wants to change all that by bringing what's known as "off-sales" to the province, which means allowing licensed restaurants to sell beer, wine and cider to patrons who want to take it home.
The B.C. government has launched an era of wine sales in grocery stores with a pilot project in a Surrey supermarket touted for being convenient to customers, but criticized as a measure that will doom independent liquor retailers.
The Lake Ontario Wine Trail will host their annual "Roll out the Barrels" wine tasting event on Saturday and Sunday April 11th & 12th where guests can sample young wines and spirits at each of the participating wineries/distillery.
A new policy from the provincial government may accidentally kill Canadian whisky icons such as Canadian Club, Wiser's, Crown Royal, Gibson's and, more recently, Forty Creek. It will certainly reduce your choice as a consumer.
Not that you are necessarily going to "all-you-can-drink" natural wine, but the point is that you will be able to sample a whole range of vintages from some 15 international and local winegrowers visiting Montreal April 12 at the Société des arts technologiques [SAT].