Langley vintners are somewhat sceptical about a pledge to improve trade in wine between Canada’s three largest provinces.
The governments of Ontario, Quebec, and B.C. released a joint statement this week pledging to work to improve online ordering and consumer awareness.
Interprovincial trade barriers for wine were among the issues at the recent Council of the Federation meeting of Canadian premiers in Whitehorse.
Historically, barriers have sometimes made it harder to sell wine, beer, or other products into other provinces than internationally.
“I’ve kind of got this wait and see attitude,” said Brian Ensor, general manager at the Domaine de Chaberton, Langley’s oldest winery at 25 years.
“We do have some clients from Ontario,” said Ensor. But not that many.
Domaine de Chaberton produces 55,000 cases a year, and is approximately the fifth largest winery in B.C., said Ensor.
But the vast majority of their product is sold right here in this province.
The main difference in selling to Ontario or Quebec will now be that wine can be shipped unaccompanied, rather than sent essentially by hand.
The premiers are also promising to expand the ability of wineries to list their product with the liquor distributors of each province.
But buyers in Ontario will still have to go through that province’s Liquor Control Board to order a case of B.C. wine, said Ensor.
James Cambridge, winemaker at BackYard Vineyard, also said not much wine is sent east as of yet.
“I don’t think anyone’ shad time to think about it,” he said of the proposed rule changes.