Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
08.12.2009  
 

'Cellared in Canada' Wines Under Siege

Wines made with foreign grape juice face a consumer boycott

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
Cellared in Canada label designation
Toronto, Ontario -- With all signs pointing to a bountiful harvest in Ontario vineyards, wineries and wine enthusiasts alike are calling for an end to the long-standing "Cellared in Canada" label designation that, by default, identifies domestic wines made from foreign juice.

Originally introduced in 1972 to provide for the blending of foreign and domestic wine during periods when domestic grapes were in short supply, the current regulations in Ontario require Cellared in Canada wines to contain no more than 70% foreign juice. The wines also may be identified as "Product of Canada" and "Vinted in Canada."

By contrast, wines bearing the Vintners' Quality Alliance (VQA) seal must contain only fresh juice from Ontario-grown grapes.

While the regulations governing labeling are clear regarding content allowances, critics claim that the mingling of VQA and Cellared in Canada wines on store shelves leaves consumers unsure of what they're buying. While foreign juice might allow domestic wineries to produce wines that retail at a price competitive with foreign wines, critics claim the wines simply aren't Canadian.

The movement has spawned the group Boycott "Cellared in Canada" Wines on the popular social networking site Facebook. Since the start of 2009, the Facebook group has grown to 890 members, including Tim Hudak, leader of Ontario's opposition Progressive Conservative Party.

Demonstrations outside Ontario liquor stores at the beginning of August also highlighted the issue, which many growers feel rob them of a potential market. With a possible winegrape harvest of 56,773 tonnes (62,581 U.S. tons) this year, well in excess of projected demand, groups such as the 103-member Ontario Vinicultural Association deem the issue a matter of survival.

"Many Ontario grapegrowers will have no market for their grapes again this year, which for some may lead to bankruptcy," OVA president Jim Warren reported in the association's latest statement.

Vincor Canada is among the winemakers incurring the wrath of those who want to see Ontario-made wines contain nothing but Ontario grapes.

Esprit Shiraz
 
Vincor's Jackson-Triggs is donating a portion of sales from its Esprit brand to the Canadian Olympic team, but will not be selling the Shiraz at the games, since it is "Cellared in Canada."
Vincor attracted criticism for its use of Cellared in Canada product as part of its Esprit portfolio of wines, produced in Ontario. Originally launched in 2007, the wines -- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Shiraz -- were designed to mark Vincor's role as official wine supplier to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, in February 2010. Since sales of Esprit wines support Canadian athletes training for the games, critics felt the wines should have been made entirely from domestic juice.

While select bottles of the wine poured at special events and sold at Vancouver International Airport bore the VQA seal, Vincor has since announced that all Esprit wines will now have VQA certification. While the move eliminates Shiraz from the Esprit portfolio, Vincor spokesperson Trevor Heisler said Vincor wanted to put content first. "It was more important to convert everything to 100% VQA than to deliver four categories," he said.

The debate in Ontario is giving rise to similar concerns elsewhere in Canada, though the circumstances are different. In British Columbia, for example, the B.C. Wine Authority requires that B.C. wines use only B.C. grapes. Product of Canada wines aren't addressed by the regulations, and can contain up to 100% foreign juice.

However, sales figures tracked by the government-run B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch don't specify content when it comes to sales of domestic wines. Sales figures for B.C. wines include Product of Canada sales.

Lisa Cameron, executive director of the B.C. Wine Institute (which has a mandate to promote VQA wines and holds the licenses for a chain of VQA wine stores), said regulations in B.C. ensure that wines made from B.C. grapes are labeled as such. Wines made by local wineries from anything less than 100% local grapes are labeled Product of Canada.

"We're not in the same situation Ontario is," Cameron said. "The difference is that the grapegrowers in Ontario sell up to 30% Ontario grapes into Cellared in Canada product. In British Columbia, (our growers) don't; 100% B.C. product gets put into 100% B.C. wine."
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 $570 million
6%
$7,775 million
6%
October 2013 $539 million $7,342 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 $284 million
18%
$1,751 million
13%
October 2013 $240 million $1,556 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 139
6%
226
18%
October 2013 131 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 11.13.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • December 2-4
     
    Vinitech Sifel in Bordeaux
     
  • December 3
     
    Sustainable/Organic Wine Production Seminar
     
  • December 4
     
    North Coast Wine Industry Expo
     
  • December 6-7
     
    Wine Chemistry Workshop in Oregon
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Kluge Saga Continues in Virginia »
 
Not everybody likes Pat Kluge, but she and Moses built a first class winery /...
Reader: Josh Moser
 
Article: Canada Adapts to Kegged Wines »
 
I am a wine agent in Manitoba & there certainly are kegs of cider here....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: What's Your Winery's IP Worth? »
 
If you would like more information on this seminar please visit The Seminar Group's website....
Reader: Danielle Bingham
 
Article: DtC Is Lifeblood of Wineries, Banker Says »
 
Seems like another locical option would be to have more small niche distrbutors. Consolidation of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Tasting Wine From PD-Resistant Grapes »
 
Congratulations Andy! Lots of grapebreeders and southern growers will be looking through the catalogs. i...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Cellar Club Coordinato...
 Dundee, OR
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Customer Service & Rel...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Brand Manager
 Woodland Hills, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Senior Vineyard Manage...
 Rutherford, CA
Vineyards
 Brand Director, Austra...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representative O...
 Sacramento, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Production Forklift Op...
 Yountville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Project Manager
 Santa Maria, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Salesperon
 Bay Head, NJ
Sales and Marketing
 Communications Special...
 St. Helena, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.