Fraser Valley wineries respond to Alberta premier’s sour grapes

Winery operators shocked to be caught in the middle of pipeline dispute

Langley wineries are watching closely to see how Alberta premier’s Rachel Notley’s sour grapes will play out for their industry.

This week Notley announced that her province would stop importing B.C. wines after the NDP government announced a decision to halt progress on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The ban could cost the B.C. industry as much as $17 million.

Backyard Vineyards owner Michelle Yang got the unsettling news on Tuesday that the Alberta Premier was trying to ban B.C. wines from her province.

Backyard Vineyards, at 3033 232 St., has enjoyed growing success, delivering award-winning wines that are now available at select grocery stores.

Yang said she spoke with her wine distributor in Alberta, but they were unsure of what exactly is happening there with B.C. wines.

“We are quite anxious. We do have wine in Alberta and we don’t know if they will pull our stock and send it back? Right now, no action is being taken so we will have to wait and see.”

Yang said their focus is mainly on B.C. wine drinkers, but she does wonder why the wine industry was targeted.

“Why are we being dragged into a political conflict,” she asked.

In the meantime, Backyards’ wine maker James Cambridge is busy bottling this year’s pinot gris, and it’s even better tasting than last year, said Yang.

Jason Ocenas, manager of Township 7 Winery in Vineyards, said they were surprised to be caught in the middle of a dispute over pipelines.

“It’s still too early to know if this is really going to happen and if so, for how long, to see if it impacts us. But if this really is going to be a trade war, it will hurt B.C. wines,” said Ocenas.

Watching this political power struggle play out is ‘crazy,’ he said.

READ HERE: B.C. Premier Responds

“We are in the same country, we are supposed to be united. I can see having trade disputes with other countries, maybe, but from province to province? And then I hear Alberta might ban B.C. beer next. How ridiculous. Do we then cancel Alberta beef?”

To add a bit of levity to the situation, Ocenas suggests that there should be a pipeline of wine flowing from province to province.

“We could ship wine via a pipeline,” he joked. “Nobody would dispute that.”

As for Township 7, which has a winery and a vineyard both in Langley and in Naramata and has served their wine to the Queen of England, it will remain business as usual.

“I actually had a guy in yesterday (Tuesday) who specifically came in to buy half a case of our wine before he heads back to Alberta,” he said.

Oceans said British Columbians are loyal to this province’s wines.

“It’s a good thing B.C. people love B.C. wine. We are a little winery with great customers.”

 

Jason Ocenas, manager of Township 7 Winery

Just Posted

Metchosin moves to regulate short-term vacation rentals

Airbnb operators could be required to have a business licence

Sooke mom threatens legal action against sunscreen company

Caleb Jordan, 6, was covered in blisters 20 minutes after using Banana Boat sunscreen

Mighty garage sale returns to Metchosin

Find everything from household goods to instruments

Victoria man arrested for sexual assault on BC Transit bus

Incident took place downtown, in broad daylight in front of fellow passengers

New reservation system in place at Island View Beach campsite

CRD launches new system for campers at the park

VIDEO: Tide pool school draws a crowd to explore seaside in Oak Bay

Friends of Uplands Park hosted the inter-tidal exploration at Cattle Point on… Continue reading

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 22

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Most Read