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

Victoria hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of B.C.’s Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

Deer report goes to Oak Bay committee of the whole Tuesday evening

Heritage conservation area, arts and more to be discussed at Feb. 19 meeting

Pedestrian struck, vehicles targeted by thieves in Oak Bay

Police say the snow did not affect call volume

One arrested, weapons, and drugs seized in Sooke bust

During the Feb. 6 raid, police found firearms, ammunition, drugs, and brass knuckles

Unhealthy disagreement sees three First Nations chiefs take government to court

Claim and counter-claim: B.C.’s First Nations health department and administrator end up in court.

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Okanagan ski resort officials displeased with Family Day roll-out

From one peak of the Okanagan to the other, resort officials have raised concerns

Island fossil makes it to the top of the provincial list

Courtenay’s elasmosaur will be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia

B.C. high school robotics team ranked first in the world for programming

The Surrey team was also named tournament finalists at VEX Robotics Competition on Feb. 1

Man shot dead in front of Kamloops hotel may be case of mistaken identity: RCMP

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

Vancouver Island boys high school basketball bragging rights on the line

Oak Bay, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Victoria host Island championships this weekend

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Most Read