British Columbia’s wine industry is taking an axiom to heart: There’s no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.
With an estimated economic impact of $2.8 billion, the BC wine and grape industry is alive and well. The statistic offers some perspective to the Alberta premier’s decision to stop buying BC wines worth $160 million annually. The blockade responds to the BC government trying to restrict increases in bitumen shipments from Alberta until more studies are conducted on how to clean up potential spills of oilsands bitumen. Alberta’s premier Rachel Notley is frustrated over delays on expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
Instead of reacting with opposition, a group of BC wineries is embracing the edibles that bring the two provinces together. Christine Coletta, owner of Okanagan Crush Pad based in Summerland, is calling for March 2018 BC Wine Month while encouraging citizens to purchase Alberta products. She’s helping to organize a Farm Friends food-and-wine event at Edible Canada, a restaurant on Granville Island, on February 22. Proceeds from the $55 tickets will go to the BC Hospitality Foundation.
Participating wineries include: 50th Parallel Estate Winery, Culmina Family Estate Winery, Haywire, Liquidity, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Poplar Grove Winery and Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Principals of the wineries will be on hand to showcase their wines. Most importantly, their wines will be showcased along with Alberta beef and bison.
“We want everyone to see that we are better together,” says Coletta. “We do not want to do anything that could hurt farmers or small family businesses, no matter where they live. Working side by side to find solutions is ideal over political grand standing. There are so many links and synergies between the two provinces to remember and embrace.”
For a nation-wide perspective, see the Economic Impact of the Wine and Grape Industry in Canada 2015.