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

Rising river prompts road closure in Chilliwack

Fraser expected to continue rise on Monday

Fraser River water levels creeping towards near-record highs

Mission gauge currently reading just under 6 metres but forecasted to rise

VIDEO: Canadian Forces members begin helping out flooded B.C. communities

Three-hundred personnel in B.C. in some off hardest hit cities

FLOOD: 18 homes in Nicomen Island area under evacuation order

Fraser Valley Regional District issues order due to safety concerns

Evacuation alert issued for 19 properties in Kent

No evacuation orders at this time

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

‘Concussion is at the forefront of our thinking’: Rodeo doctor

As in any other contact sport, concussion prevention and treatment efforts continue to evolve

175 evacuation orders lifted as floods recede in Grand Forks

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

Police investigate sexual assault in Fraser Valley

Man grabs woman by shoulders and makes sexual comments

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Most Read