A Love Letter of Unprecedented Opportunities - Carl's Wine Club

A Love Letter of Unprecedented Opportunities

Dear Canadian Wine Lovers,

In the spirit of fostering open dialogue about the future of our beloved Canadian wine industry, I'd like to share my reflections on Michael Kullman's recent piece, "A Love Letter of Hard Truths."

While I acknowledge the urgency and validity of Kullman's concerns regarding the impending BC grape shortage, I find myself navigating a different perspective, particularly when it comes to the potential of a Pan-Canadian solution.

First and foremost, Kullman's love letter echoes from a place of security, a place of not having to pay the bills for a winery next month, an assurance that might not be shared by all players in the industry.

Small wineries and wine growers, in particular, face the imminent challenge of survival. It's a race against time, and for them, the need for swift and pragmatic decisions is paramount.

The discussion around importing grapes from Washington State raises pertinent questions, and I concur with Kullman's reservations on the feasibility and major pitfalls or future implications of such a move. However, my viewpoint diverges when considering the Ontario and Pan-Canadian route. Carl’s Wine Club has embraced a Pan-Canadian approach since its inception, and it's embedded in our brand promise.

A Pan-Canadian collaboration, when executed with thought and storytelling, has the potential to resonate deeply with Canadian wine drinkers.

Winemakers from ON and BC holding each others' bottles.

Above: Winemakers Rob Hammersley (Black Market Wine Co, Kaleden, BC) and Fred Di Profio (Bella Terra Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON) hold each others' wines at a Carl's Wine Club member reunion in June 2022.

Imagine the cross-promotion possibilities, where unique blends from our favourite producers on each side of the country come to life. These collaborations not only add substance to our industry but also unveil rich narratives waiting to be shared.

Beyond the allure of story-driven collaborations, there's a pragmatic aspect to supporting a Pan-Canadian approach.

It keeps the financial benefits within our own borders, directly impacting the pockets of our growers and winemaking families, and the ecosystem of other businesses that revolve around wineries, rather than sending funds south of the border. This, I believe, is a crucial building block for a grander vision – the establishment of true VQA Canada.

Envision a ‘truth in labelling’ body that unifies our winemaking practices under a national umbrella, allowing for the creation of "Vin de Pays" akin to the traditions in old-world countries. And since we are creating such a body in 2024, we have the luxury of making it a transparent body, an innovative solution, perhaps the most transparent and innovative in the world?

Such an initiative not only strengthens our industry but also provides a unified voice against provincial restrictions. These restrictions have long been a thorn in the side of our producers, hindering their ability to showcase and sell their wines across the nation.

With all this in mind, I propose that a Pan-Canadian vision can be a beacon of hope for our wine industry.

It not only preserves our commitment to quality but also offers a pathway towards a more united, resilient, and globally significant Canadian wine landscape.

Here's to embracing a future where our Canadian wineries shine together!


PS Are you joining us at the 'can't miss' Canadian wine event of 2024? The Pan-Canadian Masterclass 2.0 is being held June 15 in Oliver, BC at Hester Creek Estate Winery. Click here for the details and pre-release tickets - we expect it will sell out quickly once it is officially released.

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