The Friday Files: News & Notes From Canada's Wine Scene

This week’s Friday Files contain some business/administrative stories in the Canadian wine scene, all of which is pretty important but perhaps at times a bit dry. But read to the end for some fun wine-related stuff with everyone’s favourite Canadian TV space captain...

First off, the big news last week in the Canadian wine industry - at least as far as B.C. wine is concerned - was the announcement that the B.C. Wine Authority has given its blessing to a new "Sub-Geographical Indication" in the Okanagan Valley. The BCWA will recommend the Minister of Agriculture adopt the Golden Mile Bench sub-appellation later this year.

The Golden Mile Bench will be the first sub-appellation in the Okanagan Valley, an area that spans over 150 kilometres and ranges from cooler-climate to desert-type conditions.

For more on potential B.C. sub-appellations, check out Kurtis Kolt's recent post on the subject. My Wine Canada winery partner Road 13 is among B.C. producers on the Golden Mile Bench.

According to Focus Taiwan, Canada will be stepping up its efforts to get high-quality table wine and icewine to new foreign markets, including Taiwan. The report notes exports of Canadian wine have doubled from 2008 ($20.3 million) to 2012 ($41.2 million).

Anthony Gismondi of the Vancouver Sun grapples with B.C.'s wine laws, wholesale pricing, and getting wine into grocery stores.

Yesterday, Richard Linley was named the new president of the Wine Council of Ontario, an organization that represents VQA wineries in the province, promoting it as a tourist destination. Linley replaces acting president Duncan Gibson.

Now, for something a little spicy: Did you know William Shatner has his own online wine TV show? William Shatner's Brown Bag Wine Tasting follows the legendary Star Trek actor as he tastes wine with various other celebrities, urging them to describe the wine in non-wine terms. It’s actually a fascinating exercise that helps put some of the typical wine-tasting terms in perspective as to how silly they can be...

Shatner’s sit-down in his kitchen with Food Network host Alton Brown (with some bubbly) mines some pretty serious subject matter, but is also plenty of fun. Watch the video here!


Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.

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