Local wine ban woes

Chelsea Powrie

There's a lot of beef between B.C. and Alberta right now, and not the kind with four legs.

Okanagan Valley wineries are feeling caught in the middle after Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's Tuesday announcement that B.C. wines would be banned from being sold in her province.

The announcement was intended to put pressure on B.C.'s provincial government to back off an escalating trade war over the future of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline.

Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, director of sales and marketing with the Encore Vineyards group, said it was unfortunate to get swept up into politics.

"We're working through our industry organizations, we're working with all levels of government to hopefully come to a peaceful end to this boycott," McWatters Bond said.

A lengthy ban could have a personal sting for Encore — one of their wine brands, TIME Winery, provides the official wine of the Calgary Flames.

McWatters Bond said it was hard to speculate, but if the ban were to continue, all they could do was encourage locals to support the industry.

"If we're not able to sell in Alberta, then we need to sell it here, and we hope people will be supportive," she said. "Drink as much B.C. wine as possible!" 


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