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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Jason Ocenas, manager of Township 7 Winery

Just Posted

Politicians want Surrey’s Civic Distinction Awards done ‘virtually,’ not postponed

City staff recommended they be put off to the fall of 2021 because of the pandemic

Illegal suite a concern for Cloverdale man

Despite a City-issued stop-work order, construction continues

Surrey Mounties need help to find missing woman

Hasheena Mundie, 25, was last seen at about 4:20 pm on August 4, in the 16700-block of 61 Avenue

Volunteers counted 644 homeless people in Surrey over 24 hours in March

Data collected helps governments and community agencies help the homeless

Surrey councillor calls for ward system

‘Surrey is ripe for a ward system now,’ Councillor Doug Elford says

BREAKING: Reported stabbing in Harrison Hot Springs

Police chase ran through Agassiz, witnesses say

B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch first round bye with win

Bandits defeat Guelph 84-70, advance to the CEBL semifinals on Saturday

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Maple Ridge firefighting camp empowers young women

Camp Ignite to take place at Justice Institute on Sunday, Aug. 9

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Most Read