Here's a short roundup of summer news, most of it good:
LCLB okays Custom Crush Operations. The BC LCLB has sent out an advisory to wineries in the province that basically approves "custom crush" operations so long as they are structured properly. As readers may know, there was a fair amount of media coverage of this issue recently (particularly in the Globe and Mail). Here is a copy of the release (PDF): LCLB Approves Custom Crush. This is good news and, in my view, is a correct interpretation of the existing law in British Columbia on this issue.
Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton in 2013. The North American Wine Bloggers Conference has announced that it will hold its 2013 conference in Penticton which is good news for the BC wine industry. They normally don't announce conferences 2 years in advance but they are obviously aware of the headaches in dealing with BC's outdated wine laws since they stated that the long advance notice was partly needed to enable "local area supporters extra time to prepare for our invasion, such as making transportation easier for our attendees and making imports of wine possible for our sponsors". Is it too much to hope that by 2013, we might have more sensible wine import laws? Otherwise, we may have thousands of bloggers broadcasting how arcane our system is.
Privatization in the News Again. A revised privatization initiative (supported by Costco) in Washington state has gained enough support to make it on to ballots in November. Also in Pennsylvania (which has government liquor stores similar to BC), the state is debating whether to get out of the liquor business entirely.
House of Commons Motion to Reform Wine Shipping Laws Reintroduced. Ron Cannan, MP for Kelowna Lake Country, has reintroduced his federal House of Commons motion which supports the reform of Canada's interprovincial wine shipping laws. These laws currently make it illegal for wineries to ship direct to consumers that are outside their own province.