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Cellared in Canada Controversy Continues

It appears that the Cellared in Canada controversy is continuing. Two recent articles by Jancis Robinson on her blog (From Bottom to Top – Canadian Wines and Canadian ripples – the response) have brought the subject into the spotlight once again and include a response from Vincor (one of the major producers of these wines). You can read and judge for yourselves on the consumer and business issues. I was quoted in the latter article on Canadian labeling laws (see my previous article: Cellared in Canada in the News Again) where I state my view that the current labeling of CIC wines is likely not compliant with the provisions of current Canadian federal law. On that issue, I\’ll make one further comment.

The Vincor response to Jancis Robinson\’s article states as follows:

The designation Cellared in Canada is federally regulated by the Canadian Standards Board .The words \’Cellared in Canada from Imported and Domestic Wines\’ is required to be on every product of that distinction. For 14 years we have been using this terminology with no confusion in the marketplace.

I don\’t agree with these statements. The Canadian Standards Board is a voluntary standards association. It is not a federal regulatory body and has no force of law behind it at all. Canadian federal law is contained in the statutes and regulations of Canada as passed by Canada\’s Parliament. Voluntary industry groups cannot create federal law nor create any requirements to label products in accordance with the standards that they create.  There is no legal requirement that CIC product be labeled in the manner described – the CIC wording is simply the \’standard\’ that the voluntary industry group came up with. In terms of what is legally required, current Canadian federal law requires a country of origin declaration on all wine sold in Canada as I explained in my previous article. I don\’t see how the current wording can be interpreted to comply with that law.

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