The BC Government issued a press release today indicating that its model for the sale of BC wine on regular supermarket shelves will apply to any wine made from 100% BC grapes, rather than be limited to VQA products. This model is scheduled for introduction on April 1st, 2015. The release indicates that existing VQA stores and independent wine stores may relocate to supermarkets, although there are likely to be no takers on the latter offer since a condition is that they limit sales to BC wines (IWS can currently sell all types of wine). Apparently, a \”limited number\” of new licenses will also be issued for supermarket sales.
The press release does not mention how the above model complies with Canada\’s international trade obligations. It is my view that this model is not compliant with NAFTA, GATT or the EU-Canada Agreement on wine sales.