B.C. government announces April will be ‘B.C. wine month’

FILE - B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham has declared April will be 'B.C. wine month,' which comes alongside a host of government promotions and initiatives. Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press

As the B.C. Liberals fired at the government over the dispute with Alberta and its harm to B.C.’s wine industry in question period on Wednesday, the provincial agriculture minister assured that help is on the way.

“I’d like to make an announcement to this chamber. I’d like to proclaim April, B.C. wine month,” said Minister Lana Popham.

Popham said the government is partnering with the wine industry to promote their product, and to make more wine available on liquor store shelves from smaller producers.

READ MORE: B.C. urges wine drinkers to buy local amid Alberta boycott

“We’re making more room on the shelves for small-lot wineries,” she added.

“We’re gonna be launching a campaign called ‘Buy B.C., Eat Drink Local’ in May, where all craft alcohol producers will be partnering with our agriculture industry.”

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The government is also combating Alberta’s wine ban with more in-store B.C. wine tastings, and more funding to market B.C. VQA wines to new international markets.

READ MORE: Seattle columnist urges Americans to side with B.C. in wine war with Alberta

A release from the B.C. government says to date, the top markets for B.C. wine have been China at 54 per cent, Taiwan at 23 per cent and the United States at 11 per cent.

No word yet on what the entire campaign will cost.

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