Okanagan wine industry celebrates end of Alberta boycott

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The owner of St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery in Kelowna is celebrating the end of Alberta’s boycott of B.C. wine.

Leo Gebert said about 10 per cent of his wine is shipped to Alberta and any continuation of the ban could have crippled his business.

“We did run out of product [in Alberta] and I think one of the main reason is lots of our support over there, they went right to the stores and probably bought off whatever was around,” he said.

A Calgary family visited the winery Friday.

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Jasmine Skirten said she is a big supporter of Okanagan wine and is glad the ban is over.

“I thought it was mildly inappropriate obviously,” she said.

On Thursday, the B.C. premier announced his government will ask the courts if it has the authority to restrict increased shipments of diluted bitumen through the province.

“It is intended to have cooler heads prevail. We believe that the rule of law in important in this country, we believe the rule of law is paramount to the people of British Columbia,” said John Horgan.

“I am suspending Alberta’s retaliatory measures,” Notley responded.

The BC Wine Institute said during the first week of Alberta’s two week ban the wine industry in B.C. took a one million dollar hit.

Becoming pawns in provincial pipeline politics left a foul taste in its mouth.

President and CEO Miles Prodan said the institute is still considering a constitutional challenge of inter provincial trade restrictions.

“We’re still going to look at our options, we think it is unconstitutional that a province can restrict the flow of a Canadian product just based on where it’s coming from,” he said.

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Okanagan winery owners said they are grateful to get out of the cross hairs.

“Everybody knows it was a political game, the whole thing,” Gebert said.