Schism in British Columbia (November 16, 2000)
The Canadian appellation - Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) -
as observed by Ontario's wineries is coming in for much criticism
in British Columbia. So much so that a significant number of the
smaller wineries are refusing to join. It's not just the cost
of membership ($2000); some dissident wineries don't like submitting
their products to an independent panel for certification of authenticity
and typicity, while others object to the quality of the wines
that the panel is passing.
The two leading hold-outs from VQA are Blue Mountain Vineyards
and Domaine de Combret, both of whom make quality wines which
have be awarded gold medals in competitions at home and in Europe.
The breakaway wineries currently number twenty-eight and they
have formed their own group - The Association of British Columbia
Winegrowers. Their brochure, complete with map, is tauntingly
entitled "The hidden Wineries of British Columbia."
"All our members," it reads, "are dedicated to
producing wines made only from British Columbia grapes or fruit.
We have only one product - 100 per cent British Columbia wine."
If that doesn't sound like a manifesto, I don't know what does.
Check them out on www.winegrowers.bc.ca.