Canadian wine producers seek to stride on world stage

The recent celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation included a showcase of its wines under the slogan « Canada on the World Stage ». Wine producers are eager to take advantage of a perceived « cool climate wine trend » to draw attention to their dry table wines which are often eclipsed by the focus on the acclaimed Canadian ice wines. The recent 39th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival highlighted Canada itself following the choice of Italy last year. The challenge ahead discussed during the event was the need to broaden the country brand beyond the acclaim of ice wines.  The main obstacle seems to be the absence of a united marketing front for Canadian wines with a multitude of regional industry groups competing among themselves to push their own brands. In a recent interview with Peter Mitham, Northwest correspondent for the publication Wines & Vines, Donald Ziraldo currently owner of his own self-named winery but co-founder of the game-changing Innskillin brand that gave Canadian ice wine global presence, weighed in on the matter: “Yes, Niagara is very different from the Okanagan, and I think that from a regional perspective they are very distinct and should stay that way, but they must stay under the Canada umbrella…So my bold suggestion is let’s take all the organizations in Ontario, of which we have too many.…You’ve got a number of them in British Columbia. We’ve got Quebec. Put them all together under one umbrella of the Canadian flag.”