April 3rd Wine Chat – All About Market Access in Ontario

The theme for this week’s chat covers all things related to market access for Ontario wineries:

April 3rd (confirmed): Market access, #mywineshop, LCBO strike(?), Grape Growers 50% initiative, wine in corner stores & more.

I figured it might be good to get some background material published so we’re all talking about the same things. Here’s a list and some background info. I will add any other links people think are pertinent.

For those of you that don’t know, here’s how a winery can sell wine to consumers:

1) At the winery door (retail tasting room)
2) Online, through a wine club (their own or another such as winesplash.ca or savvy.ca)
3) In restaurants (known as licensee sales)
4) If they are lucky, the LCBO picks up <20% of the wines produced in Ontario each year. I know - you are saying wait a minute...you forgot number 5), those wine shops in my local grocery store. Alas, yes, there are some private wine kiosks/stores, however the majority of the retail licenses are held by the big wineries that owned and operated stores like 'The Wine Rack' prior to the Free Trade Agreement (their stores were grandfathered, and they, of course, feel no inclination to share their retail licenses with the dozens of wineries that have appeared since and have no access to these licenses). Articles on the Different Initiatives:

For some background reading before tomorrow night’s chat, here’s a few good articles that will be updated on the fly.

Ontario wines fight for market share at home.

Possible LCBO Strike?

Ontario to see beer, spirits in 10 grocery stores


Challenges Ahead for VQA Wines

Rick Van Sickle on “Boneheaded Plan”

Legal Battle Could End LCBO

Constitutional Challenge

Just Added April 3: Tim Hudak vs the LCBO

So have a read, then join us to chat Wednesday April 3rd at 10PM!

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