British Columbia
February 24, 2010

British Columbia Wines-Canada’s Best Kept Secret

British Columbia Wines-Canada’s Best Kept Secret

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games has brought it’s host city Vancouver, British Columbia into millions of homes worldwide.  Their advertising campaign “Discover BC” is prevalent in the media and the dazzling scenery alone is enough to make you want to jump online and book your flight.  What most Americans don’t know is that British Columbia is home to two of Canada’s largest wine regions-the Okanagan Valley and Victoria Island.  Though Canada is know to be the top producer of ice wine there are 192 wineries in the region many of which are creating high quality, award winning wines of many varieties.  Go into any liquor store here in the states though and you would be hard pressed to find any British Columbian wines represented.  Presently only 5% of BC wines are exported.  This is mainly because the majority of the wines are consumed by Canadians but there are also extensive restrictions with customs and duty regulations which raise the cost of the wines significantly.  As a traveler entering the US from Canada you are allowed only two bottles of wine duty free.  Anything above that and you are subject to taxes and duties that can add up to 100% of what you originally paid.  The majority of wineries will not even ship outside of Canada even if you were willing to pay the high price that shipping across the border would cost.  I was unaware of the complexity of the wine laws and tax structure placed on BC wines and find it frustrating that the wines I tried on my recent trip are unavailable to me to enjoy again without making another trip.  With the wine consumption in the U.S. rising each year despite a weak economy it would be in the best interest of Canada to revamp these restrictions and make it easier for these wineries to expand their business and grow their consumer base.  The world should not only be able to discover BC but discover the wonderful world of BC wines as well!vancouver4

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