The new trilateral trade deal between Canada, the US and Mexico means B.C. wines will no longer have the exclusive right to be sold on grocery store shelves in the province. Effective November 2019, imported wine can also be sold on grocery store shelves in the province.
Up to now BC have been sold in two ways in grocery stores. The “wine on shelf” option means only BC wines can be sold on grocery store shelves. The “store within a store” option allows imported wine to be sold alongside domestic product, but only in separate liquor stores within grocery stores.
The US has been aiming to knock down the “wine on shelf” method for a while now, lodging WTO complaints claiming it gives BC wineries an unfair advantage.
For their part, BC wineries are taking the apparent loss philosophically. In a CBC News report, Miles Prodan, CEO of the BC Wine Institute, said “wine on shelf” sales didn’t add up to a big volume anyway, adding that what the new arrangement will look like in reality will take some time to work out.