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Love Affair with BC Wine

I can still remember when our love affair with BC wine began. It was during my wife's bridal shower, a friend of ours brought over a bottle of Tinhorn Creeks' Pinot Gris as a gift. My wife who wasn't much of a wine drinker agreed to have a glass as a courtesy. Well, she loved it and wanted more of it. At the time it wasn't difficult to get, most of our local liquor stores or wine shops carried it and we were pretty much able to buy it anytime we wanted.

Later that summer on our honeymoon, we happened to be out for dinner one night and were looking for a bottle of wine to have with our meal. There was no Tinhorn Creek on the wine list, but they did have a 2006 Kettle Valley Pinot Gris, so we decided to give that a try. Simply said we were blown away.

When we got back home after our trip, I went out in search of this wine and discovered that it simply wasn't available in Calgary. Nobody carried it. At the time I didn't give it much thought.

In 2011 we made our first trip out to Kelowna. While we were there we decided to take a wine tour. On our tour, we visited 3 different wineries and took careful notes of the wines we tasted so that we could look for them back home.

Once we returned home and started looking for these wines we started to notice a trend. Wines from the larger more established wineries were readily available, but even then only certain varieties. Wines from the smaller boutique wineries were almost impossible to come by here in Calgary.

One particular day I struck up a conversation with the manager at a local wine shop, I asked about the lack of availability of certain BC wines. He suggested that I look at ordering it online direct from the winery.

However, I soon discovered that not all wineries would ship to Alberta. Confused as to why I began doing research online and it was then that I discovered the barriers that exist in shipping wine across provinces.

To get around those barriers, anytime we or friends of ours traveled to the Okanagan, we simply stocked up while we there. It wasn't uncommon to travel from Kelowna to Calgary with up to 6 cases of wine in the car.

The reality is that I can't always be traveling to the Okanagan to stock up BC wine. More and more wineries are now willing to ship to Alberta, but it's not always economically feasible to buy our favourite BC wine online.

I want to be able to walk into my local wine shop and buy our favourite BC wine when we want it. We want our love affair to continue on for years to come

-Lesley Brown

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