It has been a very long time since I have blogged. I no longer feel guilt for that. Turns out I can’t do it all. Today was the kind of day that changed that. I need to get something out there–more of a vent, not a rant.
I have spent so many of my waking hours since January discussing, fretting, planning. conferencing and lamenting the new BC liquor laws that are just 20 days from enactment. I’m sick of it all. Things are going to happen on April 1st and all of us in the wine, beer and spirits industries are going to sit back and watch events unfold. That being said…
The last 24 hours have been very telling for me.
Yesterday a case of wine arrived from Marquis Wine Cellars filled with wine I had purchased from fellow wineries who poured at the in-person #BCWineChat two weeks ago. Right to my doorstep, hand-picked by a knowledgable person from the store with guidance from me. The staff at Marquis Wine Cellars are some of the best in BC. They know everything there is to know about what’s on their shelves. Marquis Wine Cellars is a Private Wine Store.
I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with BC Winery Owners at a British Columbia Wine Institute meeting. We discussed the industry’s strategic plan for 2015 and reviewed, surprise surprise, some of the changes that will be forthcoming in our industry starting in April. Every person in that room contributes to this province’s economy–over $40 to BC’s economy for every $1 of BC wine sold in the province. These people are my friends. My best friends. And I want them all to thrive and succeed.
Today at lunch (at our own Miradoro Restaurant) I met with four passionate VQA Store Owners. They have struggled to get traction for years and now that they have built up loyal customers they feel the ground shifting beneath them. There are no bigger advocates for BC wine than these store owners. They send customers straight to the winery doors. They promote our concerts, events, new releases and the uniqueness that is found within each BC winery. They do it because they love BC Wine and believe in what we do.
After lunch I realized I was hosting #BCWineChat tonight but am out of BC bubbly (the theme) and yes, I know, how can that be? Don’t I just drink all day long? Anyway, a quick stop in at Desert Country Liquor Store a Licensed Retail Store (LRS) and I remedied my situation. Not only does this store carry some of the best microbrews in BC but they also carry a massive selection of BC and local Oliver/Osoyoos wines. $34 later I had a bottle of Brut Rosé from Blue Mountain in my hand (and some sake!) and was on my way to…
…pick up my case of wine from the Oliver Government Liquor Store (GLS). I had purchased a case of wine at the on site store during the Vancouver International Wine Festival a couple of weeks back. Greatest service ever– buy on site and they ship to your local store anywhere in the province for free. One case, filled with amazing Imported Wine from all over the world.
In 24 hours I interacted with, purchased from or supported every wine channel in BC and bought BC wine, imported wine and sake. What does this prove? Certainly it proves I am well on my way to having a drinking problem, but the other thing it proves is that we need EVERY channel in BC to be strong. They must survive–no, thrive–if we are going to be successful. We cannot afford to sacrifice anyone. We all have too much riding on these channels, these wineries and these restaurants. And so does the BC government. If we all grow, they grow.
Unlike the government’s mandate with these changes to “modernize but stay revenue neutral” I say strive for revenue enhancement. I want the government to make more money because that means that we all are making more money.
It means we are not just carving up the pie so some win and some lose. It means we are making the pie bigger. That’s the trick, folks. It’s not about you getting one thing and this guy over there getting a different thing. It’s about making the pie bigger.
And do you know where I did not visit today? A grocery store. But I leave that for another blog, and for my husband, who does the shopping.
Well said Sandra, our industry is lucky to have you.
Watching as an outsider now, the roller coaster the industry is on is one I would board with trepidation. Well Written.
Well written Sandra. We are lucky to have you in our industry.
Right on! Well ranted. I have nothing invested in a winery or store and yet I am part of the industry. I am concerned that this whole shift is going to tip the balance away, undoing the years it has taken to build the industry to where it is today. Having worked at a VQA store, it’s nice to hear that some wineries appreciate the work that goes on there, hamstrung with having the wines but without the beautiful vineyard views. And I agree with you on the work that goes on in all of those retail locations – Marquis in particular does an excellent job.
I haven’t read all of the changes yet – only hearing second hand what is included. Is this going to be an unknown, wait-and-see scenario like Free Trade was? Or is this much more calculated and less dependant on consumer reaction?
Great post Sandra. Mind if I re-blog it?
I think it’s wait and see. Re blog away
Reblogged this on Wine Country BC and commented:
If you buy wine in BC, please read this.
Sandra – So sorry I couldn’t make it to the meeting.. I LOVE your succinct way – and your support!
Blog on sister!
I missed you! I hope to see you at the next one in the summer
Appreciate you bloggiing this