That's right. Canada has wine. Gallons of the stuff. And not just Inniskillin Ice Wine found at better boutique wine shops - like Duty Free at JFK. I'm talking some amazing Cabs, Pinots, Zweigelts, Merlots, and Blaufrankischs that rival the best of the US west, Germany and Austria.
Liz and I will be taking our annual pilgrimage to British Columbia in a couple of weeks to visit her family - they had the good sense of mind to move to Vancouver and Victoria far away from the frigid oil fields of Calgary. We'll be spending two days on Vancouver Island - visiting wineries up and down the west coast near Duncan, Salt Spring Island and Saturna Island. The latter half of the week we'll spend in the Okanagan Valley just four hours east of Vancouver and considered to be the Napa of the North.
I've been talking to friends in the biz about becoming an importer of Canadian wines. I've got to figure out why there's no visibility to these great wines in the US. Nobody knows about them other than that darned Ice Wine. Try to find a bottle of Southbrook Vineyard's Poetica Label Cab-Merlot from Niagara-on-the-Lake or Venturi-Schulze's Brandenberg No.3 from Vancouver Island and you'll be quick out of luck. It will be a fact-finding mission to see (a) why aren't these world-class wineries selling in the states and (b) how can we get them into the restaurants and shops in NYC?
Does anyone have experience with Canadian wines or importing in general? Let's chat.
- J F Grossen, Chief Executive Oenophile