BC Wine Institute won't give up Kamloops fight

By Tanya Cronin
June 9, 2016 - 5:18pm Updated: June 9, 2016 - 6:09pm

KAMLOOPS — The controversy surrounding Kamloops City Council's decision to prohibit wine sales at Save-On-Foods, is growing.  

The BC Wine Institute is calling on City Council, to reconsider not to allowing a development variance for the Summit Drive Save-On-Foods. The Wine Institute holds 21 VQA licenses throughout the province, including the one held by Overwaitea, after its purchase last year of Discover Wines. Miles Prodan says there's a tremendous amount of misinformation and fear mongering.        

"We're not trying to take anything away from the existing private liquor stores, we're not trying to have our shelves filled with anything other than 100% BC VQA, there's room for everybody, there's consumers that love 100% local wine and we want to give them the opportunity to get it," says Prodan, President & CEO, BC Wine Institute.

Prodan says recent discussion that allowing BC Wine in grocery stores violates International Trade Agreements, doesn't make sense. Council's decision has left Kamloops wineries feeling sour as well. Trish Morelli, Executive Director of Kamloops Wineries Association says it's an existing license, and prohibiting it has a big impact on local wineries.

"We saw this as a simple variance application to move a VQA store license from one location to another and it's turned into this political battle field, this much bigger issue between the private sectors and the government, and for us as local wineries, those VQA licenses are very important to us, that's a focused environment where we can showcase and promote our wines, and not being able to do that in Kamloops is a real travesty," says Trish Morelli,  Executive Director, Kamloops Wineries Association

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