10/6/2017 – St. Helena, CA—As part of an ongoing effort to improve trade relations with Canada, members and staff of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), along with a representative of the California Wine Institute, met this week in Ottawa with Canadian trade officials and members of the Canadian Parliament. Discussions focused on changes to Canadian laws to create fair trade access for Napa Valley wines and greater choice for Canadian wine consumers.
The NVV delegation made the visit at the invitation of Canadian officials, following meetings in Napa Valley earlier this year. Renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have created an opening for the NVV and other wine regions to address practices that discriminate against wines made outside of Canada. For example, only Canadian wines can be sold in grocery stores in British Columbia and tax laws at the federal level and in other provinces favor 100 percent Canadian wines over wines produced outside the country.
Canada is the strongest single international market for California wines and its trade policies impact the importation and sale of Napa Valley wines. An estimated 200 NVV member wineries sold wine to Canada in 2015, making up a significant part of the reported $431 million worth of California wines exported to Canada that year.
“The NVV greatly appreciates the time that all the officials, members of Parliament and their staff gave us this week,” said Emma Swain, CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery and immediate past chair of the NVV Board of Directors. “These meetings helped us to recognize that we have many goals in common and there are opportunities to work together to achieve them.”
While in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the NVV delegation also hosted a wine education reception for more than 50 members of the Canadian Parliament and U.S. Embassy and Canadian Parliament staff. Other NVV activities in Canada this week included trade and consumer tastings of Napa Valley wines in Toronto and meetings in Toronto and Montreal with Canadian regulatory bodies.
About the Napa Valley Vintners The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 530 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at napavintners.com