The production and sale of both quality and safe products is a key goal for Canadian wine producers. The CVA and its members strive to support continual improvement in both products and processes to ensure the highest level of wine quality and wine safety.

Safe Winemaking Program

With support from the federal government, the CVA been working on the development of a voluntary comprehensive Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) – based safe winemaking program for the wine industry. This toolkit is a systematic preventive approach to food safety that seeks to reduce and eliminate physical, chemical, and biological hazards. The system is used at all stages of wine production (packaging, distribution, etc.) with regular CVA workshops to support industry implementation.

The proactive approach taken by the CVA is line with Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspection modernization initiative which determines the inherent risk associated with the regulated importer/processor/winery and determines the conditions of the licensing/registration and the level of oversight based on risk. One of the license conditions is that the winery has a preventative control plan in place, which is in line with the CVA’s Safe Winemaking Program.

The program will launch in late April, so stay tuned for more details.

Allergen Labelling

INITIATIVES Guidance for Fining of Wine and Allergen Labelling July 2012 (PDF 1.5MB)

Food allergies affect an estimated 3-4% of Canadian adults. Consumers depend on the information provided on the label to avoid allergen, gluten sources and added sulphites in pre-packaged food.

The CVA supports measures which provide consumers with meaningful information based on sound scientific information about the beverages they purchase. In concert with its members, federal officials and international wine experts, the CVA has completed a “Best Fining Practice Guidance for Wine” to meet federal allergen labelling requirements, while ensuring that there are no residual proteins in wine. Our efforts succeeded in exempting all wines sold in Canada with a vintage date of 2011 or earlier from the new allergen labeling requirements.

All producers with non-vintage dated wines and wines with a vintage date of 2012 and later, must ensure that these wines sold on August 4, 2012, and thereafter are in compliance with the new Canada Allergen Labelling Regulations.

Counterfeit Products

As is the case with so many high quality and marquee products, counterfeit wine products have escalated around the world. The presence of these products not only costs Canadian vintners in financial terms but risks consumer confusion and loyalty, as well as posing health and safety risks.

Icewine

The challenges of assuring genuine Icewine production include: strict regulations to protect product authenticity; hanging the grapes until harvest; harvest temperatures below -8C; and harvesting and pressing the grapes in a continuous process while they remain naturally frozen.

To stop the growth in counterfeit Icewine the CVA has been working to define Icewine in federal law as wine exclusively made from grapes naturally frozen on the vine, to enhance Canada’s reputation and brand for quality Icewine and facilitate consumer protection and trade of Icewine both in Canada and around the world.

The CVA has been working towards an Icewine definition/standard to protect the integrity of genuine Icewine in domestic and international markets by supporting the following:

  • Canadian General Standards Board (1996)
  • VQA Ontario (1999 – updated 2006)
  • Austria, Canada and Germany Wine Industry Association Agreement (2000)
  • OIV (2003)
  • Canada-EU Wine and Spirits Agreement (2003)
  • World Wine Trade Group Labelling Agreement (2007)
  • Nova Scotia Wine Farm Policy (2007)
  • British Columbia Wine of Marked Quality Regulation (2008)
  • Canadian Trade Mark for “Icewine” (2011)