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So far CVA has created 37 blog entries.

#CorkTheTax Coalition bolstered by strong support of concerned Canadians

TORONTO, June 22, 2017 – Beer Canada, Restaurants Canada, Spirits Canada and the Canadian Vintners Association are grateful for the overwhelming support they and their customers received from Canadians in response to the federal government’s move to increase alcohol excise taxes every year in perpetuity.

“We launched to raise awareness about the impact of these ever-increasing taxes on a broad swath of small businesses and the pocket books of consumers,” said Luke Harford, President of Beer Canada. “Canadians really responded.”

“We are emboldened by the strong stand taken by the Senate of Canada to introduce amendments to address the undemocratic nature of the escalator clauses in the budget bill,” said Joyce Reynolds, Restaurants Canada’s Executive Vice-President, Government Affairs. “They quite rightfully called out the dangerous precedent of automatically increasing taxes without parliamentary oversight and scrutiny. We also salute Members of Parliament who understood the inequity of the escalator tax and spoke out for our industries on this issue.”

“We, of course, are disappointed that the House of Commons chose not to repeal the escalator clauses as recommended by the Senate,” said Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of Vintners Canada. “But we haven’t given up the fight.  We will continue to engage Canadians and our industries to convince government to remove these undemocratic, automatic tax increases in next year’s budget.”

“We aren’t going away,” said Jan Westcott, President of Spirits Canada. “The cumulative impact of annual increases, with provincial mark-ups and sales taxes on top, will be too damaging to our industries, our businesses, employees and customers.  Thousands of ordinary, hard-working, middle-class Canadians will be negatively impacted by these tax hikes. We remain open to working with Finance Minister Morneau and members from all parties to ensure our Canadian industries […]

David Wilson Elected CVA Chair

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, June 22, 2017 – The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is pleased to announce the election of David Wilson as Chair of the Association. Mr. Wilson is Vice President, Finance and Business Development at Mark Anthony Group based in British Columbia. He replaces Tony Stewart, Proprietor, Quails’ Gate Winery in British Columbia who chaired the CVA for five years.

Mr. Stewart has been an active member of the CVA Board and a key member of the CVA Executive Committee for many years and will continue to sit on executive as past chair.  “With many years of practical management experience touching on most aspects of the wine and retail industry, we are delighted that someone with such experience and industry knowledge as David has agreed to lead our Board of Directors,” said Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO.

Other elections to the CVA Board include:

  • Tony Holler, Poplar Grove Winery (British Columbia)
  • Paul Speck, Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery (Ontario)

CVA would like to thank outgoing directors Caroline Granger (The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards & Estate Winery in Ontario) and David Paterson (Tantalus Vineyards in British Columbia) for their contribution.

For a complete CVA Board list, click here.

Generational wine-making families accorded 2017 Canadian Wine Industry Awards

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, June 21, 2017 – The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is delighted to announce the 2017 Canadian Wine Industry Awards winners. These awards recognize the success, leadership and outstanding commitment in Canada’s grape wine industry and the individuals, organizations and businesses that have gone above and beyond in their contribution to Canada’s wine industry.

 This year, a theme that emerged in many of the several outstanding nominees which were received was that of family, with so many wineries being generational businesses. The recipient of this year’s Award of Distinction, which is regarded as the highest form of peer recognition within the Canadian wine industry, is the Schmidt family, of the Niagara Peninsula. Lloyd Schmidt played a critical role in vinifera vines expanding in Canada, sourcing some of the best cuttings from nurseries from around the world, and importing and selling them in Canada.

Sons Allan and Brian Schmidt head up Vineland Estates Winery, one of the pioneering wineries promoting winery tourism in Niagara. Under their leadership, Vineland has expanded the reach of Canadian wines, with Vineland’s vintages being sold in countries as far away as Russia, China, Australia, Japan, as well as much of Europe. The brothers have both made an incredible contribution to the Ontario wine community, having given up considerable time to advance the Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario, the Canadian Vintners Association, the Wine Council of Ontario, the CCOVI at Brock University and the Niagara Wine Festival.

Father Lloyd and sons Allan and Brian attended the industry gala in Niagara-on-the-Lake to receive their joint award. Lloyd […]

Canada’s National Winery Directory celebrates its First Anniversary




OTTAWA, ON – September 22, 2016 – One year since its launch, the Canadian Vintners Association and BlackSquare Inc. celebrate the success of the online directory The comprehensive directory catalogues over 650 wineries, cideries and meaderies in Canada in an easy-to-use, searchable and visually compelling format.

The resource was created as a joint initiative between the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) and BlackSquare Inc., who identified the need for an inclusive Canadian wine industry resource. Since the website went live in September 2015, it has had over 46,000 page views from over 7,000 users, with Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary being home to the top Canadian users. International users comprise almost 30% of users, reflective of the growing global interest in Canadian wine and accolades for wine tourism in Canada.

“We’re always looking at new and innovative ways to increase consumer awareness of Canadian wine,” said Dan Paszkowski, CVA President and CEO. “ is a fantastic way to connect Canadian and international audiences with Canada’s world-class, cool climate wine and wine regions.”

The online directory provides winery contact information, as well as information on touring, tasting, visitor facilities and wine clubs. has organized wineries by province and sub-region, making it a valuable tool for travellers, day trippers and wine enthusiasts alike.

“We are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve had on,” said David Gluzman, President of BlackSquare Inc. “With the number of Canadian wineries having doubled in the last decade, there was, without a doubt, a need for a resource like this to support the rapidly-growing industry.”

Initially created with the intent to help raise the public profile of the Canadian wine industry and stimulate winery tourism, […]

CVA Welcomes International Wine Conferences to Canada

Three prominent conferences with a focus on the global wine industry are to be held in Ottawa this Fall. Taking place from September 29 through to October 7, 2016, all three will look at opportunities and address challenges for the wine industry globally.

The first of these three conferences is being organized by FIVS and will take place from September 29 to October 1, 2016. FIVS is a worldwide non-governmental organization which represents the global alcohol beverage industry. FIVS meetings attract key government and industry stakeholders engaged in alcohol beverage international law and policy matters. FIVS’ focus this year will be Brexit and what impact it could have on the UK’s trade partnerships, both in terms of the EU and “third-party” countries like Canada. Sessions will also address moderate consumption, sustainability and the changing Canadian marketplace. CVA is an active member in FIVS, and is assisting with the coordination of the meeting in Canada.

The World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) will hold its Annual Meeting in Ottawa from October 3-5, 2016. This year is Canada’s opportunity to lead the organization, welcoming delegates from the United States, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Georgia to Ottawa. CVA President & CEO, Dan Paszkowski and Shendra Melia, Director at Global Affairs Canada, will co-chair the three-day meeting focused on reducing barriers to the wine trade between WWTG countries.

The final conference is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum. This year’s event will look at wine trade within the region and export certification, as well as host roundtables on importation, with the objective to reduce export barriers. It will take place from October 6-7, 2016, bringing together government officials from North America, South America and Asia.

CVA looks forward to […]

Open letter from Canadian wine industry urging Premiers to include wine direct-delivery in Agreement on Internal Trade

July 19, 2016

Dear Premiers,

We are writing you to congratulate you on your progress in developing a new and modernized Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). This agreement will have a positive impact on the entire country, increasing Canada’s overall competitiveness and economic success. While we are very pleased that the federal, provincial and territorial governments have made strides in tackling internal barriers, we were disheartened to learn that alcohol may be excluded from the agreement.

It has been four years since the passage of Bill C-311, which amended the “Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act” enacted in 1928. As you know, the amendments removed federal restrictions which prohibited individuals from moving wine from one province to another when purchased for personal use; however, with the exception of British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, the remaining provinces have upheld their internal trade barriers for wine.

As economic stewards for your provinces and territories, you will recognize the impact of value-added production and the increasing value consumers are placing on Canadian products. Imported wines represent 70% of all wine sold in Canada, so providing a new option for consumers to access Canada’s 671 wineries is critical to our industry’s ability to meet consumer expectations, grow and create jobs. Eliminating internal barriers would also increase our sector’s overall ability to compete, as imports find the Canadian marketplace increasingly attractive through free trade agreement tariff reductions.

Today, Canadian wineries must refuse Canadian customers the ability to have their wine delivered, yet they are legally enabled to ship directly to their international customers and tourists. This means that more than 70% of Canadians are not only denied the right to order wines directly from their favourite out-of-province winery, they are also restricted from taking advantage […]

Canadian winery trailblazer and ‘FreeMyGrapes’ champion win coveted industry awards

KELOWNA, BC – July 6, 2016 – With great admiration across the Canadian wine industry, Donald Triggs and Shirley-Ann George have been named winners of this year’s Canadian Wine Industry Awards. The awards, sponsored by the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA), are a focal point for the industry to celebrate the success and outstanding commitment in Canada’s grape wine industry.

Don Triggs, Winner of the Award of Distinction and Founder of Culmina Family Estate WineryThe recipient of this year’s Award of Distinction, which is regarded as the highest form of peer recognition within the Canadian wine industry, is Donald Triggs. A remarkable entrepreneur, Triggs saw an opportunity for the Canadian wine industry in 1989, on the brink of the North American Free Trade Agreement, co-founding Vincor. Under his leadership as CEO, Triggs launched the iconic Jackson-Triggs brand and winery and established international joint ventures to support the development of Le Clos Jordanne and Osoyoos LaRose wineries. By 2006, Triggs had successfully grown Vincor to become the largest wine business in Canada and seventh largest wine company in the world. Co-founder of Culmina Family Estate Winery in British Columbia, Triggs has made significant contributions to the Canadian industry through his work on the boards of the Wine Council of Ontario, Brock University, Grapes for Humanity and CVA. He is an advocate of the VQA system, a proponent of continuing investment in industry research and development, and a sage mentor and counsel to the industry.

“Equipped with strong business acumen, and driven by a sense of conviction in Canadian terroir and workmanship, Don Triggs has been instrumental to the growth of the Canadian wine industry,” said Tony Stewart, CVA Chair and CEO of […]

Removal of Interprovincial Barriers Critical to Small Wineries

Four Years Later... And Still Waiting!

OTTAWA, ON – June 28, 2016 – The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is continuing in its efforts to ensure all Canadian consumers have access to Canadian wine, irrespective of the province it is produced in. While federal legislation has been enacted on the matter, provincial governments have been digging their heels, resulting in 10 of our 13 provinces and territories continuing to have prohibition-era-like laws in place, hurting both consumer choice and the growth of small wineries.

As today marks the 4-year anniversary of the federal legislation on the matter – Bill C-311, which allowed Canadians to order wine from other provinces and have it delivered directly to them – the CVA is calling on provincial governments to act. CVA further urges the Premiers in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and British Columbia – the provinces that do permit direct to consumer shipping to residents – to increase pressure on their provincial counterparts to open their borders to Canadian wine.

Dan Paszkowski, CVA’s President and CEO, recently gave evidence to the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce during its inquiry on internal trade, which concluded on June 14. Paszkowski spoke up for small Canadian wineries, saying: “Our wineries, especially small wineries, need more options to get their product to market,” stating that interprovincial wine delivery offers wineries “a new and important sales channel.”

The Senate Committee’s report makes direct reference to Paszkowski’s testimony, ultimately calling for a Canada “free of interprovincial/ interterritorial trade barriers”. The Senate Committee’s report concludes: “Let Canada’s 150th year end as the country began a century and a half ago: free of interprovincial/ interterritorial trade barriers. It will make our great […]

Canada Wins Bid to Host ICCWS 2020

Canada has been selected to host the 10th International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS), to take place in July 2020. Canada’s bid was led by Brock University and supported by the CVA and regional associations. Announced at the 2016 ICCWS, which took place in southern England, Canada’s bid for the 2020 international conference beat out competing pitches from Chile, New Zealand and Australia.

ICCWS, a conference which focuses on wine production in cool climates winemaking regions, takes place every four years in different cool climate wine regions across the world. Brock University, located in the Niagara region of Ontario, will be the host location for the conference. The university is home to the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), an internationally recognized centre where researchers focus on the priorities of Canada’s grape and wine industry. The university is also located close to the Niagara Escarpment, one of Canada’s premium cool-climate wine regions.

Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association, said: “Canada’s wine industry growth and success is based on a proud history of continuous improvement. We are thrilled to have been selected to host the 10th International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, which is a direct reflection of the collaboration of our wine and grape producers from across Canada partnering to introduce our diverse cool climate wine regions, premium quality wines and research excellence to the world.”

Delegates to the 2020 event will be invited on pre- and post-conference programming visits to Canada’s diverse wine producing regions in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Read the official media release and view the official video here. Information and updates in the run up to the event can be found at


Announcing the Wines of Canada logo

WOC LogoFor the past two years, CVA, regional wine associations and wineries across Canada have been working together to create a national wine brand with the object of developing greater awareness and presence for Canadian wines. This ambitious initiative has included wineries of all scales of production and regional organizations–British Columbia Wine Institute, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario, Vignerons indépendants du Québec and the Winery Association of Nova Scotia.

The Wines of Canada brand development process first engaged the services of Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Shikatani Lacroix Design Inc., who worked with industry stakeholders to define the qualities of Canadian wine, including the mission and vision for the Wines of Canada brand. Upon completion and approval by a broad group of industry stakeholders, Zenergy Communications was engaged to adapt the Wine of Canada brand research, and work with an industry working group to create the visual brand identity for Wines of Canada.

The approved brand captures a modern and expressive design that celebrates the industry’s diversity and growth, from vine to wine. The strong maple leaf was a key visual element for all stakeholders, symbolizing 100% Canadian pride and quality for domestic and international consumers. Overall, the design features allow flexibility and adaptability for the Canadian wine industry, ensuring the logo can be easily adopted to meet any promotional requirements.

CVA and regional associations are now working together to develop the Wines of Canada website and additional materials.

Funding for this project has been provided by CVA, along with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s AgriMarketing program through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial initiative. CVA also holds and protects the trademark rights to Wines of Canada.

The bottle with an […]