International-Canadian Blended (ICB) Wines
Canada’s ICB series of wines are typically value-priced custom blended wines produced by the winemaking teams at Canadian wineries (which may also produce VQA/100% Canadian wines) using quality international and Canadian wines. ICB wines have differing levels of domestic content across Canada; however, all ICB wines are all bottled in Canada.
Blended wines are an important part of the Canadian wine industry, supporting over 10,000 jobs (direct and indirect) and purchasing more than 15,000 tonnes of Canadian grapes annually. According to a national study, ICB wines contributed to the Canadian economy business revenue of $2.14 billion, tax revenues of $484 million and wages of $464 million, totaling $3.08 billion of overall economic impact.
Often ICB wines feature grape varietals that are not grown in Canada, ensuring that consumers have the option to support local businesses no matter what their grape of choice is. In Canada, ICB wines are sold domestically to compete against imported wines in the value price category.
Labelling for ICB wines can be found on a label viewable through a single field of vision (typically on the back panel of the wine), where it indicates it is “Cellared in Canada by (naming the company), (address) from imported and/or domestic wines”. In December 2016, CVA wrote to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to request a change to the way ICB wines are designated on wine labels, following a wide consultation with industry and government stakeholders. The recommendation is that it would read “International Blend from Imported and Domestic Wines”. This is not likely to come into force until 2019, if accepted by CFIA. The suggested new labelling aims to better inform consumers that the wine is either 100% Canadian or a blend of international and Canadian wines. Find out more about Canadian blended wine labelling here.