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 […]

O Canada – Celebrate Wines of Canada at the Vancouver International Wine Festival in 2017!

VANCOUVER, BC – The Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) has selected Canada to be the theme country for 2017, providing consumers and trade with an opportunity to experience Canadian wines from coast-to-coast.

“We are thrilled that Canada will be theme country for 2017,” remarked Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association. “Showcasing pride in our great Canadian wines from coast-to -coast, is a great way to launch the celebrations for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.”

The 39th annual Festival will take place February 11-19, 2017, celebrating Wines of Canada at one of North America’s largest wine shows. The weeklong celebration of wine and food attracts over 25,000 wine fans and connoisseurs from around the world to enjoy wines from a projected 170 international wineries from 15 countries.

“It has been 20 years since Canada has been our theme country and our nation’s wine culture has evolved greatly over this time,” said Harry Hertscheg, VIWF Executive Director. “This will be the largest showcase of Canadian wines ever assembled at an international wine festival and we’re looking forward to telling the Wines of Canada story to wine enthusiasts throughout the Pacific Northwest, trade professionals across Canada, and the wine industry globally.”

Wines of Canada is a collaborative initiative of the Canadian Vintners Association and regional wine associations–British Columbia Wine Institute, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, Vignerons indépendants du Québec and the Winery Association of Nova Scotia–to bring the country’s best wines with the world.

With over 670 wineries in Canada and 30,000 acres of vineyards, Canada is consistently producing award-winning cool climate table wines, sparkling wine and Icewine each year.

“Ontario’s wine growing region is always proud to be part of Canada’s national wine story. The Festival is a perfect […]

Trans-Pacif­ic Partnership: Canadian Vintners Value Trade

Message from Dan Paszkowski, CVA President and CEO:

Canada is a premium global wine producer, skillfully producing high quality table wine, sparkling wine and Icewine. Canada’s wine industry is robust and growing, contributing $6.8 billion to the national economy, supporting 31,000 jobs and more than 3 million tourist visitors each year.

Canadian vintners are actively engaged in the global economy, with $66 million in export sales shipped to 40 countries in 2014. From Nova Scotia to British Columbia, vintners support a competitive and fair global trading environment, recognizing the numerous benefits to industry, consumers and the greater economy.

In consideration of the Trans-Pacif­ic Partnership (TPP) Agreement, the Canadian wine industry widely anticipates developing preferential relationships with our largest trading partners. The 11 other countries that make up the TPP (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Ja­pan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam) provide Canada with enhanced access to 800 million consumers and nearly 40% of the world economy. Asia-Pacific consumers are also rapidly increasing their interest and demand for premium wines, providing important new market potential for Canadian vintners.

TPP members are already responsible for 98% of Canada’s current wine exports and as such, the proposed Agreement will offer immediate and tangible benefits to the Canadian wine industry, reducing costly tariffs on wine, providing greater protection for authentic Icewine, streamlining complex technical and administrative barriers and tackling other barriers to wine exports that unfairly limit access to markets. Without Canada’s inclusion in the TPP, the sole benefit of these negotiations would have gone to some of the world’s most ambitious wine exporting countries – Australia, Chile, New Zealand and the United States – leaving Canadian vintners significantly disadvantaged.

Increasing trade success results in more opportunities for our wine exporters […]

Canadian Online Wine Directory Released

Canada’s first national, industry-led, online winery directory has been officially launched. includes more than 800 grape and fruit wineries, as well as cideries and meaderies, from coast to coast.

The directory is a joint initiative between the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) and BlackSquare Inc., who identified the need for a comprehensive Canadian wine industry resource. With more than 3 million visitors to Canadian wineries annually, and a national annual industry economic impact valued at more than $6.8 billion for grape wine alone, will further support industry growth and enhance public awareness of Canadian wine.

“The collection of information and development of the online platform has taken significant investment and commitment,” said David Gluzman, BlackSquare Inc.’s President. “We’re confident that the wine industry and users will appreciate the thought that’s gone into it.”

Few, if any countries in the world have a resource like, which is a user-friendly, visually impressive directory and intended for use by wineries, travellers and anyone interested in Canadian wineries and wine regions. It is organized by province and geographical region, providing winery contact information, production volumes, varietals and awards received, as well as consumer-friendly data on visitor facilities, social media links, wine club information and more.

“Canada is a world-class, premium wine producer,” said Dan Paszkowski, CVA President and CEO. “We feel it’s important to encourage wine enthusiasts in Canada and abroad to discover and more fully understand our wine regions and producers.”

While there is no cost or membership requirement for wineries to have a listing on; wineries are requested to review their information for accuracy.

“The benefits of an online directory are numerous, including the ability to review and update content regularly” said David Gluzman. “The Canadian wine industry is […]

2015 Canadian Wine Industry Awards /Prix de l’industrie vinicole canadienne

The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is pleased to announce the results of the second annual Canadian Wine Industry Awards. These prestigious awards recognize individuals, organizations and businesses that have gone above and beyond to support and enhance the wine industry in Canada, celebrating the success, leadership and outstanding commitment in Canada’s grape wine industry.

The nomination process for the awards is open to all organizations, businesses and individuals in the Canadian grape wine industry. This year, several outstanding nominees were considered for both award categories, all of whom reflect the dedication and enthusiasm for Canadian wine found from coast-to-coast.

“It is a great honour to recognize Newman Smith of Strewn Winery, Ontario, with the Award of Distinction” said Tony Stewart, CVA Chair and President of Quails’ Gate Winery.

“He is an industry veteran in the true sense of the word, actively serving the wine industry for 45 years. Newman has helped build the Canadian wine industry from the ground up, working to establish the regulatory, financial and policy foundation which has helped pave the way for this industry’s 550 wineries. His contributions of the past and present continue to strengthen our industry”

The Award of Distinction is the preeminent award for the Canadian wine industry and regarded as the highest form of peer recognition and appreciation of outstanding leadership, commitment and passion for the advancement of the Canadian wine industry.

The Wine Industry Champion Award was presented to John Schreiner of Vancouver, British Columbia, recognizing Mr. Schreiner’s enthusiastic and influential support for the Canadian wine industry.

“In the last 30 years, John has written 15 books on Canadian wine and wine regions, including The Wines of Canada and his most popular book, Okanagan Wine Tour Guide, which is now in its 5th edition,” […]

Winemakers Reject Québec Icewine Standard / Les vignerons rejettent la norme québécoise en matière de vin de glace

Français ci-dessous – The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA), representing over 90% of all wine produced in Canada and almost 100% of Canada’s genuine Icewine production, and Vignerons Indépendants du Québec (VIQ) are deeply disappointed in the Québec government’s new Icewine certification system for “Vin de Glace du Québec”.   The recently announced Québec standard effectively lowers the bar for the production of Icewine in Québec and fails to meet Canadian and internationally accepted Icewine production practices.

Canada is the global leader in the production, sale and export of Icewine, producing 90% of the world’s authentic Icewine.  To help combat counterfeit products, as well as meet international trade obligations, the Government of Canada passed Icewine Regulation (SOR/2014-10) in February 2014.  A key requirement of the federal standard is that Icewine is made exclusively from “grapes naturally frozen on the vine”.  This is a fundamental in Icewine production, upheld by wine-producing countries around the world and supported by the International Organization of Wine and Vine (OIV).

“Industry celebrated the passing of the federal Icewine standard last year,” stated Dan Paszkowski, CVA President and CEO.  “It is shocking that the Québec government and its accrediting body, Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants (CARTV), is permitting the harvesting of grapes before they are naturally frozen on the vine, falling short of the federal standard and all international standards for Icewine.  This risks the reputation of authentic and globally respected Icewine producers from coast to coast.”

In Canada, provincial governments have the responsibility for on-farm production.  Unfortunately, the Québec government is allowing grapes to be harvested before the grapes are naturally frozen on the vine.  The harvested grapes are then placed in outdoor nets, hanging for weeks or months, until the temperature drops to […]

Launch of First National Online Directory of Canada’s Wineries/Lancement du premier Annuaire national des vignerons canadiens

wine411Français ci-dessous – At their annual general meeting today, the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) announced the Wine411 joint project with BlackSquare Inc. to produce the first independent, national online directory of Canada’s nearly 800 wineries.

When completed in September 2015, Wine411 will deliver the first comprehensive, accurate and independent online directory of Canada’s wineries, cideries and meaderies, from coast to coast.

Wine411’s user-friendly directory will be a resource for wineries, travellers and anyone interested in Canadian wineries and wine regions. The online directory will be updated annually, providing comprehensive information on winery contact information, production volumes, varietals, awards received and winemakers, as well as consumer-friendly data on visitor facilities, websites, wine clubs and unique features. Wine411’s print-friendly design will further allow users to print all or part of the directory.

Wine411 was conceived and funded jointly by Canadian Vintners Association and BlackSquare Inc., who are committed to a multi-year evolution of the project.

“We are pleased to work closely with BlackSquare Inc. on developing Wine411” said Tony Stewart, CVA Chair and President of Quails’ Gate Winery.  “Wine411 will help raise the profile of our vibrant Canadian wine industry.  I expect this directory to become a go-to resource for a broad range of users.”

“Wine411 was an easy decision for BlackSquare. We work with wineries globally and know that every important wine-producing country enjoys some form of national winery directory,” said BlackSquare’s CEO Matthew Protti.

“Canada currently has none, so we decided to apply our industry and technology expertise to meet that need.  Happily, the CVA independently recognized the need for a national directory, so we joined forces.”

Wine411 information is being gathered by personal telephone interviews with all wineries, […]

Wine Industry Calls on Provinces to Open Borders to Direct Wine Delivery

OTTAWA, ON – June 27, 2013 – Tomorrow, June 28th, 2013, marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of Bill C-311.  This momentous bill, sponsored by Dan Albas, Member of Parliament (Okanagan-Coquihalla), effectively amended the prohibition-era Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, removing the federal restrictions prohibiting individuals from transporting wine from across provincial borders when purchased for personal use.

One year later, only two provinces – British Columbia and Manitoba – have permitted for the direct shipment of wine from a licensed Canadian winery to residents, while the remaining provinces and territories continue to object to the national legislation.  Thus, despite Bill C-311’s unanimous federal support, the majority of Canadian wine consumers are still prohibited from purchasing directly from out-of-province wineries.

“The Canadian wine industry applauds the federal government for removing an 84 year old law which had restricted the opportunities for Canada’s growing wine industry to satisfy consumer demand for direct sales and delivery,” said Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA).

“There are now over 500 wineries in Canada, and with each vintage, more wines are produced than can be stocked or sold by liquor stores; however, that shouldn’t prevent an adult from purchasing Canadian wine directly from an out-of-province winery,” stated Paszkowski.  “Consumers expect to be able to purchase the wines they want, in the manner of their choosing: from liquor stores, at the winery, through winery wine clubs, or online.  Direct-to-consumer delivery would satisfy consumer demand, help local wineries grow their business, and augment liquor store sales.  It is also good for rural communities and the entire Canadian economy.”

A recent study calculated the annual economic impact of the Canadian wine industry to be $6.8 billion, supporting over 31,000 jobs in […]

Want to buy wine from another province? Why the rules are (still) confusing

Globe and Mail (Feb. 28, 2013): It has been eight months since Ottawa decriminalized direct-to-consumer wine sales across provincial lines. That enlightened amendment to an outdated law, unanimously approved in the House of Commons, was designed to free up access to small-lot Canadian wines, many of which are not carried in liquor stores across the country. But this is Canada, where it takes more than an act of Parliament or the will of the people to break the shackles of almighty liquor boards.

Read the full story here