CVA Applauds CFIA New Wine Labelling Rules

Ottawa, March 12, 2018 – The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) applauds the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Blended in Canada Wine Labelling Consultation report, which supports new wine label requirements for wine bottled and blended in Canada. These wines may list the countries of origin of the wine in order of proportion or alternatively be labelled as:

  • “International blend from imported and domestic wines” or
  • “International blend from domestic and imported wines”

“Imported” is listed first when the imported wine makes up the largest proportion of the product. “Domestic” is listed first when the domestic wine makes up the largest proportion of the product.

For over 20 years, the country of origin statement for wines blended in Canada has been: “Cellared in Canada by (naming the company), (address) from imported and/or domestic wines.” This statement was originally implemented to allow flexibility in cases where wine is blended in Canada using imported and domestic wine content.

“The support of Minister MacAulay and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are greatly appreciated,” said Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association. The new label designation will clearly inform consumers that the wine is a blend of wine from different countries.

Throughout the summer of 2016, the CVA worked with its regional partners, the British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI), the Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario (WGAO), and the Wine Association of Nova Scotia (WANS), to engage and to conduct interviews with 100% Canadian and Canadian blended wine producers in BC, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, as well as major liquor retailers across Canada. The CVA and its partners also organized two facilitated stakeholder sessions in Central Canada and Western Canada.

Following consultations the recommended new label designation was that “International Blend from Imported and Domestic Wines” be adopted. Through the Food Label Modernization process, the CVA engaged with the Minister of Agriculture and senior officials at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with a view to rapid implementation of the proposed label designation. The CFIA heard strong support for the proposed statements, with nearly 81 per cent of all respondents, who were supportive of the proposed statements.

“Canadian producers will now begin the process of transitioning to the new label designation as quickly as possible,” said Paszkowski.

A  Summary Report on the Blended in Canada Wine Labelling Consultation is available on the CFIA website.

About the Canadian Vintners Association

Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is the national association of the Canadian wine industry representing wineries across Canada responsible for more than 90% of annual wine production.  CVA members are engaged in the entire wine value chain from grape growing, farm management, grape harvesting, wine production, bottling, retail sales and tourism. The Canadian wine industry is a significant contributor to the national economy at $9 billion in economic impact.

For more information contact:

Asha Hingorani
Director of Government and Public Affairs
Canadian Vintners Association