Time to get social

Guest Blogger:  Allison Markin of All She Wrote It’s time to get social with Free My Grapes. No, that’s not sitting in front of the laptop or ipad with a glass of Canadian wine. It menas taking to social media to get the attention of your fellow wine consumers and your political reps so they are aware that despite the passage of Bill C-311, Canada’s grapes still aren’t free.. The Free My Grapes campaign has a Twitter account, @freemygrapes, and also encourages the use of the hashtag #freemygrapes. What’s a hashtag? On Twitter it’s a clickable term. Simply by adding a pound sign, #, in front of a word or phrase, users can click on the term and see a modified Twitter stream of everyone using that hashtag. If you see #freemygrapes, click it, and everyone talking about the show will appear in your stream, starting with the most recent post. Social media exzperts are recognizing the power of hashtag for online conversation. You’ll see them pop up during TV shows, on product packages, and they are particularly useful at conventions to follow the action. In fact, hashtags can be used to measure how many Tweets are being posted about a specific topic. Hashtags are also used to moderate Twitter chats, when users gather on Twitter at a set time to discuss a certain topic, usually for an hour. Every Wednesday, which is of course “#winewednesday”, #winechat is held at 6pm Pacific time, and gathers users together from  across North America. Established by Tinhorn Creek’s winemaker Sandra Oldfield (@sandraoldfield), #bcwinechat takes place Wednesdays at 8pm Pacific, with a topic related to BC wine, and has often tackled BC’s notoriously archaic liquor laws. If you Tweet a […]

By |December 18th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

The long road to freeing your grapes

Bob’s Blog In 1970, a song entitled “The Long and Winding Road” appeared on the Beatles’ album Let It Be.   If the Free My Grapes (FMG) campaign was to adopt a theme song, how appropriate this title would be. FMG has been in existence since autumn 2010, and it has certainly been a long and winding road to where we are today.   From its first press release in November 2010 to where FMG is two years later, the twists and turns of the road to success have been equally exhilarating, frustrating, enlightening, discouraging  and satisfying.  At the start of the campaign, the prospect of action to remove internal trade barriers to the movement of Canadian wine from producing provinces directly to consumers in other provinces was daunting.   Provincial liquor boards were resolutely opposed, an archaic piece of federal law (The Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act) made it a criminal offence for consumers to take any beverage alcohol across a provincial boundary without going through their local liquor board, and politicians at both the federal and provincial levels said change was not possible.   Two years on, as we approach 2013, much has changed.  Diligent work by the Canadian Vintners Association, provincial wine industry groups, individual wineries, FreeMyGrapes and, most importantly, wine consumers created positive change.  Federal Bill C-311 amended the IILA to permit the inter-provincial movement of wine for personal use.   Two provinces (BC and Manitoba) have shown leadership and opened their borders to the free movement of wine –excellent.  Another province (Nova Scotia) is on the verge of taking action — good.  Some provinces have loosened their procedures to allow for the on-person transportation of wine from one province to another (eg, Ontario and […]

By |December 18th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Bill C-311 Passed

Bob’s Blog All lovers of Canadian wines cheered when the federal government’s Bill C-311 passed into law in late June 2012.  Now, 5 months later, where are we?  What’s happened to date and what has to happen next? There is good news on some fronts, so-so news on others and unfortunately, still a bunch of laggards who continue to drag their heels. Three cheers (as we raise our glasses) to BC and Manitoba who have shown leadership and moved decisively to open their borders quickly.  A cheer too for Nova Scotia’s Minister of Finance who on November 21, 2012, introduced Bill 143 into the provincial legislature. The Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act  looks set to open that province’s internal barriers.  Hopefully, when all the details are known, it will match the pace set by BC and Manitoba.  Moreover, let’s hope that this move by Nova Scotia will encourage the recalcitrants in other provinces to get their collective butts into gear and take steps to reflect the intent and spirit of the federal legal change. Saskatchewan had a perfect opportunity to take action with the 70+ change made to their liquor laws on November 20th.  While the province will now allow consumers to bring twelve 750mill bottles into the province on their person, they have not seen fit to allow personal importation via common carrier.  A small measure of progress but a missed opportunity for Saskatchewan to step up to the bar on behalf of their wine consuming citizens looking to be able to purchase great Canadian wines from across the country.  Kudos to the province though for the changes which will allow patrons to bring their own (commercially produced) wine into restaurants – […]

By |November 26th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments
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