Canadian WinesWINE LABELLING IN CANADA
British Columbia’s VQA appellation system was established in 1990. The BC VQA system was enacted into law in 2013, under the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation (2013), and is enforced by the British Columbia Wine Authority.
British Columbia VQA system has 9 appellations – Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Kootenays, Lillooet, Shuswap and Thompson Valley – and 5 sub-appellations – Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Falls, Naramata Bench, Skaha Bench and Cowichan Valley.
The content rules for BC VQA labelling declarations, under the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation (2013), are as follows:
- British Columbia (100% British Columbia)
- Appellations/ sub-appellation (95% must come from that specific appellation or sub-appellation)
- Vintage/ varietal (85% must be from that vintage year/ stated varietal)
- Vineyard designation (100%)
For more information, please see the BC Wine Authority website.
of a VQA wine is as follows:
of a BC VQA wine is as follows:
100% Canadian Wines/ Product of Canada
100% Canadian wines, which are not VQA certified, are quality wines made from grapes grown in Canada. These include:
- Wines from a province outside of BC or Ontario, such as Nova Scotia or Quebec, where there is no provincially regulated VQA system;
- Wines from BC or Ontario that do not meet the VQA standard (e.g. the wine may exhibit flavours that contrast what the VQA tasting panel expected for a specific appellation area);
- Wines from a BC or Ontario winery that has chosen not to have that wine VQA certified. These wines are labelled ‘Product of Canada’.
International Blends from Imported and Domestic Content
The label designations “International blend from imported and domestic wines” and “International blend from domestic and imported wines” were introduced in March 2018. Prior to this, these wines had the option of being labelled as “Cellared in Canada from imported and/or domestic wines.” The labelling change took place to ensure higher levels of consumer awareness through wine labelling. Its implementation follows industry and government consultation with members of the public and industry in 2016 and 2017, who felt the new labelling was clearer and more transparent.