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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GOSH: Ontario reverses Cellared in Canada wine policy, buys out the VQA.

[inspired by the NBC-Leno-Conan brouhaha]


TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – In a stunning announcement to be made later tomorrow, the Government of Ontario (A Have-Not Province) will unleash its latest policy position on the "Cellared in Canada" wine program, the Vintners Quality Alliance program, and the Fruit Wines of Ontario program.


GOSH Wine News Services has learned that the Government of Ontario (A Have-Not Province) is moving the "Cellared in Canada" wines to the more prominent location that they once had in the LCBO stores.


Top investigative wine reporter Brett Grimsby has been following this story for days now, and he files his report based on several interviews with Miffed Mole, the collective name for our sources who are familiar with the situation, and who spoke to him on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge details while they were very close to the centre of discussions and while the matter under consideration had not yet been finalized nor announced to the public. While the decisions may or may not have been finalized internally, and while an announcement on the matter may or may not be imminent, possibly within the next week or two, that specific timeline is not really known.


Sources say that the Government of Ontario (A Have-Not Province) has been unhappy with the performances of both the Cellared in Canada and VQA wine sales. "Our affiliate consumers demanded a better lead-in, a better entry level wine, and current CICs were simply not doing it. So we're moving them back to a more prominent position and getting rid of the stretch water component, replacing that with natural flavours such as MSG. Since we don't have rubber walls, we've asked the VQA to step back and relinquish their shelf space.


"Understandably, the VQA is very unhappy about this loss of sales positions, so we've topped up their budget and paid them $45 million to walk away from the LCBO. That money will be also comfort their members and serve as a sort-of severance allowance. As a result of the deal, the VQA wines, though, will not be available for sale anywhere in Ontario until September."


Fruit Wines of Ontario are poised to be the beneficiaries of this sudden change of policy. They are gearing up for more production, and they have formed an affiliation with the Association for Cellared in Canada Wines, who are ecstatic about all the new changes. Apparently, studies have shown that this fruit wine category of alcohol beverage appeals mostly to the male demographic of 19 - 49. The LCBO, though, is still uncertain about Freggie™, the 70 percent fruit, 30 per cent vegetable wine.


More on this development as it implodes…


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