BC Wine at the Farmer's Market

August 23, 2014 at 3:23 PM

One of the wonderful things about the Okanagan Valley is the abundance of fresh produce and the passion of its growers/producers. Over the years, the Valley has become known for its fruit, veggies, commitment to locally produced goods and of course, wine. 

Until recently, BC wine could only be sampled, enjoyed and purchased on site at the Valley's 200+ wineries, leaving much to be desired for manufacturers and consumers alike. And while some of the wineries have been able to ship their products to customers, others unfortunately, have been unable to secure the necessary permits to do so. 

As of the end of June, however, doors have opened to wineries, distilleries and breweries to expand their customer base at local farmer's markets throughout the province. Yes, you read correctly, as of the end of June this year, the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch has now allowed liquor manufacturers to sell their products at farmer's markets. Producers of BC Wine, spirits and beer can now legally sample, serve and sell their wares to a wider customer base and tap into a strong community of passionate local patrons as well as visitors to the region. 

As the summer quickly winds up and fall is on the horizon, it would be remiss not to encourage readers to visit their local farmer's markets in search of BC wine, however, not all farmer's markets have embraced this new development fully due to lack of response from local vendors in some cases, and due to regulations regarding liquor licensing, Serving it Right certification, and other jurisdiction hiccups. 

Within the province, according to the latest newsletter released for BC Association of Farmers' Markets, there are currently 15 markets who are selling liquor to patrons.  Within the Okanagan Valley, Penticton's market is the only one actively selling. 

It is the hope of many patrons as well as manufacturers that this new development continues to be successful and has long-term positive effects on the BC wine industry as a whole.  In the meantime, as other markets begin to showcase some of the fantastic wines to be had in the region, be sure to check out the local farmer's markets and pick up your wine and other goodies! 

Link to BCAFM's August Newsletter 


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