Coming of Age
There is an amazing energy in our Canadian wine industry right now. It's coming from wineries and their ever improving product. It's coming from governments and their recognition that this industry is a vital contributor to our nation’s economy and our culture. We are proud of our wines and our nation is proud of us. It's palpable.
With this comes the logical next step, to show our stuff to the world, grow our markets, grow our brand. Invite the world to visit and explore the breadth of our industry and the diversity of our regions. We will all benefit.
It's now time for those who have the most at stake to take ownership of this industry. We are Canadian wine and we need to be the VOICE and the FACE of Canadian wine.
How do we do that? We need to put our best foot forward as an industry. We need to show the world our best wines to build and grow our reputation. This does not have to be elitist or exclusionary as our wines can be categorized to include "value" wines.
Competition is good. We need to select a representative group, be it 10, 15, 20 wineries from each wine producing province and promote them as the face of our brand. Name the group! Make it something that we are all proud of and all aspire to be a part of. No more "pay for play" in our international marketing. The ability to write the cheque does not qualify you to represent our industry. We need to decide on an objective third party method for their selection and use the government money available to market us strategically and intelligently.
We are competing with the world for market share. Do we not send our best athletes to the Olympics? It will make us better and that has to be our focus.